The results were even worse when it came to salary. Among students who found jobs, former unpaid interns were actually offered less money than those with no internship experience.
Why wouldn’t you offer less money to someone who’d been giving it away for free?
You know who can afford to work unpaid internships? The financially privileged. While that doesn’t speak against their work ethic, it doesn’t speak for it either. Everything else being equal, would you rather hire the grad who worked summers as an unpaid intern, or the one who worked two part-time jobs year-round to pay for college in the first place?
So we’re left with a bit of a mystery. … Their collective lack of success doesn’t seem to depend much on major or smarts. … It’s also possible that there are inherent differences between the kinds of students who take unpaid internships and their peers that would show up in a more refined data analysis. But again, we don’t know.
It’s a mystery.