2hats on Unpaid Internships

We spoke to Shubham Kedia from 2hats, an organisation with a passion for helping “people get where they needed to be”.

Founded in 2017, they have worked with groups of interns to help them find intern placement. 2hats, aim to grow the leaders of tomorrow through guiding students to their passions and aspirations before they enter into the workplace.

During our Q&A, they mentioned strategies and tips to prevent intern exploitation and advice on securing a paid internship.

Informed Interns: Do you have any strategies or tips on preventing being taken advantage of during an internship?

Shubham Kedia: It is important for a student to understand all their roles and responsibilities on before they say “yes” to an internship. It is very easy to be exploited once you’re at the workplace, it is important to learn to say “no” to things which go beyond your defined role If your role is mainly observational and you do not contribute to any profits of the organisation, you can be legally unpaid. However, if your role leads to any kind of profit for the organisation, you need to be legally paid by the organisation.

Informed Interns: Do you have any information and supportive material/ tips on securing a paid internship?

Shubham Kedia: I would actually suggest what not do. I would actually tell students not to waste their time by taking on any unpaid work. Your time, effort and values are important. If you believe you are an ethical person then taking unpaid work can be a slippery slope, setting a precedent for the valuation of your work. You deserve to be compensated if you provide any value to a company.


The best way to secure a paid internship is to have an open and transparent chat with your employer. All the work roles and responsibilities need to be discussed even before you start working.


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