Nikhil Jain .

Are UnPaid Internships Scams?

I saw lately few posts by some influential folks on Facebook & LinkedIn about-

Internships are scams these days.

Students are exploited in name of Internships.

Companies & Startups Don't pay Interns & make them do general work which no one wants to do.

And the list about this is on.

Where as students do these Internships in name of exposure & college & Companies boast about stats and placements & work exposure.


Now, My take towards this may pinch Few set of people but this is something I have seen by being at both sides of table.

And I don't believe in giving or receiving fake Sympathies.

1. Difference is there between Training & Internships.

2. Internships can be paid & unpaid as it depends on employers interest & your capabilities.

3. Students who want to avoid Internships since they find mostly unpaid, must check if their skills are relevant or good enough for companies they apply to. Else they can self build things & services by using Internet & do projects.

4. Example of great live projects (Helping small business solve their problem & convincing them for rev. Share).
A good project > An avg. internship.

5. Become a Freelancer (Live check of your Skills)

I am not saying to be exploited.

You can Either Rant or Find A Way!

Originally Posted Here

Piyush Soni

Basically it depends on person to person. Some might find it unethical, some students who want to learn something without any incentive, would see it as a opportunity to gain the knowledge

Nikhil Jain

exactly. Person to Person. The Person who can get a paid one, will always get a paid one, provided his/her call was Stipend as deciding factor. Others will have multiple Choices

Aavinashh Kumar

Some courses have internship as part of their curriculum and students do get graded for them. In such a situation students are ready to take on anything even if it's not a paid one. We had a 6 month internship as the last semester and were graded basis that, a lot of my classmates took up unpaid internship for 6 months and some of them even had to do multiple as not everyone provides a 6 month long tenure.

Nikhil Jain

would love to know about your college students. We are looking to hire 6 months intern with a project mostly

Swaroop Evani 

so basically touching upon a malpractice by giving generic platitudes that employers throw to justify their actions because you wanted to promote your venture that allows the practice to happen.

I also think the fairness creams were also "fair". yeah it promotes a wrong idea but "you are free to opt out" isn't it? and you get valuable "experience" about how the cream doesn't benefit you.

Nikhil Jain

if it's a bad practice and Employers are using students, how come students choose to get used Knowingly?

And I believe to take up the talk only if I can walk upon it. Thus Sharing about what we do is Important else it would be nothing but some gyaan.

Swaroop Evani 

students choose because they have very few alternative options.

Even the CA institute has made stipend mandatory. perhaps they are oblivious to CA students who love working for free? or perhaps they have realized it's malpractice and chose not to be a party to it.

next question?

I get it that in business not everything happens in a manner that will satisfy our principles.

but then it's a choice whether it's fair to actively promote something that's wrong.

Nikhil Jain

is CA the only Profession?

PS - I am not saying that Internships have to be paid or Unpaid.

But useless ranting has to stop.

Opportunities are to be built and scouted.

If only we have followed from students side, there have to be more companies created for all to even have an opportunity.

The post talks about how students fall for emotions in such Ranting post and join the rant forgetting that they are being watched and such actions won't help them but can hamper their image.

There is nothing wrong in raising voice against scams who promise X and Deliver Y.

But confusing Internships with Training is a big mistake and students fall for it Knowingly and unknowingly too.

Well Govt. Of India had also recommended a base Stipend for Internships. But does that mean all deserve that Stipend?

The question is keeping a generalized approach to anything doesn't help. Does it?

Swaroop Evani 

can you explain the last line, do all deserve a stipend?

Nikhil Jain

we are Promoting a General notion which is a double edge sword.

Free Internships or Poor Quality of skills should be eradicated.

But where and how and why needs to be known to most.

Swaroop Evani 

you are beating around the bush mate, can you clarify the basis on which you can decide if someone need not be paid for the work they do?

we will get to training vs internship later

Nikhil Jain

would you hire a student on a paid internship for a limited duration and then spend time and energies in just helping him learn skills?

Would you?

Or rather prefer someone who has worked in past on projects and needs less guidance and more self driven?

Or would you pay the former intern or latter intern if it comes to that?

Swaroop Evani 

if the student doesn't have the basic skills why would we hire them? and nothing stops you from testing people before you hire them...

we have had interns who sucked, we send them away after a week. because we didn't hire them TO TRAIN THEM, but because they said they can do what they claimed to do.

lastly there are going to be a few bad apples, you think it's fair to build a culture on the examples of a few?

Nikhil Jain

then keeping them unemployed is a better solution?


Getting them trained and in lieu Getting your work done is a better solution (if you can)?

We can always say that people can self learn but we all know if there were many self starters things would have been different

Soham Sarkar

Swaroop Evani what's your justification for enforcing payment if students voluntarily accept it? And don't give "there are no alternative" bs..there are plenty of alternatives. There are n number of services that connect students with paid and unpaid internships. The fact is that a lot of students choose unpaid ones because they feel it's a better choice. Next.

Swaroop Evani

Nikhil now you're mixing things up. anyway let's get to training vs internship (ofc as per my understanding).

firstly I expect the company to be clear as to whether they offer training as a good will gesture? Or they are offering internships (and people learn as they go through out their life)?

they have to honor the contract, and they have a legal obligation to pay stipend if it's an internship.

if a company claims to offer internship where you would be working that causes direct benefit to them and claims to be "training" you it's just taking undue advantage.

