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Posted under: Politics

'Experience Doesn't Pay The Bills': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls Out The Sacrificial Nature Of Unpaid Internships On National Intern Day

They don't hear her, though.

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!"

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. Celebrities and corporations alike even celebrated the holiday, proving its importance in making sure interns earn an acceptable living wage. 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.
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