When many people think of interns, they see young men and women looking to build resumes in between college semesters.
I was one of those students – busily filling out internship applications in between final exams.
But now, college students are competing with people of all ages for internships – including people with years of experience in their fields, according to a new report on TheStreet:
For small businesses, offering internships to people who are long past their college years provides a low-risk way to test out talent at low or no cost. Business owners can see how a prospective employee meshes with the rest of the team and performs day-to-day before taking on him or her as a hire.
There are benefits to the interns as well, especially those who are looking to switch careers. Interning gives them a chance to try out a new field with no long-term commitment, learning what it really takes to succeed in a particular industry.
Makes sense – in this economy, people can’t afford to nessecarily make a $25,000 commitment to a franchise or a degree right out of the gate, so testing the waters is one of the ways to avoid financial ruin.
But – a big but – I can’t help but think this phenomenon is contributing to record youth summer unemployment in the past couple of years.
It makes me wonder how we’re going to allow young people to prepare for jobs and the working world if they’re being forced to compete with experienced professionals for their very first “foot-in-the-door” summer jobs.
What do you think? Is it a good idea for adults to take summer internships?