There’s nothing new about criticism on the practice of unpaid internships, but The Washington Post’s latest story about a young man sleeping in a tent to cut living costs during his (unpaid) Geneva-based UN internship shines light on the issue yet again.
Back in high school, I used to run track, or as we call it in Australia, “athletics.” I was lucky enough to have morning training sessions around Sydney’s famous harbour. We ran over the Harbour Bridge to the Opera House and back. At the last bridge pylon on the return leg, our athletics coach, Mr. Bookers, would be waiting for each and every runner. I can still remember him exhorting us on, pushing us to finish strong. Mr. B. also used to persuade me to finish weekend race days with a 400m after just running the lung-bursting and lactic acid-building 800m (and usually after just having thrown up–a race day ritual). He was my first mentor both on and off the track.