Internships are one of the most important experiences that students can participate in during their college career and ranked one of the most important things employers look for when hiring recent grads, according to Anne Evans from Boise State University’s Career Center. Internships allow students to gain hands-on professional experience in their field of study and provide a mentoring environment for a future career choice.
But a recent court ruling by a federal judge in New York that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns has caused concerns and questions about unpaid internships. It is important to note that this case did not involve students working through a university internship program.
If structured properly in an educational environment, unpaid internships can be extremely valuable to a college student according to Evans, assistant director, Internships and Student Employment , but the internships must meet the following criteria established by the U.S. Department of Labor: