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Your Internship Could Last Forever

Your Internship Could Last Forever

By Suzanne McGee, Internship Program Director (@mcgeepr)

You’ve successfully landed your first internship. You are preparing to head off to your first day with plans for learning and doing amazing things. Before you step foot into the office, think about your goals for the program, your learning and resume. What are your ethics? What stand will you take for your work?

Why the caution?

Recently a summer intern at The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Co, made the mistake of plagiarizing on the job. She wrote four articles that included text lifted from The New York Times. As this piece was published in the newspaper, the editor felt responsible for correcting this action and calling this out to his paper’s readers. Here’s his response: http://www.gazette.com/articles/gazette-58112-stories-four.html.

In an Internet age, her actions are now part of a permanent record for all future employers to see. When Googling her name, they’ll find not only that she plagiarized, but was then fired. Yes, people make mistakes or cut corners, but keep in mind that your career is a precious thing to grow and nourish.

As a follow up, many PR folks have taken a look at this and debated whether or not the editor should have called the intern out by name. Here’s a link (http://www.davidwmullen.com/2009/07/09/should-newspaper-have-outed-an-intern-for-plagiarism/) to a blog co-written by Dave Mullen and Lauren Fernandez and posted on Communications Catalyst. See what your peers and future bosses are saying.

What do you think?

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