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Internships Expose Students to Full-Time Employment—‘This Sucks,’ Say Students


Photo by CTBC / CC0 (with edits)

After successfully securing a finance internship for this summer, Wharton sophomore Barry Graham thought the hard part was over. Unfortunately, he soon learned a summer internship came with certain responsibilities, the most basic of which is actually maintaining a full-time position at the company, which, according to Graham, “totally blows.”

“They have me working at least eight hours a day, five days a week,” Graham complained. “I have to wake up in the morning, go to work, and stay there—in one place—until I can leave at the end of the day. What the fuck?”

Not only does Graham have to remain in one location for eight hours, but he also has to perform basic duties of the job for at least three of those hours. He also hates his coworkers, who are “boring,” “too serious,” and “not bros.”

Another student, Lindsey Reed (C ’19), has a research position in a lab at Penn. Like Graham, she was unprepared for the reality of full-time employment.

“I wanted to visit some friends for the weekend, so I didn’t go in to work on Friday and took a train to New York,” she said. “Then, I get an email from my PI asking why I never came into work. Like, what? How was I supposed to know I can’t just skip? Apparently, they take attendance every day. Total buzzkill.”

Both Graham and Reed say their internship experiences have made them question seeking full-time employment opportunities in the future, going so far as to consider remaining unemployed forever.