Canada: The Rising Cost of Working for Free

The Canadian radio show The Current on CBC talked about “intern culture” on October 8th. It was a rare look into the whole phenomenon: why and how students get into internships, what kind of experience they get, and why employers hire interns.

Anya Kamenetz was on the show (and was kind enough to mention this blog). She presented her perspective on how internships do not level the playing field by favoring those who can afford to work for free.

Three former interns tell typical stories of trying to get ahead of each other. One of them talking about an acquaintance who was an intern for five years. It’s a bit sad thought to hear how much they take it for granted that one has to go through internships to enter the job market.

Overall, the tone of the segment was fairly sympathetic to the interns and wary of unfair internships, which is refreshing to hear in mainstream media, especially from those who employ interns.


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