Dan Morrison: Hummm, we have been a stepping stone, resume builder for people at Prophet, State, US AID and grad schools. Not sure that is all that bad.
Garlin Gilchrist II: The problem is that 99% of people cannot afford to take unpaid internships—I certainly couldn't when I was in school. That created a "volunteer class" that limits the exposure to the great experiences you described to a very small, generally not-so-diverse set of people. And on top of that, most of the organizations/companies/entities can afford to pay people and choose not to.
Dan Morrison: Totally fair. The employer has an obligation to the intern (I realize not all people feel that way). If an intern impresses, the employer needs to dial them into their network and pump them up. Ultimately, organizations need to become a platform that interns can use to showcase their talents.