Internships used to be a way for students to gain some practical experience in their fields before they actually graduated and entered the job market. In most cases, interns worked on special projects directly related to their areas of study or assisted people with advanced positions within their prospective fields. In many cases, the internships led directly to full-time employment with the companies sponsoring the internships.
Then, as universities became more corporatized and rapidly expanded the number of fields in which internships were required, corporations began to exploit interns as an unpaid, entry-level workforce. Even when these internships look good on a resume, they add very little to the students’ knowledge of or experience within the fields in which they intend to pursue careers. Furthermore, these internships very seldom lead to any subsequent offers of more meaningful employment with the companies.
In short, the expansion of internships was a pedagogically…
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