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TOPIC: Are unpaid internships the new entry-level job?


I know I link to BBC a lot, but check out "[url=]The unstoppable rise of work experience.[/url]" It's an interesting look at the rise of the unpaid internship and the experience of many new grads (in the UK, but applies here!!!), as they struggle to get work experience before they can get paid work.

The article discusses different perspectives - What does everyone think? Is this a good trend or a bad trend? I know this topic comes up time and again as the trend seems to widen. I myself still can't help but think it is a slippery slope to an exploitative arrangement of a vast pool of unpaid workers...

There is also an interesting source quoted in the article: [url=]Internocracy [/url] This group is striving to make internships meaningful - anyone know if there is anything similar in Canada?

– Carley Centen
Monday, August 09, 2010 @ 7:12PM

Replies (9)

Dude :)

Bad? yes, but not surprised.
But it's up to the individual to take responsibility for the amount of hours they "work". I'm doing an internship now, but pick my own hours for the most part.

Even though grads want experience theirs nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and not getting taken advantage of.
I would not work more than 20hrs/week as an intern and I would continue to job hunt.
In the end you have to look out for yourself.

Monday, August 09 @ 8:54PM
Danielle Lorenz

I think Dude makes a good point: you can do a part-time internship (which I have done), which allows you experience and at the same time also allows you to pursue part-time employment and/or job hunt.

Tuesday, August 10 @ 5:00PM
Vicky Tobianah

To some extent, yes. Employers expect students to have completed internships - paid or unpaid - during their academic career. Students who have worked minimum wage jobs, because they cannot afford to take a low paying or unpaid internship are at a disadvantage.

Stay tuned to my upcoming article on Talent-egg about unpaid internships!

Friday, August 13 @ 9:43PM
Victoria Schlodder

I have to agree with Dude too. I'm worried about corporations taking advantage of a desperate workforce.

Personally, I wouldn't take an unpaid internship; I know what my time is worth (I started my own business @ 17 years old), and I will becompleting a 4 year degree in April (completed in 3 years). If there had been unpaid internships available through my university, I would have taken them, for the experience, but after graduating I won't be.

Wednesday, October 20 @ 11:22AM
Victoria G.

I agree with Victoria S. I think that unpaid internships are only good while you are in school. But once you have graduated I think its somewhat of a waste of time. I have come across companies that offer full time unpaid positions (35hrs/week) for 3 months minimum. That’s preposterous!!!! I think that once you have completed university and have degree you should know your value. Yes, while some might argue that this unpaid work will open doors for you I still think that its a waste. What those employers don’t realize is that students like everyone else have to eat and some might even have to pay of university loans and if they are not getting any income then what’s the point?!?! Why give someone all your time 35 hrs for free? or a very small honorarium.

If you do decide an internship then ONLY part time for a couple of hrs per week so that you have time to search for employment and make pocket money as well.

Also, the other important point to keep in mind is that very few companies who offer internships will give you some meaningful responsibilities and I wouldn't waste my time bringing coffee and running some errands in hopes to land it big. If they can't give me some challenging tasks then maybe I shouldn't even be working at that company.

Tuesday, November 09 @ 2:13PM