Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Intern Debate

Recently, a former fashion intern at Harper’s Bazaar named Xuedan Wang filed a lawsuit against Hearst for "violating state and federal wage and hour laws." As we can all probably guess, the odds aren't in her favor, but the suit does raise a much larger issue: are internships ethical? Many of us have spent our summers working long hours for no thanks and no pay but some may say that it's worth it. "You gotta start somewhere," right? Internships can give students incredible opportunities to become familiar with the workplace and ultimately make valuable contacts for the future. No matter how bad the working conditions may be, this offer is one that is hard to refuse. For some though, internships are not a choice. With unemployment rates on the rise, an internship may be the only job out there.  Many students cannot take advantage of internships though because working an unpaid job is simply not possible for them financially. So what do you think? Should internships be banned? What could businesses do (beyond giving academic credit) to ameliorate the system? Below are some links to articles regarding this debate.

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