Tuesday, May 29, 2012

22 May 2012

Many organizations have interns, especially during the summer, to help with some details that might otherwise go lacking while giving the intern a little enriching experience and a glimpse into what the work-a-day world might be like. Our company joins those ranks for the first time this summer, and so far, it's all looking good.

I need to also add this is a paid internship. We have a name for the unpaid internship: Slavery. Those appointments do little more than to make an alluring case for free labor, the idea being that the experience and contacts will pay a dividend later. My problem is that unpaid internships only serve those who can afford to go without payment for their labor. Let me be clear: It's generally the children of the rich who can afford to work for free. This means the rest lose an opportunity for upward mobility, and organizations reap the benefits of planting false hopes.

Nonetheless, I've been in favor of supporting an internship at work for a decade now. The problem was that I lacked the patience to play the game to make it happen. I'm not very politic that way. I don't have much patience with explaining the self-evident to those who choose to not see.

So we hired a new guy last year, and this spring he maintained the pressure to hire a summer intern in the face of substantial resistance. Today, we had lunch with our new, and first, intern. This is a very good thing. 

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