By Nadiah Sarsour
You’re getting ready to graduate and a big-name company just offered you an internship. Job requirements include getting coffee, answering phone calls, sending faxes, etc. Oh… and you won’t get paid for it.
There’s been a lot of outrage about unpaid internships and the job requirements some interns are assigned. My colleague and I got into a heated debate for several days on this. She doesn’t believe an intern should, for example, be made to get coffee for other staff members because she says the intern is “not really learning anything.” So I slipped her under the “generation of entitlement” category. Some of the youth today need to get off their high horses and do whatever it takes to make a career for themselves. Jobs won’t just be handed to them on a silver platter. You have to swallow your pride and make sacrifices. Yes, some tasks might seem beneath you, but it’s an opportunity to gain footing in the industry of your dreams, learn the ropes and do MORE than what’s required. Just because you have to make coffee doesn’t mean you can’t take on more responsibilities that actually make sense to you.
Ashton Kutcher began his career washing dishes and sweeping floors. Regis Philbin went knocking door to door from one TV or radio station to another offering to do whatever it takes just to get his first opportunity in the business. Major TV news anchors made and served coffee before becoming stars. When asked about how they felt about that, one of them said, “I always made sure it’s the best coffee I’ve ever made.” This might seem foreign to some. But maybe it’ll start making sense 10 years down the road when some of these entitled youth are kicking themselves, possibly still living at home waiting for the “right” opportunity to surface.
For my collegaue's rebuttal click here: