Long gone are the days of direct employment after school. An unpredictable and competitive job market has left students scrambling for any kind of employment in their fields after wrapping up their post-secondary education. For many, internships – both paid and unpaid – seem to have become the norm.
Positions that demand full-time work for no pay have become a controversial topic in the news. Critics argue organizations are getting free or cheap labour without providing any real job prospects for these students and new graduates. Just like the students competing for them, internships are diverse. Some are long, others are brief. Some are administered through schools, while many are not. And for students desperate for a chance to break into their industries, internships have become almost a rite of passage.
The Ryersonian spoke to students about their internship experiences for this special feature. From a journalism student interning at a national news wire service, to a fashion student working at a retail behemoth, to a social work student toiling at a troubled youth centre, their experiences offer are a glimpse into the employment battlefield.
Listen to their stories below:
Introduction written by Mohamed Omar
Interactive produced by Sahar Fatima
Reporting/editing by Carly Thomas, Greg DeClara, Jasmine Pazzano, Sam Sim, Peter Lozinski, Sydney Poulos, Dan Berlin, Maria Siassina, David Rockne Corrigan, Nuruddin Qorane, Tanya Mok, Hayley Brauer, Arman Aghbali and Jean Ko Din