Unpaid Internships: Benefiting the Rich; Putting The Poor At A Disadvantage
Internships are seen as stepping stones to enjoying a lifelong and successful career. However, not all interns are given the chance to maximize their potentials due to financial constraints. Many interns feel that rich kids are those who breeze through internship without any hassle while the less fortunate ones hardly complete the program. This brings the question whether now is the right time to start considering paying interns.
U.S. News mentioned that the primary reason for an unpaid internship is the "educational" purpose. Otherwise, internship can be viewed as plain work without pay.
Internships are often treated differently between the private sector and the government sector. Count non-profit organizations in the latter group as well. Private sector internships implement certain guidelines so as to properly delineate internship work from actual work of the institution's employees. However, with government internships, there are times when interns do the work of the employees. And, in both instances, interns don't get paid.
So where does the problem come from? Usually, interns who don't have to worry about their finances tend to fare well during the internship. They get to be at their best during the internship program, hence, they are often viewed by their supervisors as the more capable ones.
On the other hand, interns who had to deal with money problems end up with a dismal performance during the internship program. Consequentially, they lose opportunities. Who would want to hire an intern who did not perform well during the internship program?
While economically secured interns receive the best offers, poorer interns end up spending months working for an institution without any salary. What's worse, most of them don't get any job offers thereafter. Voice of America mentioned that there are those who feel that these young interns are simply being exploited whenever they don't get any pay for rendered hours.
With this growing problem of unpaid internships, don't you think it's about time that interns do get paid? If you feel that this is the way that America should go, don't hesitate to voice out your opinions below.