50 Best Internships

January 30, 2008

This is from November 2007, but it’s worth a little flashback: The 50 Best Internships, according to BusinessWeek. They intend to publish the list annually.

With this ranking, BusinessWeek has put together a guide to the best internships that, unlike any other ranking, provides information on pay, the number of interns each company recruits, and how many interns are offered full-time jobs.

It’s worth looking at the table where one can see that most internships are paid. Honest pay is the sign of an internship that ranks among the best.

No Pay, No Gain

January 20, 2008

Another mainstream media, this time in the United Kingdom, talks about unfair internships. Josh Freeman Berthoud signs “No Pay, No Gain” in the Guardian and has this angle:

And yet what’s the point of striving to ensure equal academic opportunities for all people, regardless of socio-economic class, when once they leave university the traditional wealth and class barriers kick in and poorer people are deprived entry to the most prestigious industries?

Josh correctly observes that the problem with unfair internships is not that the tasks are menial, but the opposite. These internships are real jobs, only with no or little salary.

(…) these are some of the most common industries where you are likely to find interns working long hours, performing difficult, demanding and important tasks for little or no money.

It’s refreshing that most of the comments are supportive of Josh’s (and this blog’s) opinion. In the US, it all too often goes the way of accusing the intern for taking the job, being fatalist about it, saying that it’s a win-win — basically, just not seeing the problem of un(der)paid labour. If you are in the UK and aware of legislation that may prevent unfair internships, please let us know and we’ll post it on this website.

Finally, Josh tells an interesting insider story that helps explaining why we hear so little about it in the media:

I wanted to write a piece on this very subject a few years ago, but the national paper – with whom I was an intern at the time – told me that they were aware of the problem but that they wouldn’t be able to print the story, as they were as guilty as the next firm.

So much for the “liberal media”. This means that blogs will have to take up the fight.

Several layers of internships

January 11, 2008

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?