With the economy at an all time low, internships are scarcer than ever. Employers are cutting costs on all accounts, leading them to provide more unpaid internships.
“The economy is negatively affecting internships both in quantity and in pay,” said David Bole, publisher of Internsearch.com. “It takes a fair amount of resources to run an effective internship program and companies are cutting back.”
For some students, a full-time unpaid internship is not an option. It seems as though the economy is affecting everything from education costs to standard living costs.
“With the recession, its understandable why many companies are no longer offering paid internships,” said Sabrina Ferguson, a fourth-year biology student from Palm Beach, Fla. “These days, people can’t afford to technically work for free.”
Company lay-offs and a sluggish economy have also increased competition for internships.
“For my company, the amount of students seeking internships this summer has doubled from semesters past,” said Lauren, creator of The Quarterlife Internship Program.
According to Berger, her web site, quarterlife.com/intern, receives about 200 resumes per day and many of them are for the same companies.
“Some internships have always been difficult to get,” said Berger. “However, in today’s economy, they are all hard to get.”
However, many believe that the economy is actually having a positive impact on internships.
“More companies are hiring students for internships instead of full time employees,” said Dr. Delores Dean, director of the FAMU Career Center. “It’s cheaper to hire interns because you can pay them less.”