4 Reasons Why You Should Never Accept An Unpaid Internship

Last summer I worked at a major non-profit in Washington, D.C. with a host of other interns. From the interview date I made it clear I would work no more than two days a week because the position was unpaid, and I had to support myself with other jobs for its duration. In contrast, the other interns worked 40-hour weeks for the entire summer for not a single dime, and paid for transportation to the costly metropolitan area out of pocket.

By the end of the experience we all were able to bolster our resumes, but I was a few thousand dollars richer thanks to my other jobs, whilst another intern had taken out a loan to help cover the price of gaining “work experience.” Unsurprisingly, the organization did not offer permanent positions to any of the summer interns despite their positive evaluations, but rather chose to hire from outside to fill a position which was ostensibly responsible for the same work of the internees.

Despite my coming out relatively better off, the internship served as a crowning piece to a series of experiences with unpaid work that proved it is a highly wasteful endeavor for modern men.

1. It’s A Corrupt New Fad


As some of the older ROK readers may attest, unpaid internships are a relatively new commodity in the job market. In the pre-mass globalization era of the 1970s, most companies offered 6-12 month, paid trainee programs which allowed new graduates to gain experience in a field on a probationary basis in order to prove themselves capable of working for a firm. Successful performance meant gaining a permanent position after the trial period concluded.

Not so today. Following decades of outsourcing and clamors about “the good of the economy” by Democrats and Republicans, matriculating students are expected to take on volunteer internships in order to gain experience in a field that their college courses did not provide.


Since the term “volunteer” implies that the person can elect to labor only a certain number of hours each week, corporations needed a different word to describe their charity worker programs. Thus God gave them the intern, a glorified jack-of-all-trades prepared to polish the Brooks Brothers heels of their supervisor in hopes of attaining a positive letter of recommendation after several months of work.

The result is an economy where anyone without demonstrable expertise or education in a STEM field is left to wallow in full-time, unpaid positions for the lofty promise that a regular job may someday become available.

2. You Should Know Your Worth—And It’s Probably Higher Than $0


As a simple matter of human dignity, any man with a head on his shoulders and reasonable education should demand compensation unless the position he is applying to is designated as “volunteer,” in which case the requirement of an application is somewhat ludicrous.

The mistake many interns make is assuming they are not valuable enough to be granted a regular hourly wage for the internship duties. Companies will exploit this insecurity by making it appear like there is no option but to accept zero pay just to break into a particular industry.

This is nonsense. If Target will pay you to stand at a checkout line for eight hours a day processing expired coupons and encouraging customers to sign up for their data-stealing credit card, then another large company or government organization should be no different. Cold calling random numbers to muster support for a political cause or updating office directories for hours on end is not so much simpler than saying “Did you find everything alright?”

Keep in mind that the hours you spend grasping for work experience without pay could be better used working out, reading, or banging cheerleaders.

3. There Is Always Money Somewhere


Regardless of the interviewer’s protests, the vast majority of companies and organizations have the funds to pay their interns; they just choose not to. For this reason it is imperative that anyone going into an interview be prepared with ammunition in case the “We are a small organization with limited resources” tripe comes out.

First off, any group that claims to not have enough money is unlikely to provide a very beneficial experience to the prospective internee. Limited funds mean limited opportunities to develop a specialization of skills that are marketable to future employers, since they will definitely not be hiring the intern down the road. Also, basic administrative support training is not looked upon positively by most hiring managers, as the entire AS field is dominated by women with a very low ceiling for advancement.

Additionally, it is important to query a money-shy interviewer about what specific role the intern plays in the functionality of the organization. A good rule of thumb is to ask: “If there were no interns available, would the company be able to run properly without paying someone for this work?”

Another option is to use an organization’s mission against them. Applicants to a leftist think tank that studies income inequality can point out the hypocrisy of not paying interns, while a conservative political candidate’s “We want jobs, not welfare checks” message should mean they provide interns with some form of remuneration.

4. Permanent Positions Are Not Necessarily Waiting


Internships are typically encouraged as part of a way to “get in the door” with a particular company in order to attain full-time employment, but this is not always possible. If the nature of the work primarily concerns entry-level office management duties, it is much easier for the firm to continue to utilize unpaid interns rather than create a new position entirely.

In the event that a full-time position is available in which the intern will perform many of the same tasks as they did in the internship, there is no excuse for the company not to pay for the first three to five months of the individual’s employment. Refusal to compensate the person for the initial several months is just a way for a corporation to save money while benefiting from free labor.


It should be clear that there can be real benefits to completing an internship program. The exposure to a professional environment, opportunities to develop a portfolio of accomplishments, and networking assistance can be exceedingly valuable in the long-run. Jobs do exist at the end of the tunnel in some cases as well, so there is reason to go after such programs.

That said, it is important to avoid opportunities which require you to pay for work experience; this is merely a tool used by the political and economic elites to ensure that the largest swath of individuals gaining professional experience and consequently controlling the future society are wealthy, nonthreatening college kids.

Read More: How To Get Paid What You’re Worth

170 thoughts on “4 Reasons Why You Should Never Accept An Unpaid Internship”

    1. It’s tough to answer without knowing your field. The best thing would be to study and produce work on your own initiative. This way, you can at least create proof of your value without enriching anyone or being anyone’s beta.

    2. try learning new skills such as learning to grow your own food, learning a trade such as plumbing, carpentry, etc..you never know

    3. Anything is the alternative. You’re better off digging ditches or working night time security for minimum wage than working for these fucking pricks.

      1. Nikolai Tesla has been to digging ditches after being humored by Tomas Edison.

      2. Hi Quintus..
        I cant figure out how to reply to your comment on Matt Forneys MGTOW article. There is no reply button. The comment was.
        “Men need a philosophy of life that is action-oriented, so that his natural tendencies to backslide are kept in check.”
        Actually. No. This would be a mistake. The most workable philosophy for men to have would be one that is possibility oriented. This is something I learned at Landmark Education.
        Philosophies that are “action oriented” tend to be “goal” oriented because the purpose of the action is typically to achieve some goal. This has very serious negative consequences on the male psyche that you may not be aware of or understand.
        If you are going to set out to create some form of philosophy, and it seems you and Roosh are heading down that road, you would be very well advised to learn something about the things that Landmark Education presents. Almost nothing is new, it is the work of ancients really, but it was repackaged in such a way that it is far easier to grasp than there dry reading of old texts.
        I spent a solid year at Landmark Education in 1995. Much of that time I was assisting other people. I would urge you and Roosh to learn about these ideas on your journey if you are going to attempt to do what you say you are attempting to do.
        Roosh is a remarkable talent for his age. He will do remarkable things in his life. But you can not put an old head on young shoulders. And if there is something Roosh could improve on? It is listening to those who are older and wiser and have the track record to point to.
        Just letting you know…Ok?

  1. Unpaid Internships are another racket concocted by corporations desperate for cheap labor. Or in this case, FREE labor. The promise of “experience” and chance to come aboard permanently while these companies almost NEVER hire an unpaid intern permanently.
    I recall watching an episode about this on FOX. The second one girl raised obvious point about working for free but having to pay rent and student loans, she was tarnished as an “entitled millennial” to play into FOX’s cock roach Baby Boomer Audience.
    You’ve seriously got to love these baby boomers. A generation who never had it so good and would NEVER work for free calling kidz engaged in unpaid internships and socked in student loan debt merely raising obvious point as “entitled.”

