31 May, 2011

Internships for Sale

Internships are sometimes unpaid…. and now we are also seeing students having to pay for the opportunity of an internship.  Is this fair?  Is this benefiting organisations at the expense of individuals?  Is it exploiting talent?  Or… is it simply another training opportunity?  You pay for your university education – should you also have the option of paying for directly relevant on-the-job training if you want to? 

A recent article in The Guardian looks at this highly contentious and ethical issue.  There are critics denouncing the ethics of requiring young people to do either unpaid work or work that they have paid to do.  Yet, the competition for graduate jobs is more intense than ever and increasingly the most highly sought after jobs are going to graduates who have internship experience.

Overseas we are seeing a growing number of graduates paying thousands of pounds to companies that specialise in securing placements.  The article profiles one recent history and French graduate who found herself unsure of what career she wanted to pursue.   She saved up in order to spend two months in Beijing doing a marketing internship at a fair trade company.  On her return she was quickly accepted on a graduate scheme at management consultants Accenture.  The internship played a big role in her getting the job.

What do you think?  Is it fair or is it exploitation?  Read the full guardian.co.uk article here:   Career-boosting Internships For Sale

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Advice, Interest, Internships