Reflecting On Internships



After listening to Randi Belisomo’s advice last night in class, I continue to question how important internships are. I have found several articles that questioned the worth of unpaid internships. However, after listening to Randi talk about her career, I am reconsidering the importance of internships. Randi discussed how she landed her job at WGN. She started out as an intern with CLTV and then was referred and hired by the company, which later was bought by WGN. Randi used her internship to network and build relationships, which helped her to land a job in her field. After hearing Randi’s success story, I have gained more confidence back in the worth of unpaid internships. However, I would like to explore more studies and find out how many students with unpaid internships land jobs in their field.

I found an article on that gave tips for students who are considering taking an unpaid internship. One thing the article discussed was researching the track record of the company to see if they are known to hire interns. Possibly WGN is more prone to hire interns then other companies. The article also said to consider if the internship is going to help widen and sharpen your skills in your field. Maybe the internship will add to your skill set and help to give you the experience that you need to land your dream job. Or you could just be grabbing coffee for your boss during the whole internship and be wasting away your skills and failing to gain beneficial experience.

I want to talk to several students who have interned or who are interning right now. I want to find out their experiences and what they are getting from their internships. I also want to weigh out the options and help to give better insight into the worth of internships and how beneficial they can be.

How Useful Are Unpaid Internships


While examining how worthwhile internships are, I wanted to focus specifically on unpaid internships. I found an article from last summer in the Wall Street Journal that focused on unpaid internships. The article discussed a 2012 survey from the National Association of Colleges and employers, which found that students chances of getting a job are better if they are getting paid for their work. The study revealed that 60% of 2012 graduates who worked a paid internship got at least one job offer, while just 37% of those in unpaid positions got any offers. The article also reported that Intern Bridge, a recruiting research and consulting firm, found that more than half of internships reported for its 2011 Internship Salary Report were unpaid.

These reports suggest that unpaid internships aren’t worth the effort. I agree that unpaid internships can be a hassle. Although interning can provide students with hands-on experience, they also can be time consuming. Many students can’t afford to intern full time without any compensation. I was fortunate enough to have an unpaid internship that was flexible. My internship didn’t require me to go into the office and I was still able to work part-time. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have an unpaid internship that allows them to still work and bring in an income.

I want to explore how students are able to survive while working an unpaid internship. Do they work other jobs outside of their internship? Do they rely on their parents? Do they find their internships to be worthwhile? Have they been able to find jobs after their internships?




The Debate On Internships


For my final article I am going to build off of my midterm and focus on young adults doing internships in order to gain more experience in their field. Using the young girl from my midterm as inspiration, I want to focus on the idea that many young adults are going back to school or taking unpaid or underpaid jobs as interns so that they can qualify for positions in their field of study.

A recent article in the New York Times focused on the struggles of internships. Many young adults are working short hours, for even shorter amounts of pay. According to the article, the idea of entry level positions are disappearing and internships are taking over. The article focused on the negativity of internships and how they seem to drag on forever.

The girl from my midterm has spent her last year of grad school interning at several different clinics. She has spent her last two semesters interning at two different internships that are both unpaid. Although she is gaining experience in her field of study, she is unable to work. She still has to rely on her parents for money and she is still unsure if she will have enough experience to qualify for a position in her field. As graduation approaches, she finds herself applying for jobs in her field and finding very few jobs that are offering entry level positions.

I am curious to see the affects that internships are having on young adults and if they are really helping them to qualify for jobs or if they are holding them back from a steady income.

College Degrees Being Neglected


According to the State Department of Employment Security unemployment increased in January in seven out of 12 metro areas in Illinois. Since January, unemployment in the Chicago area has increased from 9.5% to 9.9%.

With the unemployment rates in Chicago increasing, I am curious about the unemployment of recent college graduates. New Research from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity suggests that nearly half of the nation’s recent college graduates work jobs that don’t require a degree. The report concludes that while college-educated Americans are less likely to collect unemployment, many of the jobs they do have aren’t worth the price of their diplomas.

This data challenges the idea that higher education is better in our economy that favors college graduates.

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Unemployment Rate For 18-29 Year Olds


A staffing company called Adecco emailed me last week about a career fair they are holding on April 30th. The email reported that the unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds was 13.1 percent as of January 2013, which doesn’t include the 1.7 million young adults that have given up and stopped looking for a job.

I also found an article on from January of this year that focused on the unemployed youth of Chicago.

The article discussed different hardships that the teens in Chicago face, including drug addiction and teen pregnancy. These hardships create barriers that the teens have to overcome in order to graduate and get their diploma. The article focused on high school students in Chicago and how they are dealing with unemployment.

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Jobs in Chicago


For one of my story topics I want to focus on jobs in Chicago. I want to look at unemployment rates and what sources are being used by people looking for jobs. While searching on Twitter I found a job source called Chicago Job Resource. The website lists employment openings and job clubs and fairs. The website is a good networking source for people looking for a job.

Not only do I want to focus on companies that are hiring and different sources to help people find a job, but I want to get to the bottom of the unemployment in Chicago. I want to focus on what the unemployment rate is in the area and why people are unemployed. While searching on Twitter I found several people tweeting about the unemployment rate in Chicago for African Americans. One Tweet reported that the unemployment rate for African Americans in Chicago was 19%. I could focus on the African American community specifically and why they have a higher unemployment rate. I could see if schooling and criminal backgrounds play a factor into why so many African Americans are unemployed.

Another tweet by Chicago News Now reported that the hiring rate in Chicago last month slowed down and that unemployment rates dropped, but only because people stopped looking for work. The tweet from Chicago News Now had a link to a Sun Times article that focused on unemployment rates dropping and the future of the economy. I could use this as a starting point for my article on jobs in Chicago. I could focus on the health of the job market and the trend in unemployment rates dropping or rising because of the state of the economy.