    1. You’re not wrong man. My firm relies on interns to keep the whole damn system running. They’re cheap, numerous, and very eager to please. A smart candidate would use the position as a stepping stone – something to put on their resume – and not expect a long term engagement. Unpaid internships aren’t going anywhere, students might as well use the system as best they can

      1. That said, interns fall into two categories – the ones looking to work hard and impress you and the ones looking to get you hard and blow you. Both have their place – one behind the desk and one bent over it

        1. You are not wrong there. My friend was bragging to me how he fucked the new intern back at his place after a few after work drinks…lol

        2. It’s all part of the game. Some of them are just willing to demonstrate their skills on their backs with legs spread wide.

        3. 8-/
          I didn’t know guys were so desperate for jobs and approval. . .

        4. Or at least well practiced. Which is the point of an internship…showing off those valuable skills

      2. What I’ve seen are graduates post undergrad career, unable to find employment taking more unpaid internships with hopes it gives them more experience and possibility of coming aboard permanently. I read of kid taking like 4 unpaid internships after graduation with 0 offers to come aboard.
        Of course that’s the other end: A kid desperate to gain experience and works for nada to demonstrate his initiative is then judged by HR Cunts in hiring roles as “un-hirable” since he got no permanent offer from those 4 companies milking him.
        Jesus fucking Christ can I NOT stand how insane society has become.

        1. A lot of the problem is the after-effects of the housing bubble et al. We still get applications for entry, junior, positions from highly experienced candidates. We’re talking guys with 20 years experience and great credentials. New graduates literally can’t compete.

        2. it’s very cut-throat. Unless you have TIGHT connections, it’s really hard to even put your name out there. I knew an idiot who got a job simply because he was friends with “X” and “X” knew “Y” and “Y” recommended “X” to “Z”….

        3. I disagree. It’s the kid’s fault for choosing a degree in a saturated job market. If there are far more applicants than there are jobs, then companies can get away with unpaid internships. However, if there are more jobs than applicants, then not paying your employees is simply impossible, lest they up and leave for somewhere else. Like all markets, the job market is based on supply and demand.
          There are plenty of jobs that don’t require students to work for free. Computer Science is one, but kids today don’t want to do it, so we have to import shit loads of immigrants from India and Asia to fill those high paying jobs. Do you think the immigrants are working for free? Fuck no. I have no sympathy for people who make shitty decisions, and then want to shift the blame. Corporations are a popular punching bag, but in this case it’s not their fault. Students must make informed life decisions, or reap what they sow.
          A good first step would be to talk to a recruiter before picking a major, or just google some starting pay stats. The information is readily available on the internet, so there’s no excuse.

        4. Now there are increasingly number of Americans getting into computer science field.

        5. Spare me the STEM bullshit. EVERY market is oversaturated. The reason why companies in the tech field and Silicon Valley hire Indians and Asians is because of cheap H1B visas- cheap labor, while replacing Americans.
          Yes, there are exceptions, but that is it- an exception to the rule. Every STEM field is saturated, where there are more applicants than job positions. This includes computer science and engineering. So personal anecdotes about “how i know someone or I did it” is not going to change these hard truths of life.
          The economy has collapsed and the population continues to expand where there are not enough resources available. That is the reality.

        6. A problem with choosing a degree based on what are good markets now, is that corporations also know what markets are good right now. By the time the kid gets his degree, coporate America has figured out how to deflate the wages in those jobs. Or they ship them overseas.
          College is just becoming an extension of high school. There’s a lot of money to be made in Trades, like plumbing and carpentry. And people in those fields also start small businesses and route around corporate Americas drive to run the economy.
          When I first went to college a chemistry major was told he would start at $40,000/yr. Good money in 1995. Now, 20 years later, if he can find a job it pays around $30,000/yr. Adjusted for inflation and all that, it’s nothing. But I meet guys all the time (and some with advanced degrees) who got into construction or are into the “underground economy” and they’re making more than most college grads.

        7. The reason why companies in the tech field and Silicon Valley hire Indians and Asians is because of cheap H1B visas- cheap labor, while replacing Americans.

          You have no idea what you’re talking about. I know many of these guys. Indians and Asians make the same amount that American programmers do. They don’t get paid less in the USA simply because they’re foreigners. The market determines the wage, not your ethnicity or visa status. I’ve never known a single programmer that EVER had to work for free, so spare me YOUR bullshit. Computer Science is still one of the highest paying fields there is. Let’s see the statistics for programmers if you have them. Otherwise, stop bitching about “anecdotes.”

        8. There’s a huge market outside of Silicon valley. Financial consulting is all over the place, (Accidenture, PWC etc) and hires all sorts of developers. Most of my EE classmates went into consulting for those guys instead of design or the Silicon Valley route, despite graduating from a top engineering school because they pay better over time (think topping out around 400k-1 million as a partner).
          The main advantage that US citizens have over H1Bs is in defense contracting. Get a clearance as a contractor and you have a gold mine in terms of pay and job security.

        9. No actually I do know what I am talking about. Plenty of people have lost their jobs and replaced with cheap Indian imported workers. I suggest you look at the works of Dr Paul Craig Roberts, Gerald Celente and Peter Schiff instead of banging on about how programmers earn this and that.
          Yeah, and how many programmers EARN those high six figures that people of your calibre love to shout out on a regular basis. Not that many.
          Heres a fact for you: 9 out of 10 start ups fail and go bust in silicon valley. So unless you are incredibly lucky to be earing that high figure, then shut the fuck up with bullshit about how computer science grads earn high figures. You sound like one those college salespeople, lying to impress the masses.

        10. I work in the Information sector and earn six figures, so spare me. It was not very difficult to achieve. This is a field I’m quite familiar with, and have many connections in. If “cheap Indian imported workers” are driving down the earnings for regular Americans, then they aren’t doing a very good job. Actually, it’s the other way around. Salaries are high because Americans think computers and math are dorky and lame. Poor immigrants, who aren’t lazy, get dollar signs in their eyes and actually do the work necessary to get the jobs. This isn’t rocket science.

        11. Personal anecdotes don’t change the hard truths of life. The economy has collapsed and the vast majority of computing grads will not get 6 figure jobs. 100 million Americans out of work, with companies such as Microsoft and IBM now laying off more workers.
          I never said poor immigrants are lazy. I said they are used by corporations to replace high paying Americans. This is not rocket science and has been happening for a long time.

        12. Typical and delusional. You are blinded by your own success and narcissism that you clearly forget that not everyone is going to be able to attain the same level of success. Thats just how life works. There are winners and losers. But the fact that you are exagerrating about how STEM is a guarantee key towards success based on your own personal anecdote, goes to show how ridiculous you are on a personal level.
          As for references, I’ve already given you three: Dr Paul Craig Roberts, Gerald Celente and Peter Schiff. Or in your narrow and parochial mind do they not count as economists? I suggest you look at their works.
          Secondly, not everyone, is going to work at Ebay, Apple, Google, Microsoft or some government contracting firm, because there are more candidates than job vacancies available. Another reality and hurdle that must be dealt with by all the computer science graduates.
          I can also refer to many websites if I wanted. But whats the point? I feel like I’m wasting my time engaging with a shithead like yourself. So this will be my last point. Stop being arrogant, understand that most computing grads will not make six figures or guaranteed a life of greatness and job security. And in case you were wondering, I am a lawyer by profession.

