Hot Topics

Problems with Unpaid Internships, Only Those Who Can Afford Can Learn

Unpaid Internships are exploiting young minds for nothing Problems with Unpaid Internships


Interns are like not-cut diamonds; They have flaws, some of them are totally worthless, but once you cut them well, they can become something great one day – Barney Baszuro. When an organization employs interns, and when an intern chooses to be an intern, the basic idea behind that remains to have someone in the organization who is there to learn yet can add something to the organization if taught well. Internships are basically a way to have a practical experience of whatever a student/ person has learned in their technical courses. But the problem begins when these internships start to be Unpaid. We asked people about what are the problems with Unpaid Internships and their experience at their internships. Let’s see each of them.

Read more: Who is an Inclusive Leader? Here is How You can be an Inclusive Leader at Your Workplace?

We took some polls through our Instagram to know about people’s experiences regarding unpaid internships.

unpaid internship

unpaid internship


“I have had myself ground and exploited at my Internships in hope of good experience and learning. I have always been told that it is extremely difficult to find an internship in psychology, and if you do, you must not let that chance go from your hand. I have done internships for the sake of certificates at times, and for experience at others. But none of the time has been an incident when I have not been asked to pay, to get an internship. I have paid from my pocket to get an internship and so did every friend of mine. It was only the last internship, which was an unpaid one, and I found that to be at least better, as I was required to just look for my travel expenses.”

– Sargam Mittal, MSc Psychology.


So, seeing the results of the poll, it is very easy to identify that interns are exploited at their internships. Let’s dig in a little deep to point out the problems with Unpaid Internships

1. Not everyone can afford to go for an internship that is unpaid

Not every child has the money and support to work on an unpaid internship. To an employer, it seems like an intern is not giving anything and even getting practical experience, but is that really true? An intern is actually supposed to work for the organization, add at least some value to it. They also work, but for free. And in fact, there is a certain amount that they spend on travels too. Hence, only those who can afford to work without any allowance, only they can afford to settle for it.

2. Many are asked to pay to get an internship

There have been many times where we have seen, “Free Internship” in the job description which suggests that they take pride in the fact that they are not charing for offering internships. And there are ample examples where people pay to get an internship and both of these facts are equally ugly. Again, only a section that has money to buy an internship program can go and grab it. rest can’t.

3. Many organizations hire interns just so that they can get the work done in paying less or not paying at all

This part is the biggest problem. There are so many organizations that don’t have a budget to keep an employee to get the work done. In that case, they release openings for interns to fill in the places, and to get the work done for free or at a very less price. In this manner, the intern gets exploited. Especially the interns that are in need of paid internships go for it and again, we come down to the fact that it will increase the difference between the haves and have nots.

So, to conclude, it should be noted that the process of hiring interns should be totally democratized and unpaid internships should be outlawed. Many countries even identify unpaid internships as illegal, and unjust. And the need of the hour is to have some guidelines outlined ensuring that interns are not exploited. The process of learning should be democratic. Everyone should have an opportunity to have practical exposure and Unpaid Internships take that right away.

Have a news story, an interesting write-up or simply a suggestion? Write to us at

Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
Back to top button