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NYU Exploits Interns as Cheap Labor for Startups

NYU Exploits Interns as Cheap Labor for Startups
Photograph by Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Vandita Sharma writes code for a company that turns old radiators into high-tech heating devices. Gaurav Chhabra develops software that lets computers identify objects on camera. Paul Dariye is designing an app for a startup that helps nonprofits raise money.

The three engineers are paid $11 an hour or less by New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, which has placed them in internships at small companies. Their work is at the center of a battle between NYU’s administration and the graduate student union, which is demanding higher wages for interns at the university’s startup incubators.