Internships, is this the new millennium’s slavery? http://www.spd.org/student-outreach/internships/
Best Intern Ever

The globalization brought many good things to all of us. We can now find a skilled job more easily in other countries, than the previous generations. Young people now speak at least two different languages; they have probably already traveled to more countries than all their ancestors.

The new generation is now the best prepared one of all times, but in this competitive global world, for some of the jobs they lack the necessary qualifications, and for others they are over-qualified. In order to improve their curriculums, every young person is now encouraged to find an internship.

The Oxford dictionary defines internship as “the position of a student or trainee who works in an organization, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification.”

One of the biggest problems of internships is that most of the times they are unpaid, and to make things worse, some of them even ask for experience. That means that for some internships, that are suppose to give you work experience, they require you to already have some work experience. This should not be called an internship, but a real job.

It is even more contradictory, how the UN, for example, the most important international organization which defends the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, have unpaid internships. Internships should be a way to gain more work experience. They were created because of this, but to survive, the interns need money, just like everyone else; without a salary, the interns cannot have a decent life, making them slaves of internships.

Now most of the companies are using interns in order to replace some workers, meaning that the interns are doing the same work as a full time employee because it is cheaper, or even free, to contract an intern. In Portugal, for example, the Government pays the salary of some interns to the companies, just to decrease the unemployment rate.

On the other side, there are also cases of internships where you are there doing nothing because there is not enough work for you, making your internship useless for your work experience. This happens because some companies from several countries can have some fiscal benefits if they have interns.

The internships are trivialized, you must get at least one on your CV, to show that you have some work experience in your field of studies. Then, if you are lucky, you get paid, if you have even more luck, you will actually learn something that will really help you and improve your knowledge. If you are not lucky at all, you will not get paid and/or you will probably not improve your knowledge, turning you into a slave of the new millennium.

 

At least you will always listen someone saying that doing an internship is always a good experience, and having it on your CV will always look good. Because the truth is, if you don’t do any internships, you will never have enough work experience for your perfect job, if that sort of thing even exists.

Furthermore, if you’re not doing anything related with what you’re supposed to do, this bad experience is always better than nothing. Every experience is indeed good, if you don’t like what you are doing, at least you are doing something and in the end, you will have always the stories to tell about your worst experiences. And as I’ve said before, an internship looks always nice in your CV.

The interns are fundamental members for the companies, some companies depend on their work to develop their projects, but mostly they remain unpaid, or badly paid. Some companies do not even understand their demotivation. The internships are already part of the new millennium, and it won’t be easy to change something in their status.

We are the most well prepared generation but at the same time, when we are lucky to start working we are the most badly paid, and with the worst work conditions. In this global world, we can easily get opportunities in new countries, and this must be seen as a good option for our personal development. There are still some advantages to being an intern, and the hope always dies last, so let’s hope that all the interns can one day work in their dream job.