Participating in AFW’s fellowship program has been immensely rewarding. I was able to expand my skills while diving into experiences I wanted to build before but did not have a chance to.

Gene Burin
Winter 2014 Fellow

An internship is a popular way to gain valuable experience, make connections and attempt to get a proverbial foot in the door of one’s chosen industry at the start of a career. In fact, internships are considered so indispensable, and the best internships are so highly coveted, that the competition for one of these mostly unpaid positions can be at least as fierce as the competition for a high paying job.

That fierce competition for beneficial internships has led to some unfortunate consequences. While the idea of the internship is not supposed to be profit driven, there are two organizations that allow candidates with the proper funding to circumvent the traditional system and simply buy internships. Both the Washington Centre and Dream Careers Global Internship Programs will, for a hefty fee – $6200 and $8000 respectively – give potential interns access to highly sought-after internships that are much more difficult to access for people without the means to essentially buy an internship.

Just like lobbyists allow people to use money to influence politicians, these programs allow people to use money to unfairly gain access to internships – which in turn excludes those who cannot afford the high enrollment costs for these programs.

In the United States, the concept of hard work leading to success has long been espoused, and believed, by many. This is the idea that no matter who you are, or what your background, you can have the opportunity for limitless success if you are determined and demonstrate the proper work ethic.

This idea is what leads so many people, each and every year, to put immeasurable amounts of hard work into completing their education with the hopes of providing a solid foundation for the career of their choosing.

While the proper education is often extremely helpful, and sometimes even necessary, for breaking into a variety of career fields, even after the work and common financial hardships of attaining such an education a good internship is frequently the most direct route into a career path.

What companies like the Washington Centre and Dream Careers do is allow people with the means to get much easier access to the most desirable internships, which puts up a wall in front of anyone who cannot afford to lay out a fee of thousands of dollars, not matter how hard they have worked on their education.

This means that not only can people basically buy their way into the workforce, but that people who are not able to buy their way in will face serious challenges in their careers, and may never be able to gain the same footing as those who were financially privileged to begin with.

America’s Future Workforce is dedicated to helping those who do not have the fiscal advantages to buy their way in, but are still a potentially extremely valuable part of the workforce. Donating to America’s Future Workforce helps the organization in its ongoing mission to deliver financial justice and support those who are in need.

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