If you can sustain your interest in what you’re doing, you’re an extremely fortunate person. What you see very frequently in people’s professional lives, and perhaps in their emotional life as well, is that they lose interest in the third act. You sort of get tired, and indifferent, and, sometimes, defensive. And you kind of lose your capacity for astonishment — and that’s a great loss, because the world is a very astonishing place.
What I feel fortunate about is that I’m still astonished, that things still amaze me. And I think that’s the great benefit of being in the arts, where the possibility for learning never disappears, where you basically have to admit you never learn it.
If you’re in college, or happen to be about to graduate, and you’ve been mocked for getting a liberal arts degree, here’s a piece of welcome news: You’re actually in more demand than those who are getting finance and accounting degrees. That’s one of the findings of a new survey of 225 employers issued today by Millennial Branding and Experience Inc.
The main takeaway of the survey, at least according to the press release that went out with it, was that there’s a disconnect taking place with regard to internships. While 91 percent of employers think students should have one or two of the temporary, professionally focused positions before they graduate, 50 percent haven’t actually hired any interns in the last six months. Somehow, we don’t think this is going to change either the crush of students looking for internships or the stated desire of employers to hire those who have internships under their belts.
More interesting, at least for those of us who got some parental grief over our college choice, was the apparent love being shown for liberal arts majors. Thirty percent of surveyed employers said they were recruiting liberal arts types, second only to the 34 percent who said they were going after engineering and computer information systems majors. Trailing were finance and accounting majors, as only 18 percent of employers said they were recruiting targets.
The Labor Department’s guidelines require that internships must resemble an education rather than a job; that interns cannot work in the place of paid employees; that their their work not be of “immediate benefit” to an employer. If you’ve ever had an unpaid internship, you know that these rules are flouted more routinely than speed limits. But rather than hold up these rules as quixotic laws begging to be violated and laughed at, ask yourself three questions:
I cannot imagine an honest person with passing knowledge of unpaid internships in America answering any of those three questions “yes.”
- Is there no overlap between paid and unpaid work at your company?
- Can you deny that unpaid internships deny to low-income students an experience that many employers consider mandatory?
- Would a minimum wage salary paid to a handful of students compromise your company’s financial position?
Work is work, no matter who does it. It ought to be paid.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]