Four years too many

It’s been four years today that this blog has been addressing the issue of unfair internships. There is no reason to celebrate. This is not a blog that’s meant to last. This is a blog that’s meant to to self-destruct by bringing attention to a scandal hidden in plain sight. It’s hidden behind your newspapers who employ unpaid interns in staff position. It’s hidden in the first job experiences that so many of you had. It’s hidden in the colleges where students are encouraged to take some practical training, even unpaid, because Lord knows their intellectual training makes them worthless and they won’t have the time in the next 40 years to gain practical experience. It’s hidden in the cubicle next to yours.

At least, in those four years, we have seen seen some positive trends. In the UK, there’s a serious campaign around the parliament to ban unfair internships. In the US, the Department of Labor is finally paying attention. In Europe, outside of the UK, there’s been some talks of a European Quality Charter in Internships but other than that, not much. The mainstream media ran a few stories, if not enough by a mile.

Let’s hope that a year from now there will be more to celebrate, and four years from now, we won’t have to be here.


2 Responses to Four years too many

  1. Alan says:

    As I read your posts I cant help but think that you probably had a terrible internship and now are completely against it. Of course if an internship lasts 12 months with no possibility of job opportunities or training one can question the fairness of the internship. Yet, there is a major fallacy in your argument. You are saying that interns are not getting paid, when in reality they are getting differed pay. Let me illustrate an example.

    If an individual takes a 12mth internship he is much more likely to land a $50,000 job after that. If noone offered these internships that individual would be stuck on a $20,000 for 2 years until he gains enough experience to jump to another job. So really, he wasted 12mths but gained 2years.

    Why don’t companies pay? the majority of the time its not worth it. Obviously when they replace real jobs its slightly different.

    Overall, don’t jump to conclusions so quickly. Without internships, however unfair, students would never be able to advance fast enough.

  2. ExIntern says:

    I am pleased to report that all my internships have been good experiences, as is written here ( This sort of reasoning, of attribution of intentions is one reason why I blog anonymously because I don’t want it to reflect badly on the internships that I had.

    The rest of your comment is more interesting as it focuses on the issue at hand.

    If you’ve read other posts or the static sections of this blog, you know that we don’t even disagree. An internship can be a rewarding experience. It can even help someone to land a better job with a higher pay than without an internship.

    Now then, why am I still saying that some unpaid internships are unfair? Something tells me that it is more productive to let you ponder this than to give you the answer in a sentence or two. Let’s just say that it has to do with why entry-level jobs are paid.

    As for jumping to conclusions too quickly, it took me about seven years after my first internship to start this blog and the US law is in place since 1947. If anything, it’s not too quickly, it’s too late.

    Thanks for your thoughtful engagement.

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