The Pecking Order

While engineering students in the co-op program typically command work experience for $17 to $17.50 an hour, students in business and liberal arts often find themselves at the mercy of the employer. For better or worse, they likely are the ones an internship crackdown would affect most.

"There is something of a pecking order," says James Hurley, a professor and adviser at the Weatherhead School of Management. "The kinds of employers that are going to recruit actively on campus are typically the manufacturing companies and consulting firms. You're not going to see a small advertising firm go out to a college campus to recruit. Students are going to come to them."

Recent alumna Eva Chan says she's watched with envy as friends in other fields get paid for their work. But in public relations, she acknowledges, "It's a little harder. Ten thousand people are competing for one position. I don't know anyone who's gotten a marketing-related internship that has been paid."