Five years too many…

July 30, 2011

This blog turns five today. Sigh. Much like its fourth birthday, it is no reason to celebrate. Through those years, the financial crisis seems to have worsen the situation for interns, as employers try to squeeze costs by avoiding to pay their contributing staff. At the same time, there has been a flurry of activity, including a recent book, Intern Nation, and the creation of several blogs, campaigns in the UK especially, and an increased awareness of the problem. At this point it is not clear what will happen next, but one thing is sure: it is not time to fold.

As the quick advice box on the right says, this should be seen more as a website than a blog. It is not meant to follow the news, but to provide resources for interns and food for thought for employers. Use the links at the top to browse the content. And feel free to send suggestions.

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Unpaid interns: working for free

July 29, 2011

We went from lukewarm to cold on internships-for-credits, but it looks like it has gotten worse out there. Not only are colleges playing along, advertising unfair internships and making up programs with credits for internships without pay, but now they have started managing the expectations of graduates and legitimize what is an illegal and unfair practice. From the Globe and Mail, this quote from a student at Sheridan College:

“That was something [professors] stressed really hard – that we would not get paid”

Wait, there’s more, from another student:

“Humber is holding my diploma up in the air and saying we’re not giving it to you till you do this.”

At least, one law professor from York sees through it:

“My sense is that many employers believe simply calling someone an ‘intern’ relieves them of all employment obligations”.

Exactly. Ask them a simply question: why do you call it an “internship”?