Saturday, February 9, 2013

Credit Well Deserved for Interns

An interesting article written this past week in the New York Times caught my interest, as it greatly correlated with Temple, The article “Giving Credit, but Is It Due?” by Kevin Carey highlights the prominent issues that colleges are having with granting academic credit to students fortunate enough to be offered internships. However, the deans of colleges should be aware that this could make or break some students’ careers. Carey writes “the best way to learn history involves reading books and attending history classes led by historians. The best way to learn business often involves working in a business.”

As we all know, the PR field requires a heavy amount of hands-on experience in order to progress and gain credibility. Applying for jobs is not the same as when our parents applied, and internship experience is now a requirement in order to be considered for a quality job. Since the majority of internships are unpaid, more and more companies are insisting that their interns receive educational credit for legal liability purposes. That way the companies are providing some sort of compensation for their hard work. However, many colleges, including Ivy League schools, don’t even offer internship credit to their undergraduate students. This deprives students the opportunity to gain useful experience in their field and sets them below the standards to gain quality jobs post grad. 

As of now, Temple allows its students to gain three credits for completing a semester long internship. But is that enough? The hunt for internships can begin as early as sophomore year, and some students may accumulate up to three or four internships prior to graduation. It seems more sensible to allocate six to twelve credits towards the hours of hard work. This is a recurring issue now, and as more companies require credit, the issue will only continue to escalate until a more suitable alternative is provided. Any internship that helps us channel what we’ve learned in class into a professional environment is valuable, and no one should ever be deprived of that kind of experience. It’s important for students to have the chance to take advantage of every opportunity that may set them apart from the competition. Colleges and universities can contribute to making job searches less stressful by encouraging their students to be known and heard through as many internships as possible!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Madeline Barry

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