Unpaid Internships: An Adult Perspective

I just composed the most awesome entry on unpaid internships, and I lost it! GRRR! I will try to recapture the moment with this second post…

“I have to pay for student my loans!!”

I attend a university that promotes interning. Hell, they even have two classes–that YOU PAY for–to funnel unsuspecting students into companies that are seeking free labor.

I don’t like the idea of unpaid internships. Simply, unpaid interns ruin the value of work. Anybody can learn how to file, make copies, and run errands. But, kids, what you have is VALUABLE. You are bringing fresh ideas to the marketplace (I’m talking to the smart kids,not the time-wasters, ha!) , as a result, what you have is not PRICELESS. You should at least get minimum wage for your work–respect yourself. The only students that can work for free are the ones that have rich parents–STOP IT RICH KIDS because you are ruining it for everybody!!

I’ve been there. I went to massage school, which was very expensive.  The big thing there was pushing students/graduates to “volunteer” their services. One would volunteer as a marketing tool, the idea being that one gives a massage, the client will love it,  one would give their business card to the client, and then magically the client would call for an appointment, which they would PAY FOR. In theory, this sounds awesome, right? But it never worked because you know what? PEOPLE WILL TAKE WHATEVER THEY CAN GET FOR FREE!! Often, I wouldn’t even get a $1 tip!! I could say something really profane here, but that wouldn’t be constructive, ha! I will tell more massage stories later…

That being said, they say that in the media industry one has to take an unpaid internship. But I am telling you to STOP IT!! The revolution begins with you. Do you know how much money these companies make?!!! Do you realize that they can afford to pay you minimum wage? And your transportation?!! I just added that last part, ha! But they can afford it, dammit! In fact, they make money by not paying you!!

About a year ago, I saw a report on internships on CBS Sunday Morning . There was a young lady in the segment who calls herself the intern queen. She’s had a few unpaid internships, and now she has a website–that makes money–that tells other students to work for free. Isn’t that crazy?! She is now making money off of telling students to work for free. Clever girl. Grasshopper learned well.

If you have student loans to pay, you must find a internship/job that is going to pay you. If someone offers you an unpaid internship, you say “I’m sorry, but I just spent four years in school, and my education wasn’t free. I have a lot to offer, so I need to be paid for my services.” Don’t be scared! If you are willing to risk arrest from half of the stupid things that you do, you can demand some ducats (gotta love Shakespeare!), from your potential employer. Even if it’s a political internship–President Obama, I love you, but shame on you for asking kids to work for free, ha!

Finally, Don’t pay for an internship class!!! Haven’t you learned anything? Geesh!

What do you think? Do you want to work for free? Kids, I’d rather see you at McDo getting pizzaid, than to have you stuck in a crap-ass cubicle for free.

Save the free labor for your free time.


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