Overlook the Value of Interns at Great Peril

November 30, 2013

Last week, The New York Post ran the kind of heart-rending article tabloids excel at. A young woman, new to New York, found herself pushed beyond what she could bear, forced to work by a big bad corporation for a compensation of exactly zero.

“I cried myself to sleep at least three nights a week,” Lisa Denmark told The Post.

Alright, you have my attention. Given the fact that I soon will be in an unpaid internship myself (with Ariel Hyatt’s CyberPR firm in Park Slope, Brooklyn) I take every article on unpaid internships that I read very seriously.

There are quite a few good takeaway lines:

Unpaid internships typically provide people who already have a leg up a way to get the other leg up.

In any case, I am required to complete a 14-week internship, paid or unpaid, to complete my undergraduate degree, so there’s only so much that I can truly complain about. My internship will indeed be unpaid, but I am fortunate enough to have a family that is financially prepared to support me to some extent through it—this is certainly not the case for everyone, a fact which this article addresses.