I mentioned in my last post that I hated internships.
Perhaps that was not strong enough. I fucking despise them.
I understand that fresh out of university greens probably aren’t the safest bet for employers.
I get that.
Everyone needs a trial period, I expect my prospective employers to test me out, I respect that. This is probably the only reason I have given internships or trial periods another chance since stating I would never do one again.
What I don’t understand however, is how agencies get away with paying someone anywhere between $0-200 for a week, and I mean a SERIOUS FUCKING week, 8am-7pm everyday for three months.
It works out to around $3.60/hr.
Since I don’t live in Asia and work for Nike, it is a wage I don’t appreciate.
“But Hugh, the vital work experience!!” I hear you say.
You get that after about the first month. Not to mention that for three years prior to an internship you have probably done some form of study in advertising and had lots of practical (albeit fake) briefs to work on.
Things don’t change in an agency. It is the same stuff. You get briefed, you think, you make, and you move on.
It’s fun though, I thoroughly enjoy it. I have come to realise after a time not doing it that it is a job in which I cannot imagine myself doing other jobs.
Interns are treated like shit.
It isn’t that you get all the briefs noone wants, that is to be expected and should be embraced (you can make some good shit out of those briefs). It’s rather that you are seriously treated like a second class citizen.
The big dogs expect you to show passion and enthusiasm for the work. But I ask, how can you? How can you be excited, and passionate, and enthusiastic about work in which you have no buy-in.
By buy-in I mean emotional investment, financial investment, personal investment. If I have no buy-in to a project, then beyond it possibly awarding me a job, what do I care about it. You don’t care if it makes you money (cause it won’t exceed your $3.60), you don’t care if it makes the agency money (because it won’t increase your $3.60) and you don’t care if it makes the client money (because that definitely won’t increase your $3.60).
You get left out of meetings. WTF? Like some you go to, but then there are other ones you don’t get to go to while all the other creatives do. So you just sit and write a blog till they come back I guess. Each one you don’t go to makes you suspicious of wether or not you will be hanging around. Like the agency is holding back some secrets from you.
Who would I tell?
Right now I have no money. I’m also sitting here thinking awkwardly about how I need to ask when I’m getting paid my $3.60 I have earned each hour because if it isn’t before the weekend I literally won’t be able to afford the bus to come back here.
It is definitely a shit situation.
Internships are slave labour. You pretty much go to a place where there is more money than you will ever earn in your life, for 3 months or more, getting paid three-dollars-fucking-sixty an hour to work you arse of while you watch your bank account shrink into the negative as bill companies, bank fees, and overdraft interest slowly takes over your screen.
SO! What do I suggest to combat this?
PAY THE FUCK, UP!
In New Zealand we have that three-month probation period built into employment contracts. If you don’t stack up in those three months then a no excuse needed good old fashion booting comes along. At least you got paid real money for the real job you did for that long.
If I sit here thinking about my money woes then that is time less spent on coming up with ideas for you mr.company.
Invest time in your interns. Make them feel like for that time they are completely, and fully a part of the company.
Don’t have secret meetings in cool rooms that make you look cool and talk about cool things cause you aren’t cool…. without me.
TLDR version: Read the fucking post you lazy shit
Until next time