        13. Typical and delusional. You are blinded by your own success and narcissism

          Ad hominem fallacy.

          But the fact that you are exagerrating about how STEM is a guarantee key towards success based on your own personal anecdote

          Straw man fallacy. Never made such a claim. My actual objection is at the bottom of this post. I’ll restate it for you.

          As for references, I’ve already given you three: Dr Paul Craig Roberts, Gerald Celente and Peter Schiff.

          Names. Could you be anymore vague? How about a real reference? A study? A news article?

          I can also refer to many websites if I wanted. But whats the point?

          Good idea, give yourself an out.

          Stop being arrogant … Checkmate

          i·ro·ny (noun) a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.
          Your claim was that corporations are importing programmers from India and China so they don’t have to pay Americans high wages. This was the claim that I originally objected to, which you seemed to have distanced yourself from in your last post. First, you have NOTHING to back that claim up. It’s fundamentally a conspiracy theory. Computer Scientists are one of the highest paid fields in the USA, even with the immigrants. They are highly paid for one reason and one reason only: supply and demand. Over-saturation in the job market drives wages down, but that’s not happening.
          Most Americans avoid math and computer science like the plague because they lack either confidence, intelligence, or ambition. They’d rather have an easy major and be poor and in debt. This is a cultural problem, not a corporate one. If immigrants have greater ambition, then more power to them.
          Your move.

        14. I have to interject here and say this. Dude, you are definately arrogant and have your head up your own ass. Seriously, I agree with psofjp. He has given you references and you are a lazy fuck to look them up. Plenty of Google search results can back up what he is saying.
          I knew of at least 2 guys with phd in computing science, and they couldn’t even get an entry level job. Thats how fucked up the economy is.
          He’s right. Whats the point of responding to you when the checkmate has been correctly called out. ROK is full of douchbags like yourself that simply cannot concede when your ass is owned in a debate.
          Face it- you lost. And no- don’t engage in a pissy argument with me as well.

        15. It’s interesting how some expect a 17-18 year old to have the wisdom of a 48 year old and magically foresee what the economy will be like upon college graduation before leaving High School.
          What you ignore are the kids who got the indemand degrees and walked out in ’09 and since in an economy where so many career professionals are out of work, they’re competing against the 20 plus year experienced candidates for “entry level” positions.

        16. Noone needs to impor workers. Plenty of standard unspecialised IT tasks are outsourced. The higher paid STEM have specialisms. The new graduates will be 95% factory workers unless they have superior abilities.
          The previous generation, you, had an easy start with high demand, you had the chance to specialise on the job doing work that was novel then, but is now provided by cheap sdks or chips. Give the youngsters a break. They need to stop whining and crack on, true, but you are taking too much credit for your own sucess.

        17. People have been saying this, and most stuff on this discussion for my entire life. This is not news.

    2. In many cases, the university requires at least one of these internships to graduate, charging the students full price for the credit hours. We have an increasingly beta culture thanks to the collusion of corporations, academia, and government.

      1. Quite true, then ask yourself this… Is the abuse and exploitation of interns by these organizations any different than what betas suffer at the hands of women?

        1. Betas usually get the double whammy. They in many cases ae footing the bill for the majority of interns who are female. The young interns generally suck the betas dry of their cash and their nuts of their boss/manager or just alphas in the metro area. The betas men then wonder why their sweetheart comes home tired and blames the fact that interns get no pay. Then his patents generation tells him to pull up his socks and stop whinging because he is a man and supporting a totalitarian system is what men should do!

        2. and you sound like a huge helpless pussy. Go roll up in a ball in the corner and die crying if you can’t handle it.

      1. Truth be told, it was the parents of the Boomers who fucked us all, by their political and child rearing choices. As of the Summer of Love, Boomers were barely a blip on the political radar. For Canadians, Pierre Trudeau came to power in 1968, the next year. It was not until the last Boomers came of voting age that we finally got rid of him.
        However, the Boomers did descend upon the economy like a plague of locusts and they continue to do that today. That will continue until Gen-X leads the Millenials in a political insurrection with a motto along the lines of “Fuck you, old man, give us back our country”

        1. I see tremendous similarities between the 1950’s and the 1990’s. These were when the Boomers and the Millennials came to age. I think winning World War II and the ehem “Cold War” both ushered in great periods of prosperity as well as ambivalence.

        2. After WWII we were the only country with factories and technology. It was considered National Security to keep those and jobs here in the U.S. Then in the 1980’s corporations were allowed (and they actually had to testify before congress about it) to start sending it to other countries. Now America doesn’t have factories and other countries have the technology that we developed. WWII resulted in us becoming the world power. Now it’s gone and it’s not coming back.

        3. Are you saying that the boomers came of age in the 1950s? If so, how do you count infants and even those not yet born, as coming of age. the boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Way too many young people today look at all the trash that was ever done as being the fault of the Boomers. The one I hear time after time is that no fault divorce was the fault of the boomers. I was first passed in California in 1969; when the tail end of the boomers was 5. What should this 5 year old have done to wrestle the reins of government out of the hands of fools and bring sanity back?

        4. Interesting hypothesis. I will have to check out the economic data regarding it once I get the chance.

        5. Only an idiot would blame a non-homogenous and massive group of people for the ills facing his country.

        6. I don’t see the similarity but if you can connect the dots for me, I might agree.

      2. You’re the one responsible for the poor state of the country. Whichever country that is.

      3. Well, if your parents are babyboomers, you have good chances to inherit something when they die, so they are not that bad in this regard.

    3. I agree that the boomers, as a generation, are pieces of shit that really fucked the rest of us over, especially the millennials. The millennials simply inherited the world the boomers and Gen-X gave them, they didn’t create the internet or iPhones or whatnot. That shit was created by the boomers who didn’t know what the side effects would be on our culture. It amazes me that the boomers were able to scapegoat millennials for the world they created.
      That said, I don’t have any sympathy for people who work unpaid internships either. Stupid ass kids go into college without paying attention to how saturated the job market is. They graduate, expecting a job, only to find the competition in their field of choice is so fierce they have to work for free to even get their foot in the door. Idiots. There are plenty of degrees that don’t require you to work for free. If you pass those over it’s YOUR fault.

      1. You would not believe how many peice of shit friends I HAD who had the gall to look down on me while I took time off to work and assess the market. All the while they will party for another year and graduate with a psychology degree.
        Key word here…had.
        Stay safe my brothers

        1. “…and graduate with a psychology degree.”
          The degree that has no math requirement? Oh, you will have the last laugh on them.

        2. Personally I think the Only People who should be in college are the ones graduating with 4.0 or top ten in class, everyone else should ask themselves if they need to be there or not, it’s a waste of Time and Money to Fuck-off in college.

