As more students struggle under college debt and poor job prospects, some are standing up against unpaid or low-paid internships. What's changing in the minds of young adults entering the job market?
A recent New York Post piece looked at a Vogue magazine intern who spent her time "running personal errands for editors, including picking up dry cleaning or, in one case, a boss' juice all the way down on the Lower East Side (Conde's offices are in Times Square)" for no pay.
Two former Conde Nast interns sued in June 2012. Instead of paying interns or reworking the program, Conde Nast announced it was terminating the program altogether.
"By suing, the interns have won the battle but seem to have lost the war," wrote David Carr of The New York Times in his response to the piece:
Unfortunately, creating meaningful internships and funding them seems like a low priority for an industry that is in a knife fight to survive. But if magazines are going to be anything other than gossamer artifacts of declining interest, the people who run them might want to rethink how they employ their interns. Bringing on young people from all kinds of backgrounds is less a moral nicety than a business imperative.
Yes, it's swell to have someone to pick up your dry cleaning, but it's a lot more important to come up with a product that other people will pick up.
On The Daily Circuit, we'll look at the legal issues regarding the payment of interns and offer some alternatives.