The Blog

It’s time to start paying interns

College credit doesn’t pay the rent, gas or food bills. I’m not saying all unpaid internships are bad, but I am saying they should be offering more incentives than course credit.

As someone who’s had her fair share of unpaid internships, I learned plenty but at a cost. Luckily for me I have supportive parents who allowed me to work at these internships while they paid for my living expenses. However, most people are not nearly as lucky. They miss out on great opportunities because they can’t afford to not work for a three-month period. Some students and post graduates can’t get their foot in the door at amazing companies because they won’t pay even minimum wage.

Interns do the grunt work. They do the work the upper executives don’t have the time to do. They do the work that is often times the backbone of a strategic plan or project. Why not pay them for their hard work? Would you not want a competitive program that the best of the best in your field apply for?

Internships allow a future insight into where your degree could take you. These internships are great stepping stones into knowing what your career will look like outside the classroom (and from social media stalking your dream job). Interns are most unappreciated and at the end of the professional food chain. They work hard to prove themselves with very little gratitude or appreciation.

Although students often appreciate the advantage that internships provide — and can reap the benefits later as they seek employment — some are pushing back against the long-standing college practice of charging tuition for the credits students earn through unpaid internships. So on top of not getting paid, interns that are only receiving school credit have to pay for those credits. They are literally paying to go to work.

When you invest in your employees, including interns, it results in an overall positive work environment. They are happier to be at work, take on harder projects and are determined to impress their colleagues. Why would you not want someone to try their best, so at the very least you don’t have to spend half your day correcting their mistakes.

So please, CEO’s create a paid internship program. And please, undergrads you are worth more than course credit, find an internship that appreciates your worth. I’m proud to work at an agency that pays their interns, and I think more companies should get on board. #PayYourInterns #PayYourInterns #PayYourInterns #PayYourInterns #PayYourInterns #PayYourInterns

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