Off-Campus Life

New Paid Internship Program Charges Students Instead of Paying Them

HYDE PARK, Chicago — Tensions in Career Advancement have reached a fever pitch with students complaining of exorbitant fees after applying to “paid” internships. 

Third-year student Sil V. Er — who received an offer to a highly-competitive, economics-related paid internship — expressed horror at the contract she signed. “They’re going to send me a $4000 bill!” she tweeted on May 1, 2023. “That’s just too much money! I didn’t even know that those existed.” 

Indeed, Sil now owes $4000 to the company that she thought she would learn money-laundering from. 

“I guess that’s my first lesson,” Sil stated. “But I’m going to teach them to stop taking advantage of innocent students, too.” She participated in multiple rallies and announced her intention to boycott the company she would intern at over the summer. She also changed her major to Political Science. 

“I don’t see the problem,” said a company spokesperson, “We’re giving them training; we’re improving their resumes. We give those who need financial aid an exemption. What else could they want? Actual money?” 

The number of these paid internships has only gone up, and students are coming to terms with the new economic burden imposed upon them. In tandem, the number of unpaid internships is drastically decreasing, a change that horrifies many students with heavy financial need. Many have started protests in Hyde Park, and strongly urge their counterparts at other universities to do the same. Others, however, are learning to accept the new status quo. Overjoyed second-year student Tyler Dinheiro bragged, “It’s only $50 for a criminal law internship in Atlantis. Of course I accepted immediately.” This amount of money is, in fact, incredibly low; most paid internships send fresh $1000 invoices to new interns. “Already got my first case to review. Something about needing to defend the ‘value of paid internships’ or the like. Don’t know why anyone would sue against them.”

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Andrea Zhou — a self-proclaimed hot chocolate fanatic — is one of our beloved staff writers as well as a deputy copy editor. She has written and edited a number of articles for The Shady Dealer, and aspires to finish college with over a hundred articles under her name.