Money compensation is not just a reward, but as a hardworking member of the workforce community, you deserve the dough. But, unfortunately, certain companies may distribute the cookie crumbs, taking the biggest chunks for themselves, and this really shouldn't be the way if they want to invite great interns and retain the best talents.
Government Grants for Companies & Employees
Grants and other workforce schemes support companies by funding. Depending on the specific program, the company may be entitled to financial support were part of the salary of the intern, full-time staff, or contract-term employee is paid through government funds.
Workforce programs rolled out by governments usually happens when there is a need to increase the workforce size. For example, during the midst of COVID-19 and post-SARS periods, where the economy had to get back on track, such financial incentives helped employers get more workers into their organization without a huge upfront financial burden.
These grant monies allow employers to hire you (interns) at reasonable rates.
Fear of Losing Intern (Talent) to A Competitor
As interns, you have a wide breadth of choices and alternative options. Company X doesn't want to pay you well and Company Y can't come up with decent work hours? Then approach competitors A, B and C.
The secret, and less publicly known mentality of HR (Human Resources) is that their company would rather hire you and instruct you to do nothing, rather than let your brilliant mind go to the competition for you to create amazing work that they can't beat. It is all about competitiveness at heart.
Use this point to your (supposed) undue advantage in intern negotiations.
Show Off Your Portfolio Instead of Grades
Work that's already done trumps grades that merely show the potential of what you could do, but haven't done.
As Fresh Grads: Get your school projects, case competitions and past intern deliverables out. Use these as substantive evidence of your demonstrated capabilities. Then, tell your potential boss you are worth more than they offered you.
As Ship Jumpers: Jumping from your current job to another greener pasture? Then talk about your recent achievements. Hit your KPI? Show the specific steps and contributions you made. Name names - since reputation spreads, your interviewer may know her as a school mate, client or a LinkedIn connection.