Today is apparently National Intern Day. It’s trending on Twitter.
Right off the bat all of the Tweets I’ve seen on this subject about the importance of paying interns and how internships are racists, etc.
On #NationalInternDay, let's remember: experience doesn't and won't ever pay the bills. Interns deserve to be paid for the value they add to an organization. Without fair pay, internship opportunities are limited to students who can afford to offset the costs of working for free.
— Elena (@e_vern23) July 26, 2018
Also important to recognize on #NationalInternDay that unpaid interships favor affluent students, and put underprivileged students at a significant disadvantage. It perpetuates a cycle of wealth and poverty division and robs people of opportunity, so just pay your interns.
— Victoria Gagliardo Silver (@viccsilver) July 26, 2018
Here’s a friendly reminder to pay your interns because if you don’t, many black and brown folks and those from low income backgrounds will be shut out of valuable opportunities. Then, the diversity of your newsroom will suffer. 💸💸
— Sydney Greene (@thesydneygreene) July 26, 2018
Happy #NationalInternDay. Pay your interns.
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) July 26, 2018
I have worked two internships in my life. Neither were unpaid. I’ve never actually heard of an unpaid internship in engineering. No engineering student would take it.
My best friend from high school worked several internships with Wall Street firms. He was getting a degree in International Finance from Wharton. All his internships were paid.
I get that some kids may want to intern with a Congressman or Senator because that sounds cool. Other kids may intern for some celebrity news anchor. In those cases, you are paying for the privilege of making connections to advance your career.
For everyone else, if you are expected to work and unpaid internship it is because the market is flooded with people with your skill set that your value is zero.
Take an introduction to economics course and learn about supply and demand. Then ask yourself what it means that people are willing to work a job for free. Maybe factor that into thinking about your chosen major and career.