Thursday, March 1, 2012
The NY Times hosts a debate: most of the debaters think the answer is "yes": Do Unpaid Internships Exploit College Students?
Alex Peysakhovich writes
"I talked to a friend of mine who is in the music recording business about this. He started work in a studio as an unpaid intern (for about 6 months) then got hired onto the staff. For reference: they usually have about 3-4 interns and 1-2 staff in the studio during business hours, so most of their labor hours come in from free sources (but it counts as training since interns do most of the tech work).
"He gave me the "well, that's how the business works... if they want to enter the business they need to put in the time." He didn't really buy the "lots of unpaid internships are exploitative" arguments making the, very economist point, that they're giving a chance to let the interns signal their actual interest and ability.
"How much of this is selection (he thought it was ok so he did it) vs how much is "it's hard to make a man understand something when his paycheck depends on him not understanding it," I'm not sure."