I’ve had a number of students ask me for letters of recommendation to help them secure their summer internships. Almost all of these internships are unpaid. Three quick observations:
(1) It seems to be that high-end jobs have completely outsourced basic training to their future employees instead of it being done by them. You should see how much work my students have had to do in order to secure an internship on Wall St. – they have basically abdicated their basic status as students for a couple months in their preparations to learn everything about investment banking on their own.
(2) It seems to be that high-end jobs have virtually stopped screening candidates on their own – universities do all of the hard work in screening and selecting students, and then they just pick among them. I find this somewhat depressing.
(3) Do you think it is “ok” to have an unpaid internship? If so, then how can you also support a minimum wage at the same time? I hereby propose that we ban all unpaid internships and that no college student needing work experience should ever suffer the indignity of earning no wage – all internships must pay a minimum of $15 per hour.