It’s probably time to fess up now…this is not really about Interns in Bikinis. I’ve just learned the value of a good blog title 😉

 

That said, the days are getting longer and it’s going to be summer soon (and yes, bikinis are on the brain). But summer isn’t just about the barbecues, gardening, and flip flops. For many university students, summer is a time to rack up some real practical work experience.  For many students, a good summer internship will mean great work experience on their resume, and also making some dineros to pay off some of their their student debt.

 

I came across a job ad for Cirque du Soleil and it was for an unpaid assistant position. I was speechless – come again, unpaid? I thought I knocked a few too many beers and read the ad wrong – but I read correctly. UNPAID!!! And they wanted the individual to be completely flexible with hours! Then I came across someone’s blog – Six Steps to an Unpaid Intern. I was flabbergasted – for me, the article read like a perfect recipe to get young talent for free (it almost seemed like…slavery!) How’s this any different from a sweatshop in a third world country? At least over in those countries, they get a couple dollars a day for Pete’s sake!

 

I do give the blog a tiny bit of credit though as it advises companies to consider paid internships if they are “using an intern for both [the company’s] benefit and [the intern’s] you are better off making the position a paid one.” But I mean, come on guys – how often does a company NOT get any use or gain out of employing an intern?

 

From an HR point of view, I think having an intern is brilliant for employer branding. You get your name out there. Providing an internship also shows you have been “there” for a student or a fresh grad in providing them relevant experience. And making it paid, also says a lot about your company – it shows you value the interns’ contribution at your organization. Lastly, when you have interns working for you, it’s a really great way to “test out” these candidates as they can be potentials you want to add to your team later on. Talk about cutting recruitment costs!

Employee: Have you ever worked as an unpaid intern? If so, did you get value or did you feel ripped of at the end?

Employers: Have you ever had an unpaid intern? Was the quality actually there or would it have been worth it to dig a little into those pockets of yours?


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