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Editorial - "University of Dreams" unfair, suspect

Issue date: 2/27/09 Section: Opinion
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If you have ever searched for "summer internships" on Google, you might have come across the website for a company called University of Dreams. In essence, University of Dreams guarantees internship placement to accepted students in return for a "tuition" fee of approximately $8000. The fee covers room and board, a weekend seminar series, and some weekend activities in various cities.

In our opinion, the name "University of Dreams" alone implies how ridiculous the program is. It is a business model that takes advantage of students' desperation to gain relevant experience before entering the job market. In today's struggling economy, internships are harder to come by, and as students' desperation grows, a company like this one will be able to charge more and more for "experience" that is available elsewhere for free. In fact, we found that many of the companies partnered with University of Dreams accept applications for paid internships.

The most glaring problem with the program is that it gives an obvious advantage to wealthy students. Paying for an internship is not an option for students who need to earn money during the summer months.

What's more, students lose the experience they would gain by searching for a job on their own when they pay a company to do it for them. All the help students need is available at the Career Center for free.

The legitimacy of the program's supposed prestige is questionable. Eric Normington, chief marketing officer of University of Dreams, asserted that the company expects to receive 10,000 applications this year, of which only 1500 will be accepted. But one Case Western Reserve University student who completed an internship with University of Dreams was under the impression that the program isn't that competitive. In fact, the company's website lists a minimum required grade point average of only 2.5.

The caliber of companies partnered with University of Dreams is of concern as well. Though many are well known, others are small and seem to accept interns from University of Dreams only for free labor that might stave off financial trouble. The student with whom we spoke worked for a company that shut down for a few weeks due to lack of funding, leaving her with little work to do.

Of course, there are a few reasons that a student might be attracted to University of Dreams. Paying for an internship might be a better option for humanities majors who don't have a specific skill set, though it certainly isn't necessary. Hiring a company to find an internship can save a student time and energy. And for those students whose parents are uncomfortable letting them live in an unfamiliar city by themselves, the program's living arrangement might be an attractive option.

Despite the potential benefits afforded by the program, however, we feel that it is inherently unfair, and we find the concept as a whole somewhat suspect.
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In This Issue

News

  • Alum shares experience as legal clerk for Supreme Court Justice
  • Forgotten legends: the blockade of Euclid Avenue
  • Hudson Relays
  • Planning ahead with life insurance
  • Second annual Relay For Life raises over $88,000
  • Showing off: Research ShowCASE provides opportunity to present latest research
  • Source of success: fifth annual SOURCE Symposium celebrates students' research

The Buzz

  • The Buzz

USG Briefs

  • USG Brief

Worst Case Scenario

  • Worst Case Scenario: 2009-10 preview

Sports

  • Baseball: Spartans lose to Wooster at Progressive Field
  • Seven-to-five job
  • Softball: Spartan bats silent against Bluffton
  • Spartan Spotlight: Allen Ye
  • Top 10 Spartan sports stories of 2008 - 2009
  • What to watch for this summer

Fun Page

  • Crossword Answers
  • Jumble Answers
  • Sudoku Solutions

Opinion

  • Case Culture: Summer break shouldn't break your back
  • Editorial: Semester grades
  • Global Scorning: Earth Day: Don't assume it's only about "flower power"
  • Red, White, and Skewed: So many crises, so little time

Focus

  • Alternative Press editor offers disappointing analysis of scene culture
  • Case alumnus Girl Talk returns for end-of-year blowout
  • Cleveland Museum of Art hosts unique exhibition of powerful African artwork
  • Juggling Club's end of year spectacular wows audience with skill
  • Sex and Dating: Remembering those who matter
  • Spartans of Style: What not to wear
  • Stand-up comedy show tonight
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