Unpaid internships need to stop. People complain about the work conditions in China and other developing countries. Well, I have concerns regarding the work culture within New York City.
There are no unions for interns. Many interns get no pay, no stipend, and no reimbursement. Many companies have taken advantage of these students for a long time and the companies themselves are aware of it. There are some great bosses. I have had many of them, but I also have heard stories where the my friends were not so lucky.
Also, better ranked universities are preferred over other universities for these internships. Within the workforce, this is a well known fact, but I have met a student who recently transferred from a community college and he is more creative than I am. After visiting Philadelphia, I know people who barely have a high school diploma, yet they understand business better than people I have met in New York City.
Is it worth it? I have yet to find out. Most students in the fashion business have to deal with unpaid internships from the beginning of their career because that is how the fashion business works. Just starting out in the finance industry, expect to do at least one unpaid internship just to step into the industry and to make connections. In medicine, you better have volunteer hours on your resume or else employers will question you about your client-patient experience. In the tech industry, it will be advantageous to gain some experience to show that you are able to work within a team and show that you have communication skills.
All that I want is for some compensation. It should be tax-deductible and the American government should recognize this need. If you give companies an incentive, your giving the future workforce an opportunity to gain more skills to expand their human capital. How does that not make economical sense? Does it require companies to declare more employees on their taxes, so they are forced to pay more taxes to the government? Well, this needs to change.