student

We Need to Keep Talking About Unpaid Internships

I remember learning about internships in high school. During many college campus tours I was constantly touted to about that particular school’s amazing internship program by overeager student tour guides and how 9 out of 10 students completed at least one internship during their time at school. I was always going to do an internship. I knew this. It has long be promoted as the way to try out a career to see if it is the right fit. You could build your resume in short bursts and learn real-world experience while learning in a classroom. However as I began to do research I was shocked to find out how many of them required a full-time commitment yet were unpaid. This struck me as extremely unfair. 

Internships themselves, whether they are unpaid or not, are an issue. Today not only are millennials expected to be college-educated, but we now must also have work experience in our chosen fields before even being handed our degrees. Increasingly paying upwards of $60,000 a year for your higher education is not enough, you must also now devote your free time to an unpaid internship. And we are also meant to be grateful that a company is willing to let us do work for free. Also let us not forget about the internships that actually require previous experience.    

Our parents did not need to work for free. They were not expected to have professional experience before even being handed a diploma. They graduated from school and entered the workforce with an entry-level (usually full-time) position. They could immediately start paying back loans and saving for the future. Maybe they didn’t even have any loans because any free time outside of school was filled with a part-time job and not an unpaid position. Tuition and student loans are now too high and overwhelming for anyone to be working for free.     

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