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View Diary: Come work for us—for free. (32 comments)

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  •  Internships (3+ / 0-)

    I don't think that interns have ever been paid, and I thought this was common knowledge. Way back in the mid-1980s, I was the editor of a small magazine, and I advertised at the local college for interns, which they and I all knew were unpaid without my even having to specify this. I wound up having three applicants, and I gave all three the opportunity to work however many hours they wanted. Afterward, I gave them glowing written recommendations, and the work experience in at least one case (the only one who contacted me to thank me and let me know) helped lead to the person getting a paying job with another publisher after graduation.

    Later in the 1980s, I worked on the copy desk of TV Guide, which at the time was a well-paying employer with great benefits (not that it necessarily isn't now; I can only speak for when I was there). Anyway, every summer they offered internships to students, and we'd have one join us at the copy desk. Again, these were unpaid, but the interns wound up getting valuable work experience they could add to their resume.

    In the case you mention, it seems odd that they can't pay anybody a salary, which in my mind does not bode well for the operation. However, when you're on job interviews in the future, work experience in the field as an intern can often give you an edge over other candidates.

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