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Letter to the Editor, New York Times: Unpaid Internships

The New York Times

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