Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Want a Summer Internship? Trying Buying One at Auction...

A friend of mine who works at a Wall Street investment bank refers to some of his well-connected colleagues as "being on the friends and family plan". While they are minimally competent for their positions, he feels they were primarily hired because of whom they know rather than what they can do. While this type of "good old boys' network" is nothing new, I was shocked when I stumbled across a 2006 Wall Street Journal article about how a number of prestigious firms are now donating summer internship slots to be auctioned off at pricey prep schools.

In the competitive world of summer internships, a new route to plum spots is emerging: buying them at auctions, often at elite private schools. This spring, internships at Morgan Stanley, NBC, Miramax, WebMD, Electronic Arts and a host of other companies have been put out to bid at auctions across the country. Bids often reach into the $2,000 to $5,000 range. Some internships are unpaid; in other cases the winners' kids receive a salary....The auctioning of internships reflects the convergence of two trends: ever-expanding fund-raising efforts at private schools, and parents' obsession with getting their kids into the right schools and eventually the right jobs. In some cases, it also stems from competition among parents to donate the most attention-grabbing auction items.
This practice is wrong on so many levels that I don't even know where to begin.


Sassy Lucy said...

That is ridiculous, it just goes to show that money does run this wild world.....smart, well qualified people will miss out on these chances because some idiot whose got parents with deep pockets can pay for them to have the job.

Jamie Carin and Claudio Romano said...

Very sad indeed!

I worked at a small computer consulting company that gave new meaning to nepotism...I was basically the only "foreigner" in the company and to say it wasn't pleasant is an understatement!!

As for buying internships....so sad and disappointing. And why would a company want a possbily rich but totally unqualified candidate?? Makes no sense (makes cents, but not sense LOL)...


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