June 15, 2006
Are unpaid summer internships fair? This was the daily question on the home page for the SF Chron. What do you think?
When I was in college(it wasn't that long ago, wink wink) the internship through the legal program was required for graduation. They weren't paid internships, but then again they certainly weren't on going over the summer. Unless you weren't able to completed the required hours during the semester. Who knew at the time that my internship would prove to be some of most valuable on the job training that I would receive. In some ways, college prepares you for life. However, when it comes to entering the job market-well you might be on your own.
My internship required me to provide legal information to the inmates at the county jail. Which was convinently located close to the college campus. Mind you, this program the -country jail project program - I signed up for, because at the time I thought I was destined to work in the criminal field.
I was wrong. Trying telling that to a college student.
One of my first outings to the county jail had me sitting in a 2 X 2 room with a man that beat another man *soley* because of the color of his skin. The Caucasian male inmate came in shackled and sat in front of me. Gulp. Sweat.
I suddenly had legs and arms of spaghetti. A voice like minnie mouse.
Besides the fact that the fellow intern by my side, (who by the way was stripping her way through college) had decided that she would dress and look the part this day. This didn't help matters any. It is also quite funny now, considering the fact that they tell you not to dress provocatively or wear perfume. Stripperilla did both.
I survived the semester and completed my internship. What did I prove to myself? That I wasn't going to practice in the criminal field.
I had amazing professors in college. They actually took the time to give us names of employment agency's to contact prior to entering the job market. Because of these referrals I actually landed my first job-very quickly.
So I say Hurrah for internships...If they are paid that is HUGE.. and if they aren't... well being poor is part of college!
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