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Behind The Mic With Joe Mathieu: Unpaid Internships Ending?

By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
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Joe Mathieu has returned to his professional home town and assumed the...
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BOSTON (CBS) – A court ruling could mean the end of internships as we know them.

You know, when college students work for no money, in exchange for credits and invaluable industry experience.

I had several of them right here in Boston, pouring coffee, answering phones and taking out the trash.

You could call that demeaning. And sometimes that’s true.

But it doesn’t change the fact that I got more out of those internships than the companies did. I got a Rolodex and made contacts in the business that I still talk to and rely on.

I even got hired by one of them more than a decade later.

But a federal judge in New York sees it differently – ruling that the movie studio Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns who worked behind the scenes on the movie “Black Swan.”

Now I must admit I never even heard of a paid internship until I was well into my career. But they’re out there.

As we reported this week on WBZ, the average intern at Google makes close to $6,000 a month. Plus free food. And access to the company gym.

I don’t know about you, but where I come from that’s not called a paid internship.

It’s called a job.

Seems to me that if companies are forced to pay their interns or risk being sued, a lot of college students are going to miss out on a lot of opportunities.

And if that’s where we end-up, I might just apply for an internship.

You can follow Joe on Twitter @JoeMathieuWBZ.

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