When I had the 'opportunity' to work as an Interior Designer at an unpaid internship in NYC for my second Co-op program at Drexel University - I declined. How was I to live? Were they nuts?
There were a few of us that turned down large NYC design firms that year and by doing so created a bit of a 'stink' in the Co-op Department.
Where do these companies get off? They want young blood working for them - flexible, creative minds to mine for ideas. Why shouldn't they pay them? They pay everyone else don't they?
I run a small, sole proprietor business. I have had young people working for me for 21 years and I always pay them. I say I - my husband is self employed as well and pays his 'kids' too. We consider them 'family', and many of them come back year after year until they have graduated from college and embark on their new career.
So what prompted this 'rant'?
I saw this post on UpWorthy , agreed 100% and wanted to spread the word. People deserve to get paid for their work. Even if they have no experience. Why don't these selfish employers turn their greediness around? Teach a young person some skills, while paying them, rather than stealing their 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week.
On the other end - if you do want to work somewhere - talk to other interns, make sure the company you want to work for is truly ethical. You deserve to get paid for your time, and when you do - learn something and give it your all!
So what did I end up doing after turning down a high powered Interior Design Firm in NYC? I got hired by an architectural firm just outside Philadelphia in Bala Cynwyd - Hamilton, Murphy, Garrison Architects. I worked there for my entire 6 month co-op and continued there part time through my senior year at Drexel. I thought I was worth something and they did too. Believe it or not - I got paid!
Have you had a similar experience? Share it with me in the comments below - I'd love to hear from you! Liz