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Internships: The Uphill Battle To Get Paid

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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.

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Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage

Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage

My father came, my mother saw...and I conquered. I encourage children to do drugs, I buy alcohol for teenagers, and I drink beer with the homeless. In my spare time, I attend art galleries for the FREE booze while rubbing elbows with modish elephants. I also hammer six-inch nails into small penises. Stuart knighted me as Broke-Ass King of New York. You've been warned.


  1. brian
    April 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I’m 33 years old and have transition into a new career field. I will finish up my unpaid internship in a few weeks. It has been hard but it was good for a couple of different reasons. I hope in the end it will all pay off but I have my doubts.

    • Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage
      April 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

      Hey Brian,

      You just have to think positively. If you were bold enough to switch careers, then you should apply the same attitude once your internship is complete. As long as you make progress towards your new career, whether big or small, is what should be the most important factor.