Maya Szymanski: Money, please

a“Unpaid internships” is a great way of saying “legal exploitation,” without actually saying it. Companies do this cool thing where they “hire” new employees without having to pay them.

It’s a strategic move; companies deserve a prize for what actually is a reprehensible loophole.

We students are told that unpaid internships are an opportunity to enrich our understanding. But honestly, students have more to offer than a company can teach. In school, students are taught with the most current software, yet students are like the nerd who gets pushed into doing big companies’ homework.

The nerd is too weak to stand up for himself, and the bully gets away with it.

To make it worse, most jobs require a three- to five years of experience. This means three- to five years of not being paid, all while having to pay for rent, utilities, student loans, and human necessities.

If fast food workers with no education get minimum wage, then students with an education (who are expected to work like full-time employees) should get the same respect.

And respect is not even the biggest consideration.

It is a well-known business practice that incentivizing gets better results. Corporate greed is impeding companies’ innovation and progress by forcing unpaid drudgery among the population that has the most to offer. This exploitation cuts potential in countless ways.

“Free labor” becomes “opportunity.” It’s a pretty phrase, but nobody is falling for it. If I can get paid by the hour to watch kids while eating animal crackers on a comfy sofa, why would I work for less?


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