Yeah yeah, and just a generation before you would have got all those things and been paid. They were breaking minimum wage laws, and stealing potential revenue from you. All this off shoring is stealing jobs and revenue from us. I find it convenient that only the plight of the rich seems to make airwaves.
I think this is a wonderful example of the market place setting wages itself. If a generation ago intern positions were paid, it's because there's wasn't a good enough incentive to work those positions. Now they can go as unpaid because people feel that even though they aren't getting paid to work the jobs the experience they are getting is payment enough.
I don't know what basis there is to claim internships were paid a generation ago.
I worked an unpaid internship in 1984...got some of the best experience of my working life and made some truly phenomenal contacts.
I was lucky to get it, too. Any 30 people in my field at my level of experience would have PAID to have had that position for the experience of being there.
This whole "premise" is flawed. Internships are not "jobs."
And, there is absolutely nothing exploitive about it...no one forces anyone to take an unpaid internship.
I've been on the other end, too...in the late 1990's and early 2000's, I managed the internship program at my place of work. I had more applicants than positions.
Here's how it worked. We offered the Unpaid Internships based on the following:
(1) We had some extra work that needed doing, but was not 'mission critical,' so paid personnel did not have time to do it.
(2) We wanted to make contacts with students at the local University to create a pool of applicants if we were in the position in the near future to hire additional personnel. Such a pool would already be familiar with our operation and our ways of doing things.
(3) We wanted to help students grow and become more competitive in the field, whether they ultimately came to work for us or not. We wanted to work with the University to make its program (and our local community) stronger.
No one was forced to apply or take the position when offered. How can this POSSIBLY be considered exploitive?
Every Intern I "hired" and managed left the program extremely grateful for the opportunity and experience they gained in their few months working with us. They had a much better flavor of that particular sector/career opportunity, and the skills they learned in a "real world setting," gave them a competitive edge in the job market.
Ultimately, I can say with 100% certainty from the management perspective that they got FAR MORE than they gave in "free labor." I spent an incredible amount of time designing tasks that would help them learn and grow...yes, we got something out of it, but it was not anything we HAD to have done right then.
This whole notion blasting unpaid internships is simply ridiculous and makes me wonder if those putting forth this "exploitation" idea have ever either DONE an Internship or managed one.
I have done both. Internships are VERY VERY good for the Intern....at least in my field and those I've directly observed.