December 31, 2013
For students interested in a career in sports management, Arizona State University has what seems like a great opportunity. The school’s athletic program, which boasts of 138 national championships, is advertising for an intern to help with “event staging” for the Sun Devils’ football, basketball, and other games.Over the past year, unpaid internships in journalism, film and government have drawn increasing scrutiny. But it turns out, universities aren’t simply sending off kids to internships in these and other fields. Some schools — notably, their athletic departments — are themselves hiring unpaid interns whose responsibilities can sound quite similar to those of everyday employees.
There are just a few drawbacks. “This position requires physical
labor,” the ad states. “The intern must be able to lift up to 50 pounds
and work outdoors in extreme weather conditions.” The work is also
|Photo Credit: Wars via Wikimedia Commons|
Florida Gulf Coast University, for instance, advertises for an unpaid “ Business Operations Intern” whose responsibility would include “processing purchase orders and payment on invoices” and “accurate paperwork filing procedures.” A university website also advertised for an “Athletics’ Facilities and Operations Intern” whose responsibilities include “supervision of the part time Event Staff to hold them accountable for the jobs they perform.” (The department removed that ad after we contacted them, saying the phrasing was inaccurate. They have not reposted it.) Ads for paid jobs at the university list similar responsibilities.