From networking to a possible full-time job opportunity, the benefits that can come with an internship are endless. However, there are struggles many interns also face, primarily underpayment or no payment at all. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is looking to switch the script.
Joined by fellow congresswomen Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the Bronx native put it simply: "Experience doesn't pay the bills!"
Today I was asked why we should bother paying interns if they’re “getting experience for their résumé.”
Here’s what we have say about that: pic.twitter.com/vbHoMTLDI3— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 25, 2019
According to HuffPost, the video was shot for Pay Our Interns, an organization that pushes for more paid internships across all professions, but especially government, for-profit and nonprofit entities. Created by WayUp in 2017, National Intern Day is celebrated each year on July 25. Ocasio-Cortez reportedly vowed to compensate her interns $15 an hour for their services, benefits included. In terms of full-time staff, the New Yorker said she would never pay employees below $52,000 a year.
Ocasio-Cortez isn't the only lawmaker celebrating the accomplishments of her junior staffers. Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro also tweeted a message honoring his interns, mentioning that he also pays them $15 an hour.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also tweeted words of support for her college-aged team members.
Thanks to all the #TeamJulián interns who power our campaign. We committed to paying all our interns $15/hr so that people from all backgrounds can afford to join and get good political experience, then become the leaders of tomorrow. We appreciate you! #NationalInternDay pic.twitter.com/gvCCLZ63DE— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) July 25, 2019
Celebrating our #SeacrestStudios interns who give their time to patients and families across the country. Thank you for helping @RyanFoundation create places for the kids to heal and be the star :) #NationalInternDay https://t.co/Phu5wHeYJN— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) July 25, 2019
Happy #NationalInternDay to our @AEO and Aerie interns! Thank you for always keeping it #AerieREAL and sharing your voices and talents! We’re so proud of you ❤ https://t.co/oTdAQza5mX pic.twitter.com/0AeJyl2lIS— Aerie (@Aerie) July 25, 2019
A Wednesday report from Forbes revealed the average intern earns $19.05 an hour, a 32 cent rise from the previous year. However, between transportation, living costs and other expenses, an unpaid internship can set a college student back an average of $6,800.
Congrats to the interns who recently graduated from @YearUp in Dallas! You're ready to conquer the world. 🎉 And welcome aboard, @loganboswell95! We're excited to have you join the #ATTfamily full-time as a retail sales consultant. #NationalInternDay pic.twitter.com/MuIFxNOdUR— AT&T Impact (@ATTimpact) July 25, 2019