The same is true with internships. When the economy turns for the worse, you find out which companies are ethical and which are not.
Unpaid internships are illegal unless they meet very specific criteria. Any company who solicits unpaid interns is swimming naked in the human resources pool. [Ed.’s note: You can click on the link to see the criteria, or scroll down to the comments section where they are listed.]
One way to stop these internships is to encourage students not to take unpaid jobs. But it’s much more complicated.
Universities are complicating the situation by posting unpaid internships next to paid ones, which implies a tacit endorsement of the practices. To make matters worse, professors and programs at the college level emphasize the importance of internships in getting a job upon graduation.
I’ll admit that as a hiring manager, I am usually more impressed by a student who has managed an internship or two on top of his or her academic duties.