College students are paying upward of $8,000 to work for free at summer internships.
Internship placement companies such as the University of Dreams and the non-profit group The Washington Center say they’re seeing an increase in applicants for such internships. Fewer jobs available because of the recession means there is more competition for summer work, which students see as critical to eventually landing full-time work.
What’s more, students view unpaid internships, especially in such fields as marketing, public relations and the music and theater industries, as an opportunity to jazz up their resumes and to live in such cities as New York and Chicago, where they don’t have contacts. Others simply want to make sure that what they’re interested in could evolve into a career.