Over half of college graduates have had at least one internship. And nearly half of those students worked for nothing.
Or, supposedly, they worked to gain relevant experience, hone office etiquette, develop networking opportunities and perhaps find some valuable mentors.
But are the hundreds of unpaid hours really worth it to students who often are running up thousands in loan debts to earn that degree?
The Miami Herald wants to find out.
The federal government has established criteria that for-profit companies must meet to skip out on paying interns. Public sector and non-profit jobs are an exception, and there aren’t set guidelines on unpaid interns for those jobs. Some interns — most notoriously in the media industry — have fought back. Condé Nast settled with former interns for $5.8 million, Viacom for $7.2 million, and NBCUniversal for $6.4 million.
Internships for academic credit appear to be the new fad — where often times students have to pay their universities to work for free. And too bad for unpaid interns because paid interns had a better shot at getting a job after graduating.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers, found that over 52 percent of paid interns at for-profit companies received a job offer, compared to 46 percent of the total class.
Have you had an internship while in college or as a recent graduate? Have you been unable to take an internship in your industry because you can’t afford it? We want to hear your story.
Please note: Your information will not be shared publicly, and we won’t publish your internship experiences unless we contact you for further details.