With the recent headlines shining a light on the corporate exploitation of interns, it’s shocking to me that some firms are auctioning off internships in the name of philanthropy. Imagine, a wealthy family of a college student or recent grad actually “making a donation” to get their kid’s foot in the door.
It’s true. Big name movie studios, glamorous fashion houses, private academic institutions, and highbrow publishing companies are just some of the many organization that have auctioned off internships — paid or unpaid — via Charitybuzz.com, the online auction house.
According to an article in U.S. News and World Report, internship auctions have “… brought in big money. In fact, one posting billed as the ‘ultimate intern experience’ gave one bidder a 12-week-long internship … for $85,000, making it the most expensive internship ever sold on the site.”
Some of these internships are really job-shadow experiences while others are actual hands-on work. Regardless, these internships are appearing on the resumes of those wealthy enough to afford steep donations, which are generally $1,500-$5,000 in value.
The first question that comes to mind: When they interview for their first “real jobs,” do these privileged students reveal the fact that their internships were unearned? The answer: Of course not!
Here are five other questions to ponder with regard to internship auctions: keep reading…