Internships - the new temp staffing opportunity?

Some of the most coveted jobs in the world have historically paid zip. 

Internships on Wall Street, in major scientific companies, in the media and in politics have typically paid nothing up front -- no need to pay, because an internship can be solid gold on an otherwise blank student resume.

But the age of unpaid internships just ended. The U.S. Labor Department issued new internship guidelines in April, and they pretty much make the typical unpaid internship verboten. 

What that means is that traditional internships, officially, legally-speaking, are now -- yes, you guessed it -- temp jobs, i.e. paying jobs of limited duration. The class distinction between internships and temp jobs, always blurry in any case, is now gone.

Of course, even traditional internships of the coveted variety have never guaranteed any really significant work experience. That summer a candidate spent at Goldman was more likely occupied assembling powerpoints than refining anyone's CAPM model.

So who is to say that a powerpoint temp job you have available at a well-known bank isn't an internship? How about that editing job at a magazine? As for that lab assistant job you have available at a pharmaceutical company -- you know, the job clipping rat toenails to test some new nail polish --yes, certainly that's an internship for sure.

The key is how you market it. My suggestion: coordinate with your staffing buyers to pick jobs that might reasonably pass the sniff test as internships and advertise them as such.

Do so, and will just have added a new line of business: internships.


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