Unpaid Internships

7:00:00 AM

“Is it immoral for a young designer to accept an internship or offer of work that is unpaid? Or is that passing up an opportunity too good to miss?”
Quoting Alix Land from For free or not for free?



When I was an undergrad at Lincoln University, I was told to take internships to improve my crafts and receive work experience. In my heart, I knew something was wrong with that. What I started graduate school at Philadelphia University (before transferring to Academy of Art), I was told otherwise. I was told to get paid internships, temporary gigs, and non-profit gigs.

I had experiences applying to a lot of internships in the Philadelphia area. Even though I was never hired for those positions I could even afford to make it to the job site being on low income. Yet, they wanted me to work 6-8 hours every day (except weekends) and take public transit. I knew that, unless these internships are paid, I was not even going to try.

I advise many designers and artists against taking on internships on a low come basis. I think if you do take on an internship, it should be to help you grow as a professional not because they just need you and could not find anyone else.

In my case, I was not given the chance to be offered an internship. I have received several gigs though, and received an excellent reference when I decided to move to Southern California.  If offered an internship, try to haggle in some travel expenses and a reference.

Other people have different views on internships and I wonder what others think about having an internship.

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