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View Diary: Campaign for paid internships sets its sights on the White House (40 comments)

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  •  I think it depends on the kind internship (0+ / 0-)

    we're talking about. If you're talking about a summer-long job at a law firm, PR firm or the White House it's one thing. But my wife, an independent PR consultant, usually has two to three interns each semester from the University of Louisiana, Monroe or from Louisiana Tech University. They usually work a few hours each day and they are required to keep a diary and prepare a portfolio of the work they do. The internship is required by the school in order to graduate. No, she doesn't pay them. But when they leave her to go back to academia, they know what it's like to write a press release, write a feature story for the newspaper, interview a wide variety of people, and plan and execute an event. All  things they DON'T learn in the classroom. They love her and what she teaches them and what they learn. Many are now in great jobs and credit her with showing them the way to a meaningful and productive career. Think 99% would say it's very worth it (the lazy 1% who wash out maybe not.)

    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

    by gritsngumbo on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:44:50 PM PDT

    •  Well, the diary specifies the kind of internship (0+ / 0-)

      that we're talking about, or at least one kind.

      The kind where you work 40 hrs a week for free for the Government in one of the most expensive cities in the country.

      There is nothing wrong with unpaid internships as long as they follow the Department of Labor's LAWS about what constitutes an unpaid internship.

      [1] The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which
      would be given in an educational environment

      [2] The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern

      [3] The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff

      [4] The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded

      [5] The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship

      [6] The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

    •  I should also include the law for public sector/ (0+ / 0-)

      not-for-profits (which I suppose the government would qualify for yes this is snark):

      [1] If interns are unpaid, it is important for the not-for-profit to clarify that the intern is an unpaid volunteer.

      [2] If a not-for-profit pays an intern, it must follow pay guidelines by the Department of Labor; if they are paid below
      minimum wage, the internship must conform to the 6 standards above. (NOTE: that is what is in the previous comment: private sector/for-profit interns)

      [3] Not-for-profit institutions should clarify what policies apply or don’t apply to the intern.

      One could argue that these interns were "government volunteers" but I think the benefit of PAYING them so that the opportunities to SERVE and become part of the small CIRCLE OF CONNECTEDNESS that the former interns in this comment thread have spoken about as so beneficial be extended to people who are not wealthy enough to live in an expensive city without pay.

      An intern for the government is different than volunteering for the local humane society or homeless shelter or whatever.

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