There may not be a Supreme Court case yet, but there is a web series about the lot of interns: Interns Anonymous. There’s a pilot and a second episode already online, with a third in the works. Two lines from the dialogue:
- Your internship is like a full-time job.
- Yeah, but I’m working with the guy whose job I’m gonna take!
One character mentions setting up a support group in the pilot. Until this comes to the real world, watching the series may make you feel less alone if you’re in an unafir internship. And who knows, maybe one of these interns will report or sue their employer.
The Onion once again nails it with a funny piece about internships:
In tough economic times, employers relish the term, “cheap labor,” a.k.a. the intern. Full of vigor and promise, the intern works hard for little or no money.
Oh wait, it’s not The Onion, it’s AdvertisingAge. Not funny.
According to the Globe and Mail, interns in some sectors are treated fairly in Canada. At least, they are paid.
Money, money, money That’s right. Payment.
At Protiviti Inc., a risk and audit advisory services firm in Chicago, interns are paid only a little less than first-year consultants. “In this market we’re trying to find technology, accounting and finance students. When you’re looking for that kind of student, you don’t really have an option. Everybody is paying their interns,” says Jessica Harrison, North America head of recruiting at Protiviti Inc.
At Bayer Inc., in Toronto, interns make the equivalent of what a full-time employee would make, with a salary of $26,000 to $47,000 per year. “You would be surprised what students are making these days,” says Gord Johnston, vice-president of human resources at Bayer.
Since this article is providing advice to employers looking for interns, this blog can only welcome this recommendation.
Another major newspaper take on the topic of internships: The Onion. And they have the best angle I’ve seen: Fall Internship Pays Off With Coveted Winter Internship. The conclusion:
Werner added that his main goal is to use his connections at ESPN to secure a highly desirable spring internship that could possibly offer school credit and a modest travel stipend.
Which begs the question: if you take an internship to gain experience, why shouldn’t you take another one and another one to gain even more experience, until you become the CEO. Where does the “internship-for-experience” rationale stops?
Too bad LifeNews.com doesn’t see the good news: Georgetown Law School “provides funding to intern with public interest organizations”. It would have been my angle for the story.
Darn, I missed this CATO posting more than a year ago. Listen kids, Will Wilkinson is reminding you of an important lesson in life: you should be grateful to even have the chance to work for free! After all, isn’t it a bit materialistic on your part to ask for money on top of the chance to get experience and contacts?
I know! That’s exactly what I was telling Steve Jobs: you’re so lucky to be the boss of the greatest company in the world, transform the computer and music industry and now the phone industry. No wonder you’re getting only a dollar a year! I think everybody should follow your example and forgo their salary because after all, they should be grateful to have a job at all. A temperate place to stay and, sometimes, sit all day, coworkers that can be friends, a shot at proving the world that you can work, and what more can you get out of a job? No, not a salary!
Hey, it’s competitive out there and, spread out across companies as you are, there’s not a chance that you will get organized. On top of it, kids-with-the-pillow-face, you haven’t proven the slightest bit yet that you deserve an entry-level salary. For that reason, the new entry-level salary should be $0 (on either a monthly or annual basis, depending on merit). Then, after a few years (exact number to be decided), you may get a chance to earn a better salary. It’s up to you to be the best and you’ll be able to pay the grocery. That’s how you raise productivity. Oh, and as a corollary, all people who are promoted or switch jobs will not be paid for any new task that they were not performing before, that is not until they have proven over a certain period that they are good at it.
Don’t argue: there’s always a good rationale at hand as to why people with no money should receive less and rich people should receive more.
(by way of Generation Debt)
They must be kidding. The Financial Times’ leader took some of its precious time on September 2nd to address interns, inspired by the recent misadventures of Lucy Gao. The tone is light and they poke fun at interns. They must still be on this ironic streak when they imply interns earn so much:
Eventually you will wonder why the bank is paying you 1,000 Pounds a week to do nothing. The truth is that you are being taken for a test drive and they are watching to see how you handle it.
And since the FT assumes that interns are overpaid, they will be forgiven for making a plea that would be dubious in the context of an unfair internship:
Finally, though, a plea to your employers. Your interns take you very seriously. They believe they are working for the best bank on the planet and they just want to be useful. So please give your interns something to do. Otherwise they are liable to think that life is one long party.