The ethics of internships

Thursday 5 September, 2019
by Jodi O'Callaghan
A recent graduate from a reputable university has been offered the opportunity to work with their dream organisation, reporting to you as the manager of the strategy division. Your organisation has a good reputation for giving graduates internships. But there's a catch.

A recent graduate from a reputable university has been offered the opportunity to work with their dream organisation, reporting to you as the manager of the strategy division. Your organisation has a good reputation for giving graduates internships. But there’s a catch.

The internship is unpaid. On the one hand, the graduate gets ‘work experience’ with a strong brand in financial services, and the organisation gets to ‘reward’ an individual who is willing to work for free. On the other hand, the intern will be expected to work hard – possibly harder than their paid workplace peers – and the organisation gets voluntary unpaid labour.

As the employee being asked to manage the intern, what would you do?

We encourage you to post your answers in the comments so we can create a healthy discussion, with the aim of learning from our peers, becoming aware of differing perspectives and challenging our own biases.

Please share your ethical dilemmas with us - we can post them anonymously. You can email your dilemmas to dilemma@thebfo.org

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash.

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The Oath

  • Trust is the foundation of my profession.
  • I will serve all interests in good faith.
  • I will compete with honour.
  • I will pursue my ends with ethical restraint.
  • I will help create a sustainable future.
  • I will help create a more just society.
  • I will speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same.
  • I will accept responsibility for my actions.

In these and all other matters;
My word is my bond.

The Vision

A banking and finance industry that meets the community’s needs and has its full confidence thereby fulfilling its integral role in society.