        3. all trade jobs will be done by robots in 10 years…. but hey, great advice thanks

        4. What are you, 90? Yeah, the robits will take over all jobs and will come to take your heart medicine too.
          Another idiot joining disqus just to troll. Hey, robots will take over all trolling positions in like 3 years so you’d better start looking…

        5. Okay… I said they would take over trade jobs. They already have a robot that can build a house from scratch. Google it….

        6. Dutch company. They will start shipping it in the next year.
          Who knows what is coming down the pipeline in 10 years.
          We know that cab drivers and uber drivers won’t be here in 10 years… you want to deny that too?

        7. Hey, the hospital has broken water pipes, better send out WeldBot to 42 Main Street. He’ll be there asap. Oh, the Smith’s BMW has a bad alternator, better send up GreaseMonkey5000 in a Google car.

        8. “Who knows what is coming down the pipeline in 10 years”.
          Apparently, you do.

        9. Cab drivers will be fine, unless they are the miserable grumpy ones who bitch about shit while they drive the long way to up the fare. Those are the ones who will make us decide a robot could do a better job.

      2. if given opportunity, people will backstab each other in the corporate world… gossiping is norm here, even guys participate in it like bunch of pussies. Trying to use each other’s head as stepping stone and climb that socio-economic status and try to reach the top. If one kid knew he would have chance to make a lot of money, fortune and still see that it will fuck a lot of people over, he will still take that chance to become “successful” for himself… that’s how it is in reality.

      3. Boomers started hitting retirement age a few years ago (and a decade or more for the “Freedom 55” bunch) and now they expect everyone else to pay for their retirement years while they take cruises, play gold and otherwise piss away what could have been an inheritance for their Millenial children. The only leverage Gen-X has is that it is older and wiser than the Millenials.

        1. In the USA, that $18 billion national debt can largely be attributed to boomer decisions. They’ve put us and our children in debt-slavery to foreign governments, some of which aren’t exactly friendly.

      4. What drives me nuts about the boomers is their arrogant willingness to flat out ignore the world has changed. They cite how they pounded pavement and knocked on doors, got a job in a week and worked their way up as if that method is realivent today. Now a days if one knocks on doors they’re told to “go online” and borderline have cops called on them.
        They think millenials, who are struggling to find work and perhaps have to move back home to make ends meet, are all a bunch of lazy, unmotivated “entitled” brats who don’t think they have to start at bottom. Never mind the fact most millenials are putting in for hundreds of jobs before they even get 1 response back.
        Perhaps the biggest contrast I see now is how well rounded individuals, should they have minor gap on resume or lack complete experience, are treated worse than a convicted rapist. The boomers who F’ed off, did hard drugs and drank all through High School, when hitting 30 and decided to get serious magically we’re given entry level jobs that led to lucrative careers. If this doesn’t demonstrate how insane things have become.

        1. Dude. You are a pussy. Go out and make your way in the world.
          – not a boomer

    4. It’s been moving that way for several decades with its genesis a century ago or more as professions decided you needed a university education to join. My father was one of the last Chartered Accountants to go through the “5 Year Program” where you went fresh out of high school into a firm and then had 5 years of OJT combined with a few university courses and a bunch of professional development courses. You wrote your final examinations and then got your ticket as a fully qualified (junior) member of the profession. Now you need a university degree with a bunch of courses to get into the program. The same thing in law, pharmacy, and even in medicine if you go back far enough.
      There have been a proliferation of ultra-specialized degrees and courses of study – probably pushed for by various industries – so the corporations can get a largely plug and play A level nummie at minimum expense. Meanwhile, everyone pays into the tax base to fund more and more marginal students who get shackled with student debt and then can’t get a job in their field anyways. The best students get their world handed to them on a platter. Still, fresh out of college you are still largely a know-nothing. My father complained about how expensive it was to take on an articled student (apprentice) because the large firms outbid him for the top talent and the middling talent had high expectations to recoup their losses from all that university education.
      My father was technically a War Baby, so I hope you will forgive him.

      1. My grandfather was a Sugeon, D.O. for nearly 60 years. Your dad’s story mirror’s his. Back in his day, if one wanted to become a DR, they simply went to Med School. After high school he went straight to PCOM (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine). There was no need to spend 4 years in an Undergraduate System before going to Med School.
        I’ve listened to my grandfather express his frustration with how much worse it’s gotten each decade. Hes actually so disgusted with it he’s spoken with many prospective Med Students and told them NOT to go to Med School.

    5. Personally I would stay away from Marxist perspectives on internships and just look at the issue rationally. At school I had a few unpaid internships and they were a nightmare. Few things motivate you more at work than being paid to do it. Not being paid made me feel resentful.
      Work experience? Fuck their work experience I thought.
      While at college I just got a real job during the summer in an office and got real experience (i.e. paid experience). Future employers were deeply impressed with the initiative I showed in doing proper work while studying for a degree. No need for any unpaid internships.

    6. What would you expect from a generation who is entitled and was handed everything on a silver platter to them, good, honest working people, LOL. EVERYTHING was handed to them, they never had to pay a dime for anything why would they want to pay their employees?

      1. Were you on crack while leaving comments to commentators on this article?
        Must have been considering you replied and wrote this to … yourself: ” and you sound like a huge helpless pussy. Go roll up in a ball in the corner and die crying if you can’t handle it.”
        Stay to commenting at HipHopEarly. Guys with higher intellect and awareness of world affairs discuss at this site. Clearly out of your league, “Bra”
        Get Bent.

        1. ” the corporations are stopping me from getting a job! I can’t do anything about it!”
          – no maam

        2. I’m self employed. I would never work for some HR Cunt infested Corporation.
          You act like a complete naive brat.

  2. Why do we need to import Mexico’s underclass to pick our crops? Farmers should start advertising for “agricultural internships” and white college kids will show up to work for free.

    1. Believe it or not, there is such a thing. Its called a WWOOF. They are unpaid interns or volunteers working on organic farms. Hippie/college kids who work on organic farms for free to get “experience”. LOL

        1. Have you ever worked on a farm? That shit ain’t fun or easy. Free ain’t exactly free.

        2. True dat. You are working to live. But I still think it’s a neat way to travel.
          I just dont think living on farms across Europe is necessarily a waste of time for a young person.

      1. i thought about doing that, as an adventure. but i wouldn’t do it before i had some passive income generating money for me so that i can enjoy it and leave whenever i like.

      2. You can go to a cheap country, pay them to get the work experience and call it a gap year too!

  3. It’s a sucker bet, I remember looking for a position after my 2L year, and some idiot tried to talk me into a “Unpaid” clerkship spot. I got up and walked out the room, I’m pretty sure I laughed directly into his face as well. The firm I did go with, we started talking salary and perks within fifteen minutes of me sitting down to interview. If you have talent, and you you know to express your value, you will get paid. Period. Never sell yourself cheap, for any reason.

    1. You’re a dirty n!gger.
      Now CHIMPOUT monkeyboy. I said Chimpout and dance monkeyboy NOW!

    2. how did you fare going to law school during this economic slump we are in if you mind me asking?

