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Should unpaid internships be illegal?

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Jul 3, 2018
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Should unpaid internships be illegal?

Opinion article here: https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/02/04/do-unpaid-internships-exploit-college-students/unpaid-internships-should-be-illegal The author in the linked article argues that unpaid internships, which often involve college students or post-grads working for "experience" rather than pay, should be illegal. He argues that they exploit students who can accept them, and students who are unable to accept them due to financial reasons suffer from a lack of experience on their resume later on. He even calls them the "modern day coal mine." Although the article brings up some good points, I would advocate for more regulations or rules surrounding unpaid internships, but not the total banning of them. I had an unpaid internship in the past, and I enjoyed the experience and would do it again. My unpaid internship, however, was strictly part-time and was for a non-profit, so I was able to work another job at the same time. Since it was for a non-profit that supported a cause important to me, I was effectively a volunteer. I see no problem with the internship I had, therefore, but I can see how working 40 hours a week at a for profit company might exploit students. However, I also think that if all unpaid internships were made illegal, there would be far fewer opportunities for students, as I doubt that companies who had unpaid interns would suddenly start paying interns--more likely, they would end their intern programs instead.  Do you support making unpaid internships illegal? Or should there be some sort of limits imposed on them? 

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