Of internships

Blogosphere June 22nd, 2007

There was a recent blog entry that commented on some people’s experience of companies offering internship opportunities to students and how these students were exploited.

Personally, I have interned at a government agency and I am quite glad to say that where pay is concerned, it is quite a bureaucratic issue. Due to the presence of official guidelines and red tapes, there is always an adherence to certain rules and because of this, students who are attached to government agencies almost seem to get a fixed allowance – not too little, but not too much either (i.e. no poly grad pay). I am not sure about this, but apparently most people that I know of are getting the same amount. In fact, everyone was told how much they would be given even before the internship starts – so that you have an opportunity to decide otherwise about working in the agency.

In fact, my supervisor was quite a nice person. 1 week before my internship was due to start, she phoned me to ask me to sign some of the documents again – because the finance department upped the maximum allowance that can be given to interns and she figured that I probably deserved it (even before the internship starts!) – from where she got that conjuncture, I am not sure. But it does show that there are good supervisors out there.

Of course, I have heard of stories where my friends are treated as girl fridays, the delivery boy, the photocopier (the person photocopying the stuffs, i mean, and not the machine :P) and the occasional tea lady. Surprisingly, none of them blew the whistle and everyone just get by with the IA with an average B. Then there is the company that gave my friends REAL working opportunity – working till the wee hours of the morning but being stingy with their grades, and there are also those who treat interns like staff and gave them full or partial staff benefits. But usually, most of us will just end up in the spectrum of the good and the bad, with a just few of us at the extremes.

For me, I am just glad to have a good average allowance and a great supervisor. šŸ˜‰



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