Even though we're led to believe that internships are the key to successful careers, we're also wary of companies that take advantage of the free labor, relegating interns to coffee runs or leftover tasks that don't enhance professional development. Students, new graduates, or even professionals looking to change careers and gain experience in an unfamiliar field can avoid being taken advantage of if they know their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For example, unpaid internships are legal under federal law, but only if it meets specific criteria, and too often companies play fast and loose with the details of an internship in attempts to qualify. Here's the best advice from employers and labor activists about what to look for in a company's internship program.

1. Be clear if the position is paid or unpaid

The FLSA requires employers to pay employees for their work, but what defines an "employee" from an "intern?" Officially, courts impose the "primary beneficiary test," which is a loose set of criteria that only defines the difference in terms of how the employer and the intern understand the position. Namely, if the internship provides more benefits to the employer in terms of labor, cost, and company services, then the intern must be regarded as an employee. Conversely, if the position provides professional training comparable to an educational environment, enhances (rather than inhibits) the intern's coursework, and both the employer and intern clearly understand that no paid job is promised at the end of the program, then (and only then) is it legal to not pay an intern. Additionally, if the company is a non-profit, then they're granted an exception and may count unpaid interns as volunteers

2. Look for positions relevant to your field

The point of an internship is to gain professional experience and training. Look for opportunities that have built-in support systems to provide hands-on experience in the field of your choice. Be clear about what duties will be expected of you in the position.

3. Ask about mentors

In addition to gaining experience, the goals of an internship include meeting mentors who are invested in your progress. Particularly strong programs allow interns to access higher level executives. This will not only help you network in your professional future, it will enhance your understanding of the field.

4. Be aware of time commitment and living costs

Since unpaid internships can't guarantee a paid position at the end of the program, pay attention to how long the internship lasts and if the time investment will be worth it. Be careful to consider if your lifestyle can be maintained for that duration of time. Even if the position is a paid opportunity of your dreams, like the Disney College Program, be clear if the internship is limited to one-semester or longer. For example, the Disney internship is only available to enrolled students, lasts one-semester, and requires an application fee as well as a housing fee.

5. Relocation

The last point is especially crucial if an internship requires relocation. Ideal opportunities are worth the sacrifices of time and even creature comforts, but they need to be feasible. If you're required to relocate, don't jump to apply unless you're reasonably certain you have the means and willingness to change your environment. Does the internship offer housing? Is there's a fee, how much is it? Does the program compensate transportation costs? Be certain you know the answers before you apply.

Internships are strong enhancements on resumes and can introduce you to a network of professionals to begin your new career. However, legalities and logistics are vital to work out before you apply to a program that could take advantage of your time, energy, and skills.

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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.