Internships have become the norm for many students as well as for those starting out in a new field. It’s more and more common that internships are mandatory in many post secondary programs, even though they often don’t provide students with course credit and/or are unpaid. These positions are presented as opportunities to learn, to make contacts, and to get your foot in the door. But who has access to these ‘opportunities’? And what is expected of folks who undertake unpaid internships?
Writer, Madeleine Schwatz, published an article in the Winter 2013 issue of Dissent Magazine entitled: Opportunity Costs: The True Price of Internships, which looks at the internship through a feminist lens. I spoke with her about how this analysis helps frame a gendered and class critique of the internship system.