      1. Luckily, I’m graduating in December with zero debt(Tuition scholarship+waiting tables FTW), so my options are fully open. It hasn’t been bad so far, but I don’t know what I would have done without that scholarship. I doubt I would have been willing to go into six figure debt like some of my classmates, knowing full well that most of us won’t find jobs, or will be forced to be glorified paralegals. If I had to give advice to any kid considering law school, I would tell them that unless they could get into a top fifty school, don’t waste your time. That, and make sure you ace the LSATs, that’s how you get the big time scholarship money.

        1. thanks for sharing, i thought about law school but changed my mind due to the nature of the legal climate, debt, what lawyers really do instead of getting information from tv, etc.

        2. At least in the US, if you cannot find a law job, you can at least start your own firm and chase up your own clients.
          In European countries like Britain, you cannot practice law or even start your own firm without securing an actual training contract.

  4. Sad reality is — anything done for free is NOT valued.
    It is taken for granted, and eventually despised.
    Sad but true. In business, in personal life too.

    1. That’s why if Superheroes could exist, they either,
      A.) Won’t remain long in service,
      B.) Eventually get turned to the dark side.

      1. I’m not a Superhero ‘expert’, but if I remember correctly didn’t the public many times turn against a Superhero when he failed to stop an evil plot or save a city because he couldn’t??? Seems it might have been Superman, but I’m really not sure.
        No good deed goes unpunished— especially one you can take for granted.
        This is true for men, BUT doubly TRUE for women.
        Amazing but true. IT always floors me to realize it.

        1. It’s doubly true for women because they initiated taking men for granted, only for them to hit the wall and whine the classic euphemism, “WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD MEN GONE?”

      2. I believe your themes can be referenced in two superhero classics I can remember. Read ’em a long time ago. DC Comics ‘Kingdom Come’ & ‘The Dark Knight Returns’. Essentially, Superman & Batman respectively checking out, saying, ‘I’m getting the fuck outta here. This world? You whining ingrates can have it’.

    2. I know and previously experienced both sides myself.
      It makes you question why you even cared in the first place.

    3. yes, i have to get 200 ‘service hours’ in order to graduate from high school–it’s a boarding school that would fall apart if it weren’t for student labor and a dozen other political things–and i can say that i have never felt more useless than when i volunteer. Today, i had so much free time that i figured out how to calculate the effects of air resistance on projectile motion using calculus that i didn’t technically know, and it was the most rewarding experience of my entire day.
      that being said, i do enjoy this one gig that i have where i teach basic CAD skills

  5. This article should be required reading for all college students. Don’t waste your time working for someone who won’t pay you.

  6. They are starting to pass laws that unpaid internships are illegal unless the intern is actually receiving academic credit toward course work completion. Many times people with low paying temporary summer jobs use the word “intern” as job title these days because they think it sounds better than “trainee” or “temp staff”, but they are getting some minimal pay.

  7. great article, as the cost of living increases so should the pay for jobs (full/part time), especially if living in a big city and needing to pay for food/rent/etc..
    Also, it’s extremely difficult to find a job these days without “experience” in a field whether this be part time or full time so should unpaid internships fill this gap? what do you guys think?

  8. Unpaid internships are basically what made my bachelor degree (journalism) useless unless you’re a hot girl who can read and write to a high school standard. Only jobs I was able to secure were bullshit, entry level positions like “Submissions Assistant” which basically meant entering data into Microsoft word for 8 hours a day under fluorescent lights.

    1. I did something like that for a major consulting company. Nothing is more demeaning than doing a job like that and some arrogant rich guy laughing his ass off! Journalism degrees are useless. I have one too!

      1. Yeah man, since graduating I’ve either been entering data, doing copywriting, occasionally working on building sites or bartending. Goes to show how valuable my time at university was.

        1. Yeah, and the employment agencies are out to make a buck too… Surprise, surprise… Oh, I think you’d be a great fit for this role stocking vending machines. The same hot blonde who pushes you in that direction is getting paid dollar for dollar for your career detour that will ultimately cost you dearly when you try to get back into your degree(s) career field.

        2. You mean, all that experience you earned starting up your own magazine while at Uni, didn’t impress any employers? They didnt like your writing style on your blogs?
          Still, you have the ad revenue from the blogs due to its popularity, that will keep you fed until an employer or a publisher notices your skills.

  9. Great advice. Unpaid internship? Fuck that.
    This is one big scam for the big money pricks to get free work. They can take their bullshit “job opportunity” and shove it up their asses.
    Take it from me, guys. You’re better off starting your own lemonade stand than suffering the indignity of working as a slave.
    If someone isn’t paying for something, he’s not going to value it. Period.

    1. i think it can be a good thing if you use it as a strategic move. indignity is a matter of personal judgment. i have seen numerous interns who were stupid enough to hope for a real employment in the same company, but also others who used it as a way to get references and work for bigger and better companies later.

    2. Go ahead. Charge five dollars for lemons and sugar. People will think it’s amazing because it costs so much. Later you can sell gourmet burgers for 50 and keep chasing the money making fashions by making shit that people can do for themselves.
      Or you can learn something from an expert and have some ambition.

  10. I’m studying to become a teacher, here in the Netherlands. The first 3 years I have to do annual short internships that are not paid for. In the 4th year you receive half the payment of a starting teacher for you internship. It’s just the way it is. You are there to learn and they invest time in you. So you can take it or leave it. It’s not to bad of a deal because if you work hard you’ll have a new employer at the end of your internship. But those people who got their degree and started working for free are crazy. Now that is pretty rare in the Netherlands, but in the US it seems to happen a lot. Most of the time they work in bad fields, like journalism, or social media management or something similar worthless field. You’re better off working at MCD than wasting your precious times not being payed.

    1. It’s not that uncommon here, outside of the fields where they really need workers (health care, education, engineering, programming, transport). I think it all boils down to how the supply and demand are.
      I heard the story of someone who went to law school, got two doctorates, did several internships at prestigious law firms, and is now working at a call center for minimum wage. On the other hand, a friend of mine is 22, briefly studied information technology, got a good reputation as a programmer and was immediately offered a job with above-average pay, a car and money for petrol.

      1. That is like you say, because there are too many idiots with law degrees thinking they can make easy bucks.
        Your other friend will eventually be outsourced unless he has a specialism not available in cheaper countries..

  11. Unpaid internship? FUCK THAT. I’d rather sell dope to the idiots that work for a company that does that shit.

  12. This is just the beginning. Getting a good paying full time job here in the US is becoming more and more difficult. Many companies are now dragging out the job interview process. It’s quite normal for a process to take three months, at least. That doesn’t even cover the background checks you now have to go through. God forbid your past supervisor was an asshole. You’re f’ed! Unpaid internships, crappy temp jobs that pay close to minimum wage are all in the same category.

  13. Slaves get food and a place to sleep at night. Interns have to pay for commute, rent, food and are statistically worse off finding a job than a person that never bothered interning. Just pause to think about that for a moment.

    1. Years ago when there was “moralistic” capitalism, a kid interning could expect at least a little bit of money for his time. At least! Most often, kids would have the chance to go on fulltime with the said company. Now, once again, greedy capitalists use “free” internships as slave labor.

