Students hoping to beef up their resumes must decide whether to take unpaid internships that offer college credit or recommendations instead of compensation.
The old thought process is internships provide educational experiences and an individual pays their dues before moving into a paid position.
Carlos Mark Vera, co-founder of the nonprofit Pay Our Interns, doesn’t think that’s how it should work. Vera worked unpaid internships in different government offices and realized his hardships were not unique.
Pay Our Interns has a tagline: “Experience doesn’t pay the bills.” Since its founding in 2016, Vera and co-founder Guillermo Creamer Jr. have successfully pushed for interns in government and other industries to get the pay they deserve.
“When we founded [Pay Our Interns], people thought of it kind of like world peace,” he says. “It sounds nice, but it’s not going to go anywhere, especially in this political climate.”