To the highest bidder

Taking an unfair internship is paying to work considering all the work-related expenses that put you in the red. But, as this blog has mentioned before, some literally pay to get an internship. The New York Times reported in January that CharityBuzz is auctioning internships – and they go for several thousands of dollars. It’s so upsetting that they use charity as an excuse. It’s like taking human shields.

I had never heard of such auctioning, but apparently, “the idea isn’t new: elite private schools have also found fund-raising potential in putting internships on the auction block along with a cruise for two.”

At least, the paper acknowledges that there’s something wrong there.

If the idea of paying to work seems counterintuitive, it is. And critics point to the exclusion of the less affluent and the absence of merit as a yardstick. Even bloggers grumble.

Even bloggers? Who doesn’t?

(by way of The Editorialiste)

2 Responses to To the highest bidder

  1. Jennifer says:

    I actually interned at a non-profit that did this. The internship was overall horrible because I was doing exactly what a paid staffer was doing (prospect research, day after day) but not getting paid. Additionally, my internship was not as it was described to me during my interview.

    While this was difficult enough, the real slap in the face came when I had to proofread their Gala brochure. One of the auctioned off items was an unpaid internship at this well-known gallery in Massachusetts. I was appalled.

  2. exintern says:

    Walking out on unfair internships is a good way to fight them. Even if employers can sometimes replace an intern, it should give them pause. If this is too difficult, speaking out about your experience is another way to send the signal that certain illegal practices will not be tolerated. Thanks Jennifer for sharing your experience.

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