2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Debating Internships: The Value of Unpaid Work

#sxsw #interns


When Eric Glatt sued Fox Searchlight Pictures and won, the media took notice. More than a dozen lawsuits quickly followed from disgruntled interns at other companies. Some employers have responded by cancelling their internship programs. What is the true value of unpaid work?

We’ll debate the issue from three perspectives: Intern, Employer, and a major University. Our featured employer has hired over 200 interns since 1998. Our University Career Services expert works with 1000s of computer science students and 100s of employers each year. Our former Intern worked in the film industry, and is now an advocate working to end exploitative unpaid internships.

Our experts will discuss changing ideas, recent labor rulings, and company best practices surrounding internships. We welcome a lively debate & Q&A!



Eric Glatt

Law Student & Public Interest Fellow

Georgetown University Law Center

Eric Glatt is an advocate working both to end exploitative, often illegal, unpaid internships and to foster dialogue about a framework for the school-to-work transition that is more ethical, inclusive, and economically sound. Glatt is named plaintiff in a federal class-action lawsuit stemming from his uncompensated work for the film Black Swan, and he participates in the grassroots working group Intern Labor Rights — itself a member of a global coalition of advocacy groups promoting intern labor reform. Glatt is currently a Public Interest Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center.


Heather Carmichael

Business Dev Dir

Kelleher Communications Inc

Heather Carmichael is CEO of Kelleher Communications, a business-consulting firm that specializes in managing startup growth, media relations, and guerrilla business development. She works with organizations up to 1000 employees; energizing and accelerating the way employees think, act and perform. Her methods increase sales and maximize shareholder value. Her clients have included American Express, Credit Solutions, Lending.com, Service Select, and Rivet Software, as well as political campaigns and advocacy causes. Carmichael co-founded the Austin Musicians’ Housing Initiative, a non-profit focused on affordable housing options for musicians in the Live Music Capitol of the World. Heather stopped working for free in the late 1990’s and has hired over 200 interns since 1998. She holds a BA degree in Communications from Trinity University.


Tiffany Grady

Assoc Dir of Academics

University of Texas at Austin Department of Computer Science

Tiffany Grady serves as the Associate Director for Academics in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. She oversees recruiting, retention, diversity, course planning and departmental outreach efforts. Tiffany received her Bachelors degree in Journalism at Oklahoma State University and her Masters in Educational Administration at the University of Texas at Austin. Tiffany began her career at UT in Corporate and Foundation Relations in the College of Natural Sciences. She completed four (unpaid) internships in the world of journalism, including a stint at the Late Show with David Letterman.

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