By Taylor Powell
Hundreds of tasks fill the list of things to do before graduation.
One task is to land an internship. Unfortunately, classes, bills and other expenses do not disappear when students take on a new internship experience.
Nowadays, working an internship could give a student a pivotal advantage over candidates. The catch is, not all internships are paying and in the worst of situations, the student seems to be paying to work for them.
Most majors at Butler require student participation in an internship. These internships range from a number of places and fields of study, and are considered essential to mastering one’s concentration. Some are paid, others are not, but most qualify for university credit.
College credit, however, does not pay school tuition or housing and rent.
The Fair Pay Campaign is growing in places like New York, Washington D.C. and California. Organized by 23-year-old Mikey Franklin, the campaign is against the use of unpaid interns, and discourages colleges from steering students toward academic credit-only internships, according to The Huffington Post.
“We don’t encourage or discourage a paid versus unpaid experience,”said Gary Beaulieu, director of internship and career services. “We encourage the student to do what’s right for their set of circumstances and for the experience they want.”
On average, about 50 to 60 percent of internship experiences associated with Butler are paid, Beaulieu said.
Even more employers should offer financial compensation for interns. Many students have to help pay for all of their college expenses. If an internship does not pay, the student might have to work an additional part-time job in order to keep up with living expenses.
“Unpaid is definitely not for everyone, and I wish that all employers could pay students for their work,” Beaulieu said. “When we talk with employers about offering internships to students, we encourage them to pay students for the work that they do.”
Sophomore Grey Gordon is an album advocate intern at Asthmatic Kitty Records. Working with the local band Lily & Madeleine, Gordon is building a digital street team and fan base in exchange for three credit hours.
“Of course it would be nice if it was paid,” Gordon said, “but honestly the lessons I learn are priceless.”
If the lessons learned are worth no pay, then take an unpaid internship. Just make sure it is worth it.
Gordon worked during the summer and currently works six hours a week on-campus in order to pay for any necessities.
Students that do a good job at an internship could possibly secure a position in the company for the future. However, the situation is not guaranteed.
Unpaid interns across the United States have taken action against employers who do not pay.
Some have attempted suing magazine publishers, modeling agencies and TV talk show hosts, according to The Huffington Post. In New York, a federal judge ruled that FOX Searchlight Pictures violated the federal minimum wage and overtime laws when it did not pay interns for working on the movie “Black Swan.”
Internships are important, but so are bills, food and the costs of life.
Perhaps one day, with the help of the Fair Pay Campaign, all internships will be paid.
“Anything that highlights the need for more paid opportunities and helps highlight the financial struggles of some students is a good thing,”Beaulieu said.
Students should utilize Butler ICS and other networking contacts to find paid internships, even when hard.
ICS is located in located in Atherton Union, room 315, for any students who need help with resumes, interviews and employment and networking opportunities.