      1. Who let the socialist in? Or is he going to hide behind the label “liberal”

  14. Wow! This shit blows my mind. As far as I’m concerned, anybody who works for free after paying out the ass to get their degree deserves to be a broke loser. Why not get into the trades, a plumber or electrician makes as much or more as 90% of these desk jockeys, and gets paid while they train. I had a friend in school, real smart guy who came from a well off family, his parents scoffed at the idea of him doing anything besides university, and told me that I was really smart, and that driving a truck was a waste of my talent (but then I didn’t have an all expenses paid college fund waiting for me either). All said and done he is finished his 7 years of school and makes 1/3 of what I do sitting on my ass doing what people say is an idiots job (not to mention I was making money they whole time he studied). But at least he can tell everybody about how well educated he is. Meanwhile they think I have bricks in my head as I laugh my way to the bank. For all but the luckiest of people university will be an expensive ticket to a dead end job, unless they already have family business connections. Obviously there are people out there with degrees, that make many times what I could dream of, or care to for that matter. But then lots of today’s richest people are dropouts because they came up with their big ideas on their own. I can’t say university is always a bad idea, but taking out a loan to go there with no purpose or direction, other than just expecting it to lead to a good job almost always is.

      1. You bring up a good point but I will be very surprised to see it happen in 5-10 years, let alone 20. Before big rigs can be automated the technology will have to be proven safe on passenger cars (I could see this being a reality in 5-10 years). Even then it will only be good for highway applications and even when the truck does the driving, an operator will still have to do any work when it gets to where it’s going. In my industry we mostly use temporary dirt and ice roads that change course by the day. I have to put tire chains on before driving these roads, and also have to deal with any problems on the way like breakdowns or getting stuck. Until they can design a robot that can get out of the truck, hook up hoses, tie down cargo and fix whatever breaks I’m confident in my job security. Automated trucks will no doubt take over the long haul routes, lots of manufacturers are working on this and making headway, but then wages for those kinds jobs are already in the tank. Your right that automation is on it’s way but I plan to be retired in that 20-30 year timeframe that I believe it will take to be completely phased in. Autopilots in planes have been around forever, but they still have pilots, and airspace is a lot more forgiving than a crowded highway.

        1. Not to mention those robot trucks aren’t going to unload themselves.

        2. They might. Amazon already has robots that pull anything you order from their warehouse. Then the one human sitting at the front checks that it’s the right thing and puts it in a box. I don’t doubt that an organized company with capital would design their robot trucks to interface with their uniformly built loading bays allowing a dumb robot to load the truck and unload it.
          In fact, if you went all the way to redesigning the loading bays, the Amazon rumba-looking robots could do it right now.
          Ryan brings up a good point though;corporations may not trust the robot truck to handle unexpected situations. I could easily see that Simpsons trucker episode coming true, where the truck drives itself while a “driver” sleeps in the cab waiting for something to need him.

        3. Just like an autopilot can’t compensate for unforseen circumstances, (turbulence, mechanical break down, etc) any automobile automation will face the same issues. I wouldn’t be too concerned about automation taking over anytime soon.

    1. Thanks for sharing that. I had a HS friend who pushed a broom in a small, specialized factory as an after school job. Right before he graduated HS they offered him a job as a welder. He got his state cert, worked his way up and last I heard is the supervisor and still there after almost 30 years. He made, and still makes, more money than any of the guys who want to university did.
      I would advise any young man to learn a trade (carpentry, plumbing, roofing, etc…) and if you want to get a degree do it through night school or part time at a JC/ branch campus. This way you can still feed yourself with your trade skills if you can’t find a job with your STEM degree.

  15. “I have never done anything for anybody who couldn’t do something for me. I string along an eager kid with promises I’ll pay him money. I only keep him around because he looks up to me. Adam, if you’re watching, don’t be a publicist. You’re too good for it…”

  16. corporations are greedy assholes who get away with this…. I recently saw so many “entry-level” requiring 3 to 5 years of experience. I was like WTF… I also heard that many human resources scum are paid to post those hiring job posts (some who don’t even know the qualifications themselves) just copying and pasting from what they saw in other job resources website and just posting them online…
    They say if you don’t have experience, you need to get one… entry level job? sorry you need experience but how the fuck do you get experience if you don’t have an experience?
    Now they are using clever tricks such as you need to start from unpaid internship and then these people take advantage of student’s desperation to climb the rat race.
    I really hope these same assholes who play the strings get the taste of their own medicine when the economy gets fucked up…
    Greedy corporate assholes. I know so many Americans that are out of job or don’t have a job… Many of them freshly out of college with good engineering degree with damn good GPA but can’t get a job and out in the streets and can’t even get McDonald’s job and it infuriates the fuck out of me.

    1. I remember when I graduated from college and was looking for work and everybody out there wanted 3 to 5 years experience. Why does someone need 3 to 5 years experience, is the job so complicated that you don’t really know what your doing until year five?

      1. One hypothesis is because there is so much poaching, why would any company invest anything in a talented employee with the knowledge that the employee will take those skills elsewhere to make everyone except the company more money?

        1. That’s true a lot of business basically rotate the same employees around.The only answer to that would be for one business to step up, offer better pay and benefits than all the competition.

        2. I have run a small business and had to sit my employees down to tell them that I could not pay them more than I could, although I thought they were worth more. In that scenario I only had 2 partners to answer to. If I had millions of shareholders to answer to regarding the pay of thousands of employees vis-à-vis what dividends we could cut, it gets more complicated.

        3. It’s having your cake and eating it too to think that a company will lay out cash to train you and then top dollar to employ you once you are trained.

        4. Self fulfilling prophecy. If they treat staff like they are replaceable or fools, thats the only staff they will have.
          The best people stay in the best places, (and when you have the skills and are worth the pay, suddenly all the employers want to show you how great they are to go with.)

        5. The self-fulfilling prophecy works both ways. Loyalty works both ways. There are only a few top employees and even fewer top employers. Why should second tier, struggling companies pay more so others can benefit?

        6. Circular questioning . The ‘whats the point, theyll leave anyway’ argument is guranteed to not fix the problem of losing staff. Thats all I have to say. The rest is your own problem.

      2. I’m a nurse and these HR twats act like I’ve been incarcerated because I have been looking for over a year. As if over 25 years experience has dropped out of my left ear because I have been looking for work.
        Your point is very good.

        1. Just say you traveled around the world for a year, or cared for a sick relative if asked.

      3. I see nothing wrong with using white lies to get into a job. Unless you’re working in some government position the worst they can do is not hire you or fire you after the fact.

        1. It’s a little difficult to lie about experience when you’ve been going to school full time for the preceding four years. After a few years of operating a photocopier and all that other BS you can make up pretty good stories of what your previous job entailed. It was hard my first few years out of college.

    2. After over 25 years as a licensed profession, I was told by an illiterate asshat so-called recruiter that “you only have six months experience”. This call centre drone didn’t even have my resume in front of him. I maintained frame and gave him the ass reaming of his life (via phone).

      1. that’s what is so depressing about all this. It’s like they will find any small hole and try to use that against you and do every possible way to hope not to hire you… They put an ad just wasting our time and when we do actually apply, they put so many stacks against us.

