Dear Employers who Hire Unpaid Interns
For the longest time, internships have always been a great way for companies to work with young talent, and usually the relationship of intern employer mutually benefits both parties. In this age of more people pursuing careers in the field of communication design, graphic design, photography, etc., it’s becoming more easier to recruit young talent and let them get some real world experience because there’s so many options to choose from.
This is good, but I’m writing to express my take in why I think unpaid internships aren’t good, and why I think internships should be paid in some way.
It all comes down to my costs…
As a student, I’m already in the hole for thousands of dollars on my schooling for the four years it takes to get a bachelor’s degree. Now let’s add the other important expense, tools… A graphic designer’s tools aren’t what they used to be, with a decent computer costing anywhere between $600 and $3000, and the latest tool for actually getting work done now costing anywhere between $20 a month or $220 a year, my biggest question to people who want you to work for free, how do you expect me to pay for the software I need, to do the work you want me to do, that you’re not paying me for?
From a student’s perspective, it’s really messed up that we have to foot the bill for the tools we need, and if we can’t afford the tools we need to do work you’re not paying us for, we’re out of a job and you get to keep all the stuff we made… I can understand that some small businesses don’t necessarily have the funds, but at the very least, compensate us for the $20 a month we need to spend on the tools we need to do the work you want.
I hope that people seeing this now, who are employers and interns, read this and take this rant into consideration when looking for future talent, or creating your own internship positions when you have your own companies.