With third year of University looming, the pressure of entering the world of employment rapidly increases. For recent graduates, the recruitment industry is a battlefield, with an army of suited and booted professionals fighting it out for their first step onto the career ladder.

My first and second years of University flew by to say the least, with second year exams now over, at least until results day; it was time to start thinking about the future. Nursing the previous night’s hangover whilst attending a 9am lecture was soon to be a thing of the past, it’s time to knuckle down for my third and final year.

The appeal of working for such a well-established recruitment expert as Macmillan Davies was clear – while gaining practical experience in a thriving office, I also got to see, first hand, what makes one individual stand out from the throng of potential candidates applying for a role. While I’m certainly not a shrinking violet and would like to think I could strike up a conversation with just about anyone, it’s great to now be able to put that into a professional context.

I am extremely lucky that Macmillan Davies were able to offer me this exciting opportunity whilst receiving financial backing. For some students, they are not so fortunate.

Internships can benefit both parties, an intern gains work experience along with transferable skills meaning they automatically become more marketable. The company gains new and fresh ideas, with the intern converting their academic knowledge into business practices and if successful it creates a win-win situation.

Inviting Interns into the workplace brings to light a frequent disagreements as to whether the employer should pay the student for their input and integration into the team for the duration of the internship. Proponents of unpaid Internships argue that businesses are providing a wealth of knowledge and hands on experience in the workplace that enhances their careers, which proves to be costly to the business, before wages are even considered. However, detractors are of the opinion that unpaid internships exploit workers and prove not to provide equal opportunities.

With competition amongst students especially fierce, it can leave employers open to creating their own terms of the Internship, that can be seen to favour their company, rather than generating fair opportunities in the market. Many students have resigned to the fact that if they want the wealth of experience, they should expect payment not to be included, generating a split in the marketplace. This divide separates those who can manage financially to work with no pay, and those who simply cannot afford this early career choice, meaning businesses could be losing out to potential valuable candidates

Every business should implement Corporate Social Responsibility to a certain extent into their practice, something Macmillan Davies are doing, through offering an Internship role and promoting the importance of it at an upcoming Breakfast Seminar in Manchester.

So, should it be the responsibility of a business to offer equal opportunities to all potential interns, regardless of their financial situation? Should they aim to accommodate all students when advertising the offer of an Internship? If you ask yourselves these questions and you’re thinking ‘no’, consider this:

Could a financially driven decision ultimately impact the potential to find valuable individuals to aid the business growth and development to evolve into a current, forward-thinking company?

Rachel Marshall is an Intern at Macmillan Davies and picked Holland in the company sweepstake on her first day.  Not a bad start!!

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