        1. Exactly. I just point blank tell them not to waste my time. I know what questions to initially ask to deep six the time wasters. I laugh when they ask for references. I just tell them, “no interview, no job, no references”. These HR squirrels will burn out your references in order to give their co-op student something to do.

        2. Dude seriously! I am 19 and I don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning, waking up too this shitty economy to be a dead animal too the vultures, im just waiting for the economy to collapse and start over.

        3. Why do you think an economic collapse is going to help a bottom feeder? The best it will do for you at this stage is level out a few other freeloaders who were lucky to land on a wave you wish you were on.
          If the magical collapse you hope will save you actually ever comes about you’ll be no better off unless you get some skills and do some work. It sounds like if you’re not willing to get out of bed your only hope is to make yourself pretty and catch yourself a nice rich husband.

    3. Corporations? You should be attacking the poltical assholes who allow the country to be awash in immigrants, both legal and illgeal, taking entry level jobs and issuing of H1B visas. NAFTA didn’t help, but having an anti-business administration, unless they paid their bribes to the Clintion/Obama foundations, will simply hasten corporationsto move overseas to survive.

  17. Equally important is the fact that because you are paid nothing as an intern, the company has nothing invested in you.
    By contrast, an entry-level position — even a very low-paid one — represents an investment by the company. It’s in the organization’s interests (as well as the employee’s) that things work out.
    While it may be debatable as to whether or not people are always actually paid what they are worth, if you’re being paid nothing, that’s pretty much what you’re worth.

  18. No money No Honey its that simple the only thing that matters is your bottom line

  19. This unpaid internship business just goes to show how useless most college degrees are. Engineers don’t ever have to fuck around with unpaid internships. They might have to relocate, but they are starting out with salary and benefits. All the people that have to fuck around with unpaid shit got semi-worthless liberal arts degrees, are pursuing a career in media, or are trying to work for a “cool” company.

    1. EXACTLY.
      During my time studying engineering I would have never even considered an unpaid internship. A part time job, even if it hadn’t been in my field, was de facto better work experience than any such racket.
      Unpaid internships are one step above slave labor IMO.

  20. I remember raping some interns we had and they were just shocked that they had to go through all of that for free. In the end we decided to keep them on as paid employees. I really enjoyed my time at Rolling Stone.

  21. This is called slavery, the new slavery of America. All one had to do back in the day was avoid capture. Nowadays do not follow instructions and you’ll avoid slavery. Do not go to college and get a loan to pay for it, if you do pick a strong major in something difficult like chemical engineering. You picked a business degree, to the back of the class you dunce, make me a Venti coffe no whipped cream on top. Starbucks manager. But a million kids take the same exact route go to college cut open head insert pile of manure close and bandage up. Whilst foreigners become millionaires off of 711s in record time. Then they hit you with the no experience line 100,000$ later so off to the free internship with you chump.

  22. Its a shit test to see if you have balls and will make it in the corporate world, intern zone = friend zone, no lay no job. There looking for someone with the confidence to demand a good salary, its just another aspect of game.

  23. There’s another thing at play here. More than ever, corporate leadership is an incestuous game. If you’re not a personal friend or family member of one of the people in charge of a corporation, then it’s likely that you’ll spend the first few years of your career competing for a job at the bottom by being an unpaid intern, and the rest of your career (provided you worked hard enough for them to give you a job at the end of it) sweating to make your way up to middle management before you retire.
    But at the same time when you are working without pay, the bosses have already signed their own sons and their friends (who aren’t even in college yet) up for exclusive apprentice schemes and entry-level jobs. Because according to the bosses these unpaid internships are ‘great for prospective employees to learn a trade’ and ‘a way to see what a man can do’, but if they can save their sons the same fate, they do it without a thought.

  24. “the organization did not offer permanent positions to any of the summer interns despite their positive evaluations, but rather chose to hire from outside”
    Ha ha, “outside”. AKA nepotism and cronyism. The paid positions in a sweet field will go to friends and relatives and business connections of those with the decision making power.
    The other purpose of unpaid internships is to weed out poor people. Rich kids with lots of monied connections through their parents can get a paid job once they prove they are not a complete muppet.
    Having said that, if you want to break into the movie industry, you have to be ridiculously lucky, monied as above, a film school graduate and preternaturally talented, or else you worked for free for somebody to get into the game.
    Having said that, the best unpaid internship is working for yourself as long as that situation is not chronic. In the movie example, make your own movies, get other people to volunteer for you, build a portfolio that displays your talent, gain experience in the field and make contacts.
    The same could probably be said in most collaborative creative fields including computer programming / game design.

  25. I recall a bar/restaurant getting into the scam by offering “volunteer” positions. They paid no salary; you slung food and drinks for tips alone. It wasn’t technically illegal so there was a move to try and pass a law to address it. Apparently, the joint never had a shortage of non-staff to take orders and deliver the meals.

    1. But as a volunteer, you are not bound by any contract, so basically you just can go in there and learn and experiment, until you get the feeling of being good. Then just GTFO and maybe put up your own business. Great opportunity IMO.
      There are businesses that don’t take even free labour for said reasons, a person non-invested in the company is a potential liability and a risk.

      1. I don’t take a thumbs up or thumbs down position on the practice but if your business model relies on volunteers then it is a shitty business model IMHO.

  26. As an employer, I can say that the problem is the minimum wage. Sure, you’re worth more than nothing, but you’re not worth what we are legally required to pay you.
    You’re children with no experience and no understanding of what business is about.
    People don’t know shit about businesses finances. Virtually no one talking about money has ever had enough real world experience to really get business.
    I’m so tempted to write an article in response.
    What is written in this article is so confused, so backwards, it should be called blue pill business philosophy.

    1. How horrible! How awful! Paying minimum wage -what a travesty for you corporate fucks. Pray tell what is the MINIMUM you have to pay?

      1. How about the wages the job seeker and employer agree upon to both their benefit? Radical thought. Minimum wage is a job killer and always will be.

    2. Considering how bloated the salaries and benefits of the top CEO’s in the US I have a hard time relating to the complaints about labor costs from those greedy corporate managers. Then to top it off they don’t want to train the new hires, abuse the H1 Visa system, major layoffs to boost profits for the quarter, then hire new employees the next quarter. Did I miss anything?

