Internships: The Uphill Battle To Get Paid
It’s no secret that sometimes, in order to beef up your resume for that dream job (especially in the creative fields), an internship can be a helpful stepping stone. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a paying internship, but if you’re like the rest of us, the most you can hope for is a travel stipend and some food. Still, one shouldn’t be deterred, because many internships actually offer some nice perks outside of monetary value. You gain valuable experience in your field, meet important people (that may ultimately help you in the future), and sometimes you have fun.
Imagine the types of cool stories you’ll go home with after interning for a recording studio or music venue. Just picture this scenario: you’re at the urinal, unleashing that new pizza-flavored slushee from 7-11 and Lady Gaga walks in next to you and whips it out. That’s a priceless memory. Who else would be able to say, “Lady Gaga took a leak at the urinal next to me”? Nobody. You’d also be surprised how many talented artists you’ll meet along the way, or how many other magical moments you’ll witness. If you’re interning in the fashion industry, I can just imagine how far ahead you are in trends as opposed to the general public. To think, you might have a hand in women sporting imported camel humps next summer. Never underestimate your importance.
Working for free is never a comforting thought, and depending on who you’re working under, things can get hectic. That’s when you must loosen the grip on your boss’ throat, put the knife down and remember that this will be all worth it in the end. But don’t fool yourself, an internship is a two-way street. You’re working for free (school credit and perks can only take you so far), so you should be learning through hands on experience. Despite popular belief, handing out French Vanilla lattes is not considered hands on experience — it’s considered a job at Starbucks. It’s bullshit and it’s also a sign that you should leave, or at least, it should give you a right to demand some real responsibility. If you’re not getting anything out of your internship, why should you be wasting your time?
It’s a long ladder to climb but everyone has a starting point. Did you forget? We all don’t come out of our mother’s vaginas sprinting like Usain Bolt. We crawl before we can walk.
Photo Credit: Ryokan.edu