The Abuse Of Unpaid Interns
Start writing a post

The Abuse Of Unpaid Interns

"To pay or not to pay," that is the question.

The Abuse Of Unpaid Interns

Summer. If you're doing any form of higher level education, this is the time when you're panicking trying to build up your resumé for the future, and will often take the first offer to come your way. This is completely normal and happens to pretty much every single human out there.

Internships; temporary jobs that can either be paid or unpaid that are supposed to not only introduce individuals to the workplace or the particular field but fuel interests and maybe even offer full-time employment. If you are a star intern, the chances of you being hired for the firm or being called back or even remembered is massive. If you are a paid intern, the chances of you actually doing meaningful work, fueling your interests, and putting what you have learned to use are incredibly high. That being said, there are a plethora of unpaid interns who do meaningful work and get the utmost satisfaction out of what they do, albeit they do it for free.

The concept of unpaid interns has been controversial for quite some time. Stories have floated around talking about the abuse some unpaid interns get by being placed in the mailroom even though they applied to be able to help make a difference. Other stories have involved interns working almost full time on the daily, including weekends, to be the slaves of their employers. Some stories involving unpaid interns, on the other hand, have included individuals working diligently and impressing their supervisors and bosses so much that they get offered jobs or paid internships in a different semester.

Interns come from all different types of educational institutions, and even not from any. There is particular age bracket for interns, however, it tends to be the unpaid internships that students meet the qualifications for, more times than not, unfortunately. Traditionally, internships were created so that students could get school credit for their time.

The biggest issue with interns being unpaid is not that they are temporarily working for NGOs or companies where they are making real change. Rather, it is because individuals are working for companies with lots of money and status that just want free labor, essentially. This is obviously not a universal concept or idea, but it is astonishing how many interns are being abused for wanted to learn more and get experience. It is astonishing how someone who has so much to offer is seen as only being good enough for measly tasks, something completely different than what the description said when they applied in the first place.

Unpaid interns are essentially volunteers. They are dedicating a set amount of time to do work that they applied for that interested them. The saddest part is how many times they don't end up doing the work they thought they would be doing. Instead of learning more about the team and company, they learn more about the printer and organization. Maybe this isn't a bad thing for everyone because at the end of the day you are still in the environment you wanted to be in, however, it is from a very different viewpoint.

It is possible that saying unpaid interns get abused is a little extreme and many will probably think, "oh this is just a sneak peek into the future." However, at the same time, if internships are a sneak peek into the future, shouldn't interns get the chance to do meaningful work and get the opportunity to actually feel what it is like to do real work instead of miscellaneous tasks? If this were truly the case, wouldn't companies want to make sure their interns were treated as staff even if they were unpaid, giving everyone an equal chance to gain experience and knowledge? Shouldn't interns be encouraged to pursue what they choose to and given more opportunities to succeed and flourish?

Interns, regardless of age, have a lot to offer. Every single individual has their own respective experiences and ideas, a way of doing things and unique view of the world. Obviously, it is unreasonable to ask every organization and company, group or initiative to pay every single intern the same, but asking to treat them all with the same respect and trust should not even be discussed.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Simple 7-Step DIY Face Mask Combines Safety — And Sustainability

Instead of studying like I intended on doing today, I made a face mask for some reason and thought I'd share how I did.


If you were looking for a simple way to make a mask, I am happy to share how I personally make them. I have a pretty small face in general, so I prefer having my homemade ones so they fit better. This is also a great alternative to just throwing away any clothes! Before starting, you will need to make sure you have fabric, thread, a needle, and pins; if you have a sewing machine, you obviously could use that instead of hand sewing it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

6 Ways To Handle The Stress Of Earning Your Degree From Your Childhood Bedroom

Oh so this was the room where I snuck cookies upstairs past my bedtime and stole R-Rated movies to watch when my parents were asleep and now I'm expected to earn my degree in this very same room?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

It's definitely not easy, but it's something so many kids are struggling with right now.

Keep Reading... Show less

November is such an underrated month. With all the excitement that comes with Halloween ending and the holiday season around the corner, some people skip over it and go straight to their Christmas playlist. For me though, November is the perfect time to compile a playlist of songs that bring on major nostalgia which I think is perfect for this time of year. If you're looking for something to get you in that thankful spirit before you head into the Christmas spirit or something to play while you enjoy Friendsgiving, here are some go-to songs to add to your November playlist.

Keep Reading... Show less

Taylor Swift is famous for her Easter eggs on social media that hint at what is coming next for her. Over the past few days, fans noticed a change in Swift's hair when she was accepting her win as Apple's songwriter of the year that was reminiscent of the "Red" era. Of course, this has caused widespread speculation that Swift has begun to re-record her masters.

Keep Reading... Show less

While joyful, the holiday season can also be stressful for many and that's A-O.K. Plus, with the added tension that is 2020, this year's holiday season is a lot, to put it simply.

This is your reminder to put yourself first and listen to what you're yearning for. Deep down, you know what you need to thrive and I know that you can get there.

Keep Reading... Show less

25 'Open When' Topics And Ideas For That Special Someone In Your Life

Open When Letters are letters you can give to your special someone.

Lauren McCally

Stuck on what to get the person you love the most?

And, well, let's be honest, is hard to shop for? Well then, why not send them some Open When Letters?

Keep Reading... Show less

My obsession with country music is easily one of my best personality traits.

I've grown up on country music, and it's always been a huge part of my life. I remember the day that my mom bought me my first country CD. Since that day, I've been hooked. I still watch the Country Music Awards faithfully each year. My fun fact for syllabus week is almost always related to my love of country music.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat, Neville, Who Lives In Pennsylvania

Neville is just under two years old and is the snuggliest kitten you will ever met.


Neville is a Balinese cat I've had since he was 14 weeks old. He loves being carried around and spoiled. But most importantly, he loves nose boops.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments