There is an interesting article on Wall Street Journal today titled "Interships for Sale". A few companies such as Morgan Stanley, NBC, Miramax, WebMD, Electronic Arts, etc. put out summer interships as auction items at private high school fund raising events. Parents, who are eager to build a perfect resume or a college application for their children, are paying thousands to land their kids an internship.
I asked my kids their opinions on this. They said, "This does not make sense. The companies should hire people with skills not people with money." We also wonder what kinds of messages are being communicated to the kids -- If you have a wealthy parent then you don't need to work hard to be the best.
This reminds me a story I read from the Fast Company magazine. A 22-year-old Harvard graduate did not get a promotion that he had been expecting. His boss told him that he needed to work on his weakness first. When his parents learned the news, his mother called the company's HR department the next day and demanded a mediation session. I don't know what happened in that session. Maybe she bought him a promotion after all.