I recently interviewed a prospective Fool and, as expected, we dug into his past experiences. Like a lot of young, successful people, he had completed several internships. One in particular jumped out to me. The candidate had a passion for sports and had interned with a Major League Baseball team. The internship was unpaid, so the candidate held a second job as a coconut milk sample provider at Whole Foods. This role required my candidate to stand behind a table and hand out free milk. In exchange for this task he received a nice salary that enabled him to support himself while working for the baseball team. The unpaid internship was closely tied to his passions of marketing and sports, while the milk salesman job was far from his passion, but paid well. Ultimately he was able to balance the two jobs but he was left with little time for anything else.
The attitude of the baseball team was the same as a lot of big brands like major newspapers, television stations, or movie producers – you are so lucky to work with such a cool company, that is pay in and of itself Essentially they are letting you use their brand on your resume while taking advantage of you.
Don’t get me wrong, there is value there for the intern. But I don’t believe asking a young person to work for free, potentially increasing debt or sacrificing free time for a second job, is good, spiritual business. Why not double down with a great experience, a great brand, and fair pay for fair work? At The Fool, we pay all of our interns. We believe that is simply the right thing to do. We have plenty of students who would work here for free because, let’s face it, we are pretty cool nerds. But we want them to have a life outside of our office as well, and to end the summer with some savings.
Are you a college or grad student looking for an amazing paid summer internship experience at The Fool? The deadline to apply is January 4.