Letter to the Editor, New York Times: Unpaid Internships

The New York Times
June 19, 2013

An unpaid internship the summer after freshman year of college was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I developed useful skills, built my résumé and learned I loved working for nonprofit public interest groups.

Because of that summer, I applaud Judge William H. Pauley III’s decision that interns who are treated like regular workers must be paid minimum wage ( Judge Rules That Movie Studio Should Have Been Paying Interns, ” Business Day, June 12).

I could take terrific internships because my parents were wealthy and generous enough to support me while I worked for little or no money. Meanwhile, my less fortunate roommate was waiting tables to support himself and his family. Unpaid and low-paid internships gave me an undeserved edge later in my career.

Giving interns who are de facto employees minimum wage will give people from low-income families a chance to take those internships. That will make the job market fairer to all.

New York, June 14, 2013