What Is the Value of An Internship?

No longer are college students doing the majority of their learning in the classroom. Many students are now learning just as much at their internships as they are from their professors.

According to a study done by Internships.com 63 percent of the college students polled completed at least one internship before graduation and 28 percent completed two or more.

It would seem that these internships are paying off for student because according to the same study 69 percent of large companies and 39 percent of small companies made full-time job offers to their interns.

Up until recent years it was an accepted fact that being an intern usually meant working for no pay but rather the opportunity to put the experience on your resume. Now however it seems that the meaning of an internship has begun to change in the eyes of students and they’re expecting more from their internships than just the experience and potential jobs.

Michael Holper, a Georgetown student, recently created a petition that challenged the White House to provide paid internship opportunities rather than the unpaid ones currently offered said a recent article in The Hoya. However, other Georgetown students felt that while a salary would have been nice they gained more than enough from the experience itself.

This isn’t the only incidence of students being disgruntled with the compensation they receive for their internships. According to USA Today Harper’s Bazaar was sued last year by an unhappy intern and have now changed some of their requirements to include a mandate that any intern must be able to receive school credit.

“I feel that it’s an experience in the actual job and you get a taste of what it’s like working in a particular position. However, I do feel that an unpaid internship loses its value because some use it as free labor and you aren’t learning as much as you would at a paid internship and that I know from firsthand experience,” said Hofstra student AJ Sonnick.

Another student, Alexandra Engelson said, “It’s not that it has less value but it feels more tedious.”

Why are so many students getting upset over little to no compensation?

“Unpaid internships normally take their interns for granted,” said Hofstra student Katherine Mateus. “Paid internships are much more valuable because the employer is helping to me a person that they think believes can become a future asset to their company.”

It would seem that the world of internships is changing, with many students beginning to expect more out of their internships than what they’re getting and as a result, there may be a lot of changes to internships in the next few years.

Sources:

The Hoya article: http://www.thehoya.com/news/student-challenges-white-house-unpaid-internships-1.3138012#.UvfmpXkSpY

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Internships.com study: http://www.internships.com/eyeoftheintern/news/idc-news/internships-survey-2013-internship-trends/

USA Today article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/09/internship-limits-colleges/2775411/

 

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