As I continue my internship, one part of my identity that I have become more aware of is social class. Unpaid internships are becoming more and more common, which leaves students with a though choice to make — take an unpaid job that they will enjoy and learn from, or take a paid job that may not be as valuable as the former. I am lucky enough to be able to work an unpaid internship this summer in order to gain more experience. I, along with many other interns, am not only unpaid, but also living out-of-state for the summer. I work very hard and deserve my internship position, but I have also begun to ponder how many other qualified candidates would appreciate this opportunity, but are financially unable to support it. Additionally, many students whose families can financially support them on an unpaid internship often will still not allow it. In that sense, I am lucky to have an emotionally supportive family who has my long-term best interests in mind.
I believe that this is not only a major flaw in the internship world, but in the workforce in general. Every opportunity leads to the next, so if an individual does not have sufficient financial or emotional backing from his or her family, it could be detrimental to a long-term career. A diverse workforce is more productive, and overall important. Therefore, our society must find a solution to this problem.