While the author and most of the commentators are outraged – another way for the upper class to get the upper hand, they say – I simply think it's just a stupid idea, not an affront to meritocracy.
In the case of the auction, it's just the charity trying to find clever things to sell and companies donating the placements saying, "sure, we can have some idiot follow us around and ask questions (and do some grunt work!) for the good of some nonprofit." It looks like each internship is only a week or two – hardly an impressive stint to put on a resumé, regardless of what company the internship is with.
And the $8,000 guaranteed placement: Details are slim, but it looks like there is some sort of screening and interview process; it's not only money that will get you the job.
It's the people who pay that I think are stupid. With ingenuity, drive and perseverance, one should be able to arrange their own internship. Why not take the money you'd pay for the placement and live off it while doing the job, since you're not getting paid.
Thanks to Clare Douglas for pointing out the Globe article to me.
Corinna vanGerwen is a freelance editor and writer. She has worked as senior editor at Style at Home, senior design editor at Cottage Life and is the former Canadian Director of Ed2010. She has also held the position of operations manager at a boutique PR agency, where she handled strategic planning and daily operations.