Will Work For Education??

I’ve been hearing a lot about internships lately, and not just in the public relations sector. There has been many discussions about whether or not unpaid internships are ethical. A post on PR Open Mic first brought this debate to my attention. The New York Times reported that unpaid internships had risen in the past years which seems to be due to the lack of jobs and the state of the economy. Apparently there are 6 requirements that unpaid internships must meet and not all of them are meeting them. The TIMES reports that some employers may feel that it is convenient to lay off workers and get extra help from unpaid students. Another issue is that some internships involve non-education work that does not count as a learning experience. There is also the question of whether less “affluent” students have the same opportunity or pick at internships and if that make students who can not afford to spend a summer without an income “less competitive job candidates” after graduation.

Check out this video, via MoneyTalkNews which shows some of the benefits of unpaid internships (if you can afford them) :

Personally I don’t think I would be able to intern for a semester without working at the same time, that being said, a paid internship would be ideal.  I always see unpaid internships that look like great opportunities for me- so it feels like my choices are automatically cut in half. Is it fair that people who have support from parents or other monetary sources have more options when it comes to internships because they are not held back by needing an income? Do you think that some internships are unethical?


7 responses to “Will Work For Education??

  1. I think that this is one of the most interesting blogs I have read. I totally understand the idea of having to get a job to go along with your internship if it isn’t paid. I have had 3 unpaid internships and though the memories and skills have followed me everywhere, I still can’t take those to the bank or pay off my school bills with that. I never thought about it as an ethical issue, but it totally could be. We are doing the exact same thing that the paid employees are doing, should we not get compensated even a little?

  2. You bring such an interesting debate with this blog post. I found it so interesting and it really made me start to think. It is crazy to be so unsure about how your internship is going to go and not even know if your going to get paid for it. I see both sides to the debate on whether or not it is ethically right. I am a little nervous because I hope to have an internship lined up for next summer but I have no idea what to expect. Hopefully everything will work out for the best!

  3. I found your topic very interesting on unpaid internships. I am currently doing an internship and I can tell you there are ways around things. I know at GSU, some internship give you the option of being paid while doing the internship—which is the type I’m doing. You have to fill out some paper work and show a “financial need” to be offered a paid internship. The likelihood of you being paid is you don’t have a job, you have other obligations, you plan to work your butt off, etc. Just by reading your comments, I have a feeling you could “show” a need. Even if I didn’t get paid though, I was still going to take the internship because it gives me an advantage to network and make some awesome contacts.

  4. I too think that this is a very interesting topic. As I get further into my courses I know eventually I might have to consider an internship. Of course everyone would love to be able to get a paying internship but asking around and chatting with friends I find that the majority of the time internships don’t really offer much or anything at all. All this news can be very discouraging because it seems that now more than ever it is important to have some type of income. It can be very discouraging to hear but getting an internship and having that experience is a great sacrifice for the future.

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  6. I thought this was a really interesting choice for a PR connection. Mainly because I’m looking for my internship for next spring right now. It’s really difficult to find them because I do have to pay my own bills and rent so not having a flowing income isn’t really an option for me. I do find it a little unfair that those that have monetary support from their surrounding are the ones that end up getting more field experience even if they are less qualified than others. And at times I do find that some unpaid internships are unethical. The amount of free work done is a little ridiculous. Yes, you knowingly go into the internship knowing that you won’t be getting paid, but a lot of times your work schedule is much more extensive than what you thought you were signing up for.

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