Mandatory internships shouldn’t cost students a dime

In Opinion

mariah_stdIt’s no secret that college is expensive. At Cal State Fullerton, some students may feel the financial strain while working hard to earn their degree. 

Considering the amount of time that goes into work, school and everyday life, there isn’t time for much else. Still, students make it work. Those who are approaching graduation are usually required to complete an internship during their senior year. 

With expenses high, students may be forced to reduce their academic workload in order to work more, which in turn pushes back their graduation date further.

Some seniors, whose degree require they take an internship, will opt to take the class alone in the summer after their requirements for graduation have been met.

These CSUF seniors find themselves in their last semester of school realizing the summer internship needed to graduate will cost nearly $1,800.

The class students need to take along with their internship involves good old fashion busy work, according to advisers during the internship orientation. 

Along with the work involved at the internship, students also have an online component of the class. 

 The busy work involves things like résumé building, learning to make contacts and taking internship selfies—all via the Internet. Some of these skills may be important but they are also taught at places like the Career Center or through workshops on campus. They do not need to be part of a student’s internship class. 

Assignments like taking a picture in front of the location a student is interning at does not benefit him or her in any tangible way. There are plenty of ways to encourage or even require students to complete an internship without requiring them to check into an online portal. 

Internships are important. They’re certainly beneficial and a great way to gain valuable experience. Internships can teach students a lot about the field they’re going into and what their jobs entail. It’s also a great way to land a job after college.

Forbes reported that 69 percent of companies with 100 or more employees offered full-time jobs to their interns in 2012 and that number is expected to rise each year. 

Students should definitely be taking advantage of these types of opportunities, but they shouldn’t be forced to pay for it.

 It’s bad enough most of these internships are unpaid, but the situation only worsens when students end up having to take on more loans or pick up more hours to be able to pay for the summer tuition.

College isn’t easy to begin with, and schools make it that much harder on the working student.

 Of course, it’s true schools do not run without money and teachers need to be paid, but that logic should apply to students actually in a class, paying for an education.  

Rather than pay the school to work for another company for free, why not make it mandatory that students turn in the necessary paperwork that the current online portion of the internship requires, without charging for the class.

Require students to take on an internship, it’ll give them valuable experience that employers want to see on a résumé, just don’t treat it as a class. This way, the costs associated with a class will be removed.  

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