The Internship Controversy
Teen Vogue, The New Yorker, Glamour, Vogue… the list goes on. These are familiar magazines that so many people have come to know and love. Well, how would you feel if someone told you that the internship program for those companies were terminated; in October of last year that is exactly what happened to several women. Last October Conde Nast terminated their internship programs after two former interns claimed they were being paid below minimum wage during their internships at W magazine and The New Yorker. All of the incredible opportunities available at those companies are now gone.
The idea behind internships is a shaky one. Some are in full support of them while others see them as wrong for a multitude of reasons. Though my stance was already made clear, I am in complete support for internships. I views internships as a ticket into the job of someone’s dreams, an opportunity for experience that would otherwise be hard to find.
However, the opposing side to this controversy seems to hold a strong argument. Many people on the side against internships claim that “nobody hires interns” and interns are part of a “revolving class of people” who find it hard to “break free of the intern cycle.” Once out of college, many people say that they hop around from internship to internship in hopes of eventually finding that long-awaited and well earned job. Consider the notable film The Devil Wears Prada, as a comparison. In The Devil Wears Prada Andy was forced to do menial work that did not add up to the effort and time required for that same work. In one lawsuit, Lauren Ballinger, who interned at W magazine for about $1 an hour (once broken down), said she was constantly assigned menial tasks such as organizing jewelry for 12 hours straight.
From what I have gathered, internships have turned into an opportunity that leaves the decision to succeed completely up to the intern. Whether you willingly are assigned your favorite writing task or reluctantly grabbing your boss Starbucks, demonstrating a dedicated work ethic will do wonders for your reputation at a company. And the pay should not matter, by the way. My advice? Get that internship, and do whatever it takes to make your boss impressed. Sure, sometimes you may question why you are doing this work for no pay, but, once your dream position gets handed to you, be sure to thank yourself.