What's your opinion on unpaid internships?

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The NFL reporter Jane Slater posted about an unpaid internship opportunity on Twitter and she got a lot of pushback for it.


This started a larger conversation about the merits, legality and ethics of unpaid internships. A lot of people in the journalism industry got their starts due to unpaid internships so there's a lot of older journalists who swear by it. A lot of younger people think it should be illegal and you should pay people for their labor regardless of if it's an internship or not.


Unpaid internships have the unintended consequence of only being available to people who already have the means and resources to work for free for several months (ie people with family money like Jane).


There are people who can work an internship and hold down a full-time job but those people are at a major disadvantage.


It's easy to take unpaid internships when your brother is an NFL superstar making millions.

Anyway, I wanted to get NT's opinion on this debate.

IMO, If it's a situation where you're coming and going as you please and you're taking 10-12 hours after school/work to learn the ropes, I can understand the internship being unpaid. Where I draw the line is situations where you're working 35-40 hrs per week (sometimes more), your employer is giving you deadlines and they have expectations of you. To me it's crazy that people put in that much work and receive no monetary compensation.
 
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128,084
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I hate people defending practices simply because of the, "I went through it and turned out OK" rationale.

So what if you older folks worked for free and "paid your dues" (what that even means forreal), if you are giving your time/labor I feel you should be compensated.

I wonder how many people that "believe in", "Unpaid internships" ALSO believe that NCAA Players should be paid.

A lot of younger people think it should be illegal and you should pay people for their labor regardless of if it's an internship or not.
Agreed.
 
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Experience is invaluable. No one is required to take an unpaid internship. If you don't believe in unpaid internships, only take those that offer compensation.

I will encourage my kids to take any opportunity that adds skills and experience. I owe my career to unpaid / low-paid internships.
 
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There’s legit internship and then there’s being an errand runner. Know the difference.
 
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128,084
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Experience is invaluable. No one is required to take an unpaid internship. If you don't believe in unpaid internships, only take those that offer compensation.

I will encourage my kids to take any opportunity that adds skills and experience. I owe my career to unpaid / low-paid internships.
That is cool and all but what is your opinion on the quote below?

I think what you are addressing is simply pushing your kids to work hard. (WHich a parent should do)

A lot of younger people think it should be illegal and you should pay people for their labor regardless of if it's an internship or not.
 
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I mean... I wouldn't do it, but it's none of my business commenting on what people do for free. From fundraisers to modding forums like this, if you feel like it's worth it then good for you.
 
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Don't agree with it at all. Unpaid internship relies on the idea you get valuable connections but I've found to even get the intern, you need to have connections to begin with. Haven't seen an unpaid internship where the intern wasn't treated as a lackey.
 
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I also hate how people attempt to equate accepting an unpaid position with ambition/desire/passion/drive/hunger as if accepting a paid position can't also reflect the same qualities.

Most of the time, if you are working for free it is because you can AFFORD to, not because you are a hardER worker than those that can't AFFORD to.
 
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That is cool and all but what is your opinion on the quote below?

I think what you are addressing is simply pushing your kids to work hard. (WHich a parent should do)
I guess it is just perspective. Compensation can take on different forms. Some firms offer lower wages and richer benefits packages. A lot of the big tech companies pay lower wages because the opportunity to put Facebook or Google on your resume is worth a ton. To answer the quote directly, I want to preserve the option for the firm to offer paid or unpaid internships and preserve the right for people to decide what they want to take. This is especially important when varying levels of education might prevent someone from coming out of an ivy league school. As someone who has hired hundreds of employees, I take real-world experience over schooling almost every single time.
 
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I think the point people are missing is that unpaid internships only work if you're financially stable enough to work for free and still have a flow of money to pay your bills.

A student who comes from an underprivileged community, which 99% of the time is a minority community, cannot afford to work 3-5 days a week unpaid while in school then find time to work a paying job while succeeding in school. While a privileged student who has their parents to financially support them can take that unpaid internship bc the lack of income isn't relevant to them.
 
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MaxP_3

formerly vcof2005
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Times have changed. Pay them kids.

I did multiple unpaid internships and maybe it’s bc I’m black but, they didn’t help.

I still needed to know the right people to get in. I was literally the best at what I was doing at the time and bc I wasn’t related to, or married to xyz, my skills, experience, and references didn’t mean squat.
 
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A student who comes from an underprivileged community, which 99% of the time is a minority community, cannot afford to work 3-5 days a week unpaid while in school the find time to work a paying job while succeeding in school.
From my personal experiences, those coming from an underprivileged situation are getting paid to go to school and aren't actually working on the side
 
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