Saturday, September 21, 2019


Belladonna's major requires that she participate in an internship.

As she barreled along toward her graduation date, the number of internship opportunities seem to evaporate. She interviewed but did not get the offers.

I suggested that she look for her own internship outside the University's pre-approved ones. Bella reacted as if I told her to bite the heads off of puppies.

I did not respond well.

I told her, that in my experience, "industry" wanted workers who solved problems and didn't passively sit on their dupa expecting others to rescue them.

Which she did not hear well.

Fast forward four months. Bella has an internship and I am having conversation with a fellow adult. This adult's professional life floats in that fuzzy sea between higher education and public-sector, government funded "services".

The fellow adult told me that I was absolutely, 100% wrong.

She said that Universities had "preferred relationships" with organizations and that recruiting new relationships made a lot of work for administrators. She said that Belladonna probably was told, with very strong language, to not find her own internship.

It was far more efficient...from an administrative standpoint...the fellow adult told me, for the University to create make-work internships for students than for them to get a real job in the private sector because that way they could ensure the internship aligned with the curriculum's requirements.

Reasons for internships according to Zip Recruiter

  • Apply What You Learned in the Classroom in real-world application
  • Discover What You Do and Don’t Like...test drive the car before you buy it
  • Network With the Right People...develop contacts who can attest to your work ethic in a way Professors cannot
  • Get the Experience Employers Want...47% of employers say candidates lack “hard” job skills and technical skills
  • Develop Your Professional Identity...thriving with colleagues in the workplace is different than thriving with your college peers.
  • Transition to a Full-time Position
I still believe the students who were actively discouraged from finding their own internship were cheated out of many of the potential benefits of an internship. Yeah, they got to check the box and they can graduate, but they were cheated by administrators who were just "too busy" to do their jobs.


  1. Agreed! Friend of mine’s daughter found her own, turned that into a paid coop, and is now paid well over $100000 a year as a 23 year old engineer.

    1. My heartburn is the creeping "Mother may I?"

      How dast you even think of rocking the boat?

      They make a big show of "thinking outside of the box" but they don't have a clue.

  2. I think you're missing a point there, Joe. Internships that are crafted as a deal between a Corporation and the University have a different purpose. It is NOT for the benefit of the student, except incidentally. It's to give the Corporation a test drive of prospective future employees at low-to-no cost, without the aggravation of making a bad choice and having to fire them. Firing problematic employees is a major headache for executives, who tend to take it out on their HR departments, for having failed at their job. HR departments have therefore crafted these 'internship' boondoggles as a way of deflecting accountability - while selling them as win-win. Some companies even additionally now have probationary periods, 3 - 6 months for new salaried employees.

  3. When I was in college in the 80s, we had to find our own internships if we wanted to work one.


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