Firm Hosts 'Hunger Games' to Choose Interns

They battle each other for work at digital company

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 15, 2014 11:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – In today's world, if you want to work for free, you'd better be ready to do a lot of free work—even before you're hired. Especially if you're looking to intern at Emmis Digital in Chicago, DNAinfo reports. The media company narrowed down its pool of applicants to three college students, then made them compete in a Hunger Games-inspired "Intern Games." OK, they weren't trying to kill each other, but the "tributes" faced off against one another to see who could bring the most traffic to the company's social media. They also had to make videos to prove they deserved the unpaid job.

"We thought that it would be fun to pit them against each other, test their mettle, and see who was the hungriest," says one of the employees who came up with the idea. In the process, he notes, Emmis stood to boost its social media following; would-be interns were told to badger their friends, family, and followers to follow the company. Two of the three finalists were ultimately given internships. One of the creators of the Intern Games herself had at least six internships during college, Digiday reports. The kids get college credit for their work; as Business Insider points out, unpaid internships legally must offer beneficial "education and experience." (Even Oprah was once an intern.)

Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from The Hunger Games.
Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from "The Hunger Games."   (AP Photo/Lionsgate, Murray Close, File)
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