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Survey: Are unpaid internships okay?

Jenna Johnson

This month there has been a debate brewing over unpaid internships: Are they legal? Are there too many? If there were more regulations, would there be fewer opportunities for college students? Can companies afford to pay interns?

Michael True, director of the Internship Center at Messiah College and a college internship guru, has put together a national survey for employers and others.

Mike promises it will just take two minutes to fill out -- and even less time to forward to "your colleagues, and to local, state, regional, and national professional associations, human resource groups, as well as local Chambers of Commerce, Workforce Development boards, and individual employers."

By Jenna Johnson  |  April 26, 2010; 10:47 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Interns  | Tags: Internships  
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"If there were more regulations, would there be fewer opportunities for college students?"

No one is talking about new regulations. It's about enforcing the existing ones. They cover plenty already.

The real question is not: would there be fewer internships, but: would there be fewer jobs. I think not. There probably would be more if employers who need employees couldn't obtain free labor by calling certain employees "interns".

We've been covering this question for year at

Posted by: exintern | April 26, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

It seems a fair and practical solution might be like this:

Giving each party a week to check each other out, that is, trial use of an intern for a week (unpaid), if not up to speed or other issue we know what's going to happen and on the other hand, if the student proves to be productive why would I (employer) want to lose him/her? Continue to employ him/her with pay.

It seems common sense.

Posted by: knowledgenotebook | April 27, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

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