Don’t Throw Out The Baby With The Bathwater

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Rachel Feintzeig and Melissa Korn state in their Wall Street Journal article “Internships Go Under the Microscope” that spurred by recent lawsuits by interns for pay, and resulting rules from government bodies,  companies to rethink their internship policies. While some may, many, such as Conde Nast, are skipping the analysis and making the decision to simply kill the program.

Simply throwing out throwing out their programs is a mistake. Instead the coordinators of the programs should analyze the programs and decide how to create high ROI internships that are so valuable to the three relevant parties – company, mentors and students – that the low wages paid would be relatively insignificant.

That’s the kind of analysis MentorOurKids advocates. For instance, when I first expanded my internships to serve several interns at a time, we planned to conduct research designed to improve the quality of health care for a target audience (teenagers under 18 years). We realized the value of the potential study and obtained a state grant to pay for it – truly a win-win –win situation.

So, we welcome a discussion with any company thinking of either killing a low ROI internship program and/or starting a new internship program.  Let’s see if we can’t design a high ROI mentoring internship that’s a triple win!