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August 1, 2011

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Home » Metro » Education

Interns endure boring jobs to boost resumes

STUDENTS securing summer internships are being used as cheap labor and learning little, according to a survey by a headhunting firm.

The poll by, a Nasdaq-listed recruitment company, found internships are booming.

But positions are mainly offered by companies that are short of staff, said, with students often hired to work on mundane tasks.

Zheng Yunying, a postgraduate student on an internship at an international corporation, told Shanghai Daily that her duties are mostly confined to making phone calls to clients and helping with filing.

"I'm learning little from the internship," admitted Zheng, who had hoped the company could assign tasks connected with her majors.

Feng Lijuan, chief HR analyst with, told Shanghai Daily that it is common practice for companies to assign interns basic tasks and offer little work experience relevant to their studies.

"Students are just viewed as cheap labor by them," claimed Feng.

However, some students are prepared to put up with menial tasks as they regard the internship as extra points on their resumes and believe it can help them find a good job after graduation.

Although Zheng suspected her intern work would be boring, she still took the position because "my resume will look more attractive and it'll be easier for me to find a job."

But this acceptance only encourages companies to keep giving interns dull work, said Feng.

If students just want a prestigious name to put on their resume, there's little incentive for companies to train them or provide learning opportunities, she added.

Feng proposed that companies should set up an internship system to specially manage the issues and benefit both sides.

She also advised students not to use intermediary organizations that charge fees to find internships.

The jobs they find are mainly low-paid, and there have been cases of students being duped by go-betweens.


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