Experienced Not Exploited and Informed Interns have teamed up together to deliver an article full of support and informative direction for students who are undergoing, looking at or will in the future complete an internship.
From our experience and heavy research, unpaid internships carry problems that range from legal to emotional. Unfortunately, in Australia, many unpaid internships are illegal and are actually exploiting the students who are there purely for experience.
Correspondingly, unpaid internships can cause emotional distress and financial hardships, especially for those who cannot afford to complete an unpaid internship in the first place.
Informed Interns have found that international students are largely at risk and find it hard to seek help from others.
Being exploited is never a great feeling, nor is completing an internship for a length of time that is unpaid. Doing so, not only impacts your emotional wellbeing, but can also leave a detrimental impact on your mental wellbeing. Informed Interns and Experience Not Exploited have developed a support system that students can reach out to for help! There are so many organisations out there that are here to help you in your interning journey, and support you through those difficult times.
Fair Work Australia is the first place you should be going to in order to find out legal information regarding internships. If you feel like you are being exploited, go to their website or call them to get an expert opinion on your situation. If you are indeed being exploited, Fair Work Australia can take action for you and further investigate into the exploitative agency.
Interns Australia is the next best place you should be going to in the case of being exploited as an Intern. Not only do they have an abundance of amazing information to help you, they are also actively trying to change the laws regarding internships, so by telling them your story, you will be helping to end internship inequality in the years to come!
Your university is also an amazing resource to help you if you feel in doubt about your internship experience. Contact your universities student central, careers centre, or even the counselling service, as these services will provide you with advice and strategies to overcome any difficulties, and help you with any emotional and mental damage the internship may have caused.
Written by: Alysha (Informed Interns) & Experienced Not Exploited