National Internship Awareness Month - History
Paid internships returned to Capitol Hill
After 30 years of unpaid internships in Washington, the non-profit Pay Our Interns successfully convinced Congress to allot money to pay political interns.
Paying interns is important because money allows more diverse candidates the financial freedom to accept these important internships.
"The Intern" released
Interns got the star treatment in this comedy where Robert De Niro plays a 70-year- old intern at a fashion magazine.
Occupy Wall Street
When millennials realized that they were facing record economic downward mobility, they joined the Occupy Wall Street movement to protest wealth inequality and unfair labor practices, including exploitative unpaid internships.
In the years that followed, many large companies began giving interns stipends for the time they work.
Congress passes the National Apprenticeship Law
Think of it as a precursor to National Internship Awareness Month. This law set out the definition and expectations for both employers and interns in the U.S. about what an internship constitutes. The National Apprenticeship Law also promoted internships in professional fields beyond medicine.
Since medieval times, certain trade professions would pass on knowledge by way of a master to an apprentice. People learned crafts such as construction, wizardry, painting and sculpture, and metalworking by receiving mentorship from an older practitioner. The key difference between internships and apprenticeships is that apprentices would receive lodging and food for their labor, whereas many of today's internships are unpaid.
How to Observe National Internship Awareness Month
Treat an intern to a coffee
Let National Internship Awareness Month be a reminder: They deserve it.
Take pride in yourself
You’ve taken your first step into the adult world, and that's something you can stick on your mom's fridge.
Make a treat for the office
Make muffins, or buy some cookies. It’s an excellent way to show your employer that you're grateful for their help.
Why National Internship Awareness Month is Important
Young people learn valuable skills which will follow them for a lifetime. You can't learn it all in a classroom.
Millennials get a bad rap, but millions of young Americans are working hard for their unpaid internships. They do this because they know their work will go toward building a viable resumé in today’s treacherous economy.
It's a great idea to see if your employer has any open jobs. It saves you from a grueling job search, and the company will have one less interview to do.