POLL: Should interns get paid for their work?
Did you ever work as an intern? Millions of college students would say that the chance to be working in their chosen field, and experience the day to day activities of their chosen profession could be the break of a lifetime. Many are eventually hired by those companies who have gotten the chance to see their performance on a day to day basis working in the field.
Interns at NBCUniversal felt a little differently. Recently, thousands of unpaid interns from the company sued them over back wages. While this may have seemed like a good idea for them, it could hurt their chances for other internships, or employment within the company in the future.
For me an internship is a trade off. The company lets the student work the job, and the intern accepts the college credit. If there is no college credit involved, at least the intern was given the chance to show the company what they can do. That entitlement argument goes out the window when someone is so dedicated to their professional goal that they are willing to work for nothing to achieve it.
An internship is also a great experience, because the intern also gets to find out if this chosen field really is what they want to do. But should interns be paid for such work? I say absolutely not!
If I’m a company looking to hire someone, why would I hire an inexperienced intern? If I had to spend money to hire someone, I'd want to employ someone with more experience.
This settlement, and other lawsuits like it, could mean the end of internships. Or, it could alter the responsibilities given to interns when they sign on.
Do you think interns should be paid for the work they do at companies?