  27. People who get roped into unpaid internships because it is the “industry standard” (as your college career services will call it and corporate HR will go along with) are most likely illegal under the Fair Labor Standards Law (FLSA). This law requires employers to pay employees at least minimum wage and also overtime in the event that employee works over 40 hours in a work week.
    Most companies assume that if you are a student then you fall under some sort of exemption for FLSA. Unless you are a graduate student working for a university this is simply not true. The only other exemption is the “trainee exemption”. But, merely calling a position an “internship” does not make it fall under this exemption. Here is a link to the test to determine if any given position qualifies for the trainee exemption:
    Note that number 4 is the hardest for an employer to meet:
    4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees or students, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded.
    That essentially means that you must be a pain in the ass for the employer. Most unpaid internships do not qualify as this if you are doing any substantial work for the employer. (See the commentary on the link above for more information about how the trainee exemption applies to various types of employment).
    If you were screwed out of pay you were legally entitled to because you got conned into doing an unpaid internship you can either file a claim with the Wage and Hours division of the DOL or file a lawsuit seeking back wages. Generally there is a two year statute of limitations to do this. So even if you have already finished you internship you can seek compensation. I would highly recommend if you are going to go down this route though that you consult an employment law attorney.
    Note 1: FLSA is a federal law. The state in which you were employed MAY have a more strict minimum wage law in which even though the trainee exemption may apply the state equivalent might not make any given position exempt from minimum wage.
    Note 2: A bona-fide non-profit company (usually one with a 501c3 IRS exemption) can bring you on as an unpaid intern IF you are considered to be a volunteer. But being a volunteer means you must be treated as such. They cannot treat you like an employee or contractor. The company can tell you the “expectations’ they have from volunteers, but they can’t make you perform duties as an employee such as report on a regular basis, undergo employee-like performance evaluations, be disciplined, etc.
    Note 2: I am not a lawyer. Please do not consider this to be legal advice. This is general information. In the event you think your rights were violated under FLSA or the state equivalent I would highly recommend you consult a qualified legal professional. If you need a referral to such a professional talk to your local/state bar service for one.

  28. Working for companies nowadays is a load of horse shit.
    What many newly grads aren’t aware of is that their value is far greater the minute they place their efforts building a business online, which has far greater returns than working as an unpaid intern.
    Most college drop outs figure this out early and laugh at people who stay on to get masters degrees. My cousin doesn’t even have a high school education, yet has made 5x more than I ever have as a graduate.
    The education system is a sham designed to churn out office drones, and made to believe their worth by being paid peanuts.

    I am currently working full time in a government job. However, I know that I will not be able to do this job in the long term as there is too much bullshit involved and also due to budget cuts, the possibilities of being made redundant are high.
    I am wanting to study computer security as a long term distance course. It is one year course, however, I have been told that in order to be successful, you would need prior education (bsc in computing OR have a couple of years experience in the field)
    I have no programming experience or bsc, but really need and want to obtain this course. So the question is: is it possible to self teach yourself programming in a period of 1 year? (this would be done prior to enrolling on any course, over 1 year.)
    I keep hearing from people that its not possible and you need a undergrad degree. But then I keep hearing from people that it is possible because they have done it and now have jobs. They say you can self teach Java, C+ just by picking up and reading books and looking at online videos and participating in forums and communities. Is it possible?
    Thanks for the help guys.

    1. You can teach yourself in a year easy if you have the aptitude for it. Do it before the course, not at the same time.
      However, computer security is not all about programming. Knowing Java is not enough to satisfy the course requirements. Its like thinking you know enough to be a builder just because you know how to use a hammer.

  30. 3 internships, all paid (and paid well, for area at any rate) because free work is for chumps (or activists).
    For the record, I am in a STEM field (compsci/ Info tech).

  31. I think it all comes down to “what am I going to learn”. Sure some firms you are just a slave but if someone is willing to teach you a trade in exchange for labor by all means do it if that’s what you want.

  32. I’d like to give the other side of the argument as the owner of a small business:
    When I take a new employee on, it is usually for a minimum wage position (cashier or shelf-stacker). I have found that if I pay them the minimum wage from day 1, they are never keen to learn how to do their job properly. They think “I’ve got the job, my wages are as high as they’ll ever be, why should I bother?” So I usually find someone from the local jobcentre and get them on a government-sponsored 3-month trial wherein I don’t have to pay them and they just keep getting their jobseeker’s allowance plus travel costs for the duration of the trial.
    What I say to any new employee who demands wages from day 1, and to all of you who are complaining about having to possibly at some point in your life do some unpaid work to gain experience, is this:
    I pay employees to reduce my workload and increase productivity. I’m happy to pay your wages if you can perform your duties to a reasonable standard. But as long as I or your supervisor have to stand over you all the time to teach you and make sure that you’re doing your job properly, I will deduct the cost of my or your supervisor’s time from your wages. So if your wages are £9/hr but I have to stand over you all the time and my wages are £20/hr, you’re going to end up owing me money. So tell me when you think you can do your job unsupervised, and I will start paying you wages – but I will also start making deductions for all the time that someone else has to spend correcting your fuckups. If that puts you in the red, then you won’t be getting any cash in your hand till you’ve spend enough time doing your job properly to end up back in the black.

    1. Are you saying that you won’t pay someone that you hire for the agreed upon wage if they are not learning the job to your satisfaction? Every job requires training, the idea of training a new hire is not some unusual concept. You teach the new employee a task and with each day you add more to the task until the employee is up to speed. If you want to only hire someone who can do the job without training then you will need to offer a competitive wage for that position. If you want to bring in a new employee and teach him from the ground up how to do his job then you are going to have to take time away from experienced employees to teach the new guy.
      The point the author is making is that working for free is a sucker’s deal. Never work for free, I teach my kids the same thing. Volunteer at the church not at a profit making organization or for that matter some gay little-non-profit. Always demand pay.

    2. Don’t you have to train your staff? Do you expect that someone else has already done this for you for free?

  33. You will never ever get a salary after the internship ends, no matter how great your performance was. Behind you there is a whole legion of freshmen lining up who are dying for an unpaid internship, so why the hell would any employer pay you to do it?

  34. Just another scam by greedy corporations, and increasingly makes employers wary of candidates that go that route. In today’s job market where employers want employees who can think for themselves and have intelligence, nothing says loser than someone who took an unpaid internship. The experience looks good, yeah, but it’s your degree that speaks for you. And when an employer knows you worked for free they’re going to offer you less than other applicants.
    Another thing, which pisses me off, I used to be a consultant for engineering companies. These guys would get tax breaks and stuff to import engineers from India and China, and on top pay them a fraction of industry standards. Every year they’d get loads of interns from great U.S. colleges. But the Americans were never hired because the companies didn’t want to pay American wages. Over the years the practice has deflated wages in the engineering community. So now if you’re an American engineer and you do get a job, it pays way less than it did in 2000.
    What jobs corporate America can’t export, they’re effectively importing cheap labor from all over the world.

  35. Why not find an internship where you verify that they hired interns before or, just lie on your resume like everyone else? Then again in my life all of the best jobs I’ve ever gotten, a resume was never required.

      1. Put on fake job with phone number to a friend of yours. In the future you no longer need that fake entry. Completely immoral, interestingly in my experience no one actually ever actually calls. In fact I think your effort is probably best spent finding job positions before they are advertised, so that there is no competition and its only a yes-no question of employment(Many employers loathe the process of interviewing).

  36. I believe there is some kind of law getting passed or has gotten passed banning free interns, or some political party is campaigning on banning free interns. This is a good thing.

  37. To really hit the point home, while using the lessons learned from game, TAKING AN UNPAID INTERNSHIPS IS THE BUSINESS VERSION OF BEING PUT INTO THE FRIENDZONE.
    The similarities are clear. You are putting in your time and effort (emotional tampon, surrogate boyfriend) in hopes of getting paid (sex) and landing a permanent position (relationship, regular sex) later on. So from personal experience and what you’ve read in countless times in the manosphere, how successful is the friