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Unpaid internships can have benefits

To the Editor:

In response to recent columns on unpaid internships (most recently "Pay Me Please" by Zachary Noyce), let me make two points.

First, while you will undoubtedly contribute to the work of your internship sponsor, recognize that they are investing considerable time and resources in you.

Sponsors know that in six or eight weeks you'll only just be getting the hang of things, particularly for a college student with little or no work experience.

The vast majority of internship sponsors take on interns first because they want to be a mentor and second because they could use the help around the office.

This was the case for a recent Penn grad who interned without pay for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the summer before his senior year and was offered a job with the Chamber after he graduated (a common outcome of internships).

The second point is that universities, including Penn, recognize how important internships are to your education and career planning, and many have created scholarship programs to cover living expenses.

Penn has several; for details go to and For the sake of your career planning, do reconsider the unpaid internship; you'll be glad you did.

Deirdre Martinez The author is director of the Fels Public Policy Internship Program and Penn in Washington. Inaccurate cartoon

To the Editor:

We are writing regarding Daniel Schwartz's inaccurate depiction of the Zionist Freedom Alliance in Monday's cartoon.

Contrary to how we were portrayed, the ZFA does not close its ears to differing opinions.

In fact, the majority of our board members made a point to approach Breaking the Silence's exhibit with open minds, taking the full tour at the Rotunda last week.

Our experience at the exhibit convinced us that Breaking the Silence does not contribute constructively to dialogue on Middle East issues, nor does it give a complete and holistic perspective on the conflict.

By showing pictures and telling stories entirely out of context, Breaking the Silence offers an imbalanced and oversimplified assessment of the situation in Israel.

We share the opinion of the vast majority of Israeli citizens and soldiers that Breaking the Silence is a fringe organization that offers a distorted view of Israeli society and undermines Israel's legitimate right to defend itself.

Though we are disgusted by Breaking the Silence's gross distortion of facts, we understand that it has a right to a voice.

But we are also entitled to a voice - and we refuse to apologize for expressing our opposition to this organization.

Mr. Schwartz, before you draw your next cartoon, make an effort to understand your subject. And keep your ears open.

Brian Finkel and Miriam Krawitz The authors are Wharton and College sophomores respectively, and co-presidents of Zionist Freedom Alliance.

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