Why do you call it an internship?

September 14, 2008

I’d really, really like to know what each person mean when they say “internship”. In this story from the Toronto Star for instance, it sounds very much like a job, but it’s called an internship. Could it be that it’s simply an unpaid job? Have we got to a point where we legitimize unpaid jobs by calling them “internships”?

Maybe the best question a potential intern could ask when applying for an internship is to ask “Why do you call it an internship?” If the answer is “because you will be tutored in a learning environment with benefits for you and not for the company”, then go for it. If it’s “because it’s unpaid”, run away.


New law to give college interns credit for jobs

September 2, 2008

Government subsidies for internships?

Some college interns will get school credits for their jobs, under legislation that is expected to be signed by President Bush next week. The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, approved by the House and Senate last week, provides financial incentives for colleges and businesses that offer internships to meet the hiring needs of local industries (…)

It’s slightly better than the nothing that so many interns are getting. The devil must be in the details but I haven’t found yet another, more detailed source for this information.

10 Rules for Hiring Unpaid Interns

September 1, 2008

Again and again, people who know what they are talking about repeat that internships are not free labor. Now, Workforce Management has spoken with a lawyer who provides a checklist. Let’s quote only one line.

Interns can’t be used to replace paid employees.

Who still doesn’t know this? Too many, apparently.