Internships. That dreaded word every university student hates to hear. Having one on your resume used to separate you from the pack, but with almost every student completing them now, does it even make you special any more?
It has become a prerequisite for any university student to complete at least one internship during the course of their studies to be remotely attractive for an agency to even consider hiring you at the completion of your degree (and when Isay ‘at least one’ I really mean a minimum of three because one is just not enough anymore). 58% of Australian University students say that they have completed an unpaid internship during their studies and feel as though they were exploited for their time. This need for experience has resulted in students completing any and every internship opportunity presented to them, even though most of these internships are highly illegal. For an internship to be considered ‘legal’, the intern should have complete flexibility, and should be receiving the most benefit from the experience. What many companies do not realise is that the intern is not there to work for free in place of a real employee, and this is when exploitation can occur.
What most university students don’t know is that believe itor not, you actually have legal rights when it comes to interning! Over the next few weeks, we here at Experience Not Exploited will be educating you about your rights as an intern, how to seek ethical internships, and provide you with the knowledge and confidence to identify when an internship is exploitative.
Follow us on this journey to help enhance your internship experience!
Written By Ekala