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Experience may not be the only thing interns are earning
Internships provide students with the opportunity to explore a field of interest in a real-world environment. But experience in the working world may not be the only thing these student interns are earning.
Results from an Experience survey of over fifty employers
show that in addition to the experience gained, 48% of
interns receive some type of payment for their work. The
payment method varies, with 44% of employers paying their
interns on an hourly basis and 4% paying them one lump sum
for a semester's (or summer's) worth of work.?
Determining a rate to pay interns can be a problem for
employers. BBN Technologies (Cambridge, MA) uses a system
where interns' rates are determined on education level and
program of study. Interns at American Mortgage &
Investment Services, Inc. (Silver Springs, MD) receive hourly
rates based on their department and potential.
Students are also compensated in other ways. Twenty-one
percent of employers reported that the interns receive
college credit for their work as their form of
Other employers offer their interns no compensation in the
traditional sense. Instead, these employers (15%) feel that
the experience their interns gain in a working environment is
A few employers work out an agreement with their interns to
provide a special type of compensation. Brian Steines of
Wilderness Inquiry (Minneapolis, MN) reported that their
interns are rewarded by the experience they gain and the
college credit they receive. However, he indicated other
forms of compensation are available--including free housing,
pro-deal access, and priority for summer paid
According to Miray Ramy of Eureka Enrichment & Learning
Center Inc. (San Juan, PA), "We provide interns with housing
accommodations, a car and generous leisure time for island
travel."?Interns at Pereira Marketing Group, Inc. (White
Plains, NY) and Aflac (Salisbury, MD) are able to get college
credit and some form of payment as they work off commission.
Erin Green of The Center for American Progress said,
"Depending on the student's situation, we may offer a weekly
stipend." Other employers offer stipends as well. According
to Jane Lewis, The City of Everett (Everett, WA) offers
interns a $500 stipend for the duration of the internship
(usually consisting of 400 hours worth of work). Interns at
Winton Woods Community Coalition (Greenhills, OH) receive
weekly stipends based on available grant funding.
So, while students pursuing an internship are primarily looking to gain experience, they may find something else: monetary compensation, or college credits, to off-set costs of higher education.
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The Federal Government is interested in finding people from diverse backgrounds who have the skills needed to meet its future employment needs.
View from the Top
As an intern, you may feel indebted to the employer who hired you and gave your empty resume a boost. The paybacks employers receive, however, are an honest day's work and the inside edge on recruiting top talent.
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