Swaroop Evani

Soham Sarkar either put up numbers or provide a strong basis.

example: I have clearly given examples of CA institute, Institute of Engineers of India also mandates a stipend.

so please go ahead state something sronger

Soham Sarkar

Your argument is "government made it a law so it must be good". Bravo sir. Btw that's called argument from authority.

You want a more stronger statment according to your appalling logic? Go see of you find a similar law in the US. Then go compare india and US in terms of economic power.

While you're at it go read why the minimum wage system won't work in a free society. This is the same logic.

The government should not get involved in the free exchange of goods and services in a competitive market.

Swaroop Evani

mate, then by your logic if USA hasn't done it, then its fair? you might wanna revaluate that.

Soham Sarkar 

No that's YOUR logic

Swaroop Evani

I guess you are missing the whole point of a regulator.

Soham Sarkar

I literally asked you for a justification. The onus is on YOU not on me to defend the free market.

You have not given a reason other than legal precedent in a specific country.

Swaroop Evani

free market and exploitation are different

just the way Monopoly and capitalism are different

Soham Sarkar

Explain how it's exploitation then? You have not done so.

With adequate alternatives, when a seller wishes to trade their sevices for the price of 0 to a willing buyer, who are you to interfere?

Swaroop Evani

for that you have to understand the difference between having options and chosing one of them vs

calling the only option offered - a choice

If you simply are oblivious to number of students seeking a internship and a job vs how many are available then there is no point in continuing this discussion

Soham Sarkar

By enforcing payment, the total number of internships will drop significantly. Great job now the guys who could have received valuable work experience can't get that. This is exactly what happened with minimum wage wherever it was tried. People lost jobs because local businesses could not support it and local biz is 80% of the economy.

Also what is the enforced payment for an internship? Who decides that and what criteria even?

Swaroop Evani

it is a state subject and plus the respective institutes have set the term. and there is govt. machinery.

Soham Sarkar

Also since you like regulators so much, go see who WANTS regulation. Amazon, Facebook, Google's of the world want as much regulation as possible. They want minimum wage, they want red tapes, they want paid internships etc. Guess why? Because they can AFFORD it. It blocks competition! They can afford the minimum wages and paid internships, small and local businesses cannot.

Congrats now you're supporting monopolistic practices.

Swaroop Evani

well a lot of people never paid taxes and they built their business models around it, Everytime the tax regime gets stricter more businesses are going to face trouble. same goes for minimum wage

the case Amazon etc represents how lobbying and politics are making things worse

that's a systemic corruption and you want to use that to justify building a wrong culture?

Soham Sarkar

What you find "wrong culture" is your problem, not mine. I'm a libertarian and my highest value is individual freedom. I don't want the government telling me what I can and can't do with my labor. If I want to do free work that's my prerogative. And most people believe in the same.

The point of regulation is to make sure the market stays competitive and consumers rights are protected. You are arguing AGAINST competition. You are literally arguing FOR monopolies and oligopolies.

Swaroop Evani

All I want to say is:

1. you can work for free if you want to, expecting others to do so OR participating in building a culture where others are indirectly coerced to choose the only option made available and thereby infringing upon their FREEDOM tochoose goes against the principles of libertarianism. (a choice needs at least 2 different types of options in my opinion, which in the present context is NOT two companies offering unpaid internships).

2. the point of regulation depends on the context of the state of economy. but still, it's never designed to Foster exploitation (again a scenario where people don't have a choice).

3. monopolies are a result of a regulatory failure, they are not by-products of social justice or labour protection.

anyway, I don't see any point in continuing this conversation any further. Good luck!

Samvidha Sinha 

Swaroop Evani +1


Pallavi Gurtoo

Swaroop Evani by an extension of the logic touted here, people should give first time users their product/ service for free so that the customer can build 'experience' and see if there is value in the product so that next time they will be willing to pay for something with proven value.

But human labour is more devalued than market offerings.

So this is not the right forum for this conversation. Because very few will dispassionately evaluate the ethics involved. It ends up being personal - since i'm guessing people want free labour while also claiming that said labour is useless and therefore should be free. They can't objectively examine the ethics involved.

Not to mention the mental gymnastics involved

Interns are too useless to be paid - but also apparently not having access to free interns will topple small business. Lol.

Ankit Kumar Bhagat

If they don't have enough experience you won't hire them, nor would anyone else hire them. Then in order to get that initial experience they work cheap or for free and gain some skills to find a better offering.

Achintya Surya

Have seen and been to places that actually charge to give internships to filter for serious candidates among the huge horde applying

Arbab Usmani

I don't believe in unpaid internship

My point is simple

1. They are working on something which will give your company monetary benefit in short or ling run they should be paid

2. They should be taught the value of money as part of training of people considered it a training, no money, no understanding of this

3. There is a satisfaction when you earn money at the end of the month as your effort, don't take this joy from them

But that doesn't mean I hate people having different opinion

Pankaj Vijayvargiya

Kaash bas yahi cheez duniya ke saare logo me aa jaae....

Subham Bapna

Yes, unpaid internships are a scam.

1. They get work done for free (even if it involves training an individual)

2. It's stealing from the the talented. Rich kids can afford unpaid internships, but middle-class/low income students can't afford.:)

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