Today in the Wall Street Journal, I was shocked to see that parents are starting to purchase internships for their children whether it’s through a middleman or through an auction. I guess this practice has been around for a while, but I assumed that if you had the means to pay for an unpaid internship for your child, you could just as easily flip through your rolodex to call a family friend to make it happen. The WSJ cites the example of a 1-week internship in a music production company going for $12,000. Simply amazing.
The one interesting thing about these times of economic crisis, is that none of the large companies are going to be hiring interns this summer. The staff of these large firms have enough to worry about, let alone trying to train a college student and have them leave six weeks later. What are all the college students going to be doing for the summer? Retail is down big time, big companies aren’t hiring, and many people being hired at this point seem overqualified for their position (and taking a nice pay cut as well). In the city of Chicago, there are tons of colleges and universities within an hour of downtown. There are tremendous opportunities for start-ups to give valuable opportunities to these students, and if planned properly, this can be a very productive experience for everyone involved. One thing that I’ve been doing lately is trying to determine what makes a valuable internship experience and with a couple new announcements taking place for me in the upcoming weeks, I’m going to need some more help.