Since our founding, KTM Solutions has made engineering internships a central part of our culture. Education is a big part of who we are, and many students rely on the experience they gain in order to advance their career. Some of our former interns are continuing their career right here in our office.
What dynamic does the exchange involved in an internship create? How do you determine whether an intern should be paid—and how much? It’s a vibrant debate. Of course, people deserve to be compensated for the time and labor they provide. But a high-school or college student requires more training than a professional; that training is the reason they’re there. In the case of an unpaid internship, is the student receiving free education or is the company receiving free labor?
These and many other questions make the discussion of intern pay complicated and, at times, heated. Employers should strive for fairness in how they classify an intern and how they invest in their interns’ education and career path. At KTM, we’ve found a setup that works for us and for the interns that come through our program every year.
Paul Kumler, co-founder of KTM Solutions, explains his view and KTM’s approach in this article for South Carolina Manufacturing.