For many college graduates today, the path to a full-time job typically involves multiple internships. It has almost become a rite of passage for the young professional. Work hard, prove yourself, and pay your dues. Hopefully, one of these companies that you intern for recognizes your value and considers turning you into a full-time employee. In some industries, an internship can provide a path to well-compensated full-time positions (think technology, law, finance, and consulting.) But in others—such as media, entertainment, and fashion—the opportunities to convert an internship into a full-time job aren’t as abundant. We spoke to four former interns about their experiences
in these industries and their thoughts on the long hours and harsh treatment they sometimes endured. They also shared candid accounts on the shortcomings of the internship model and what needs to happen to make it a mutually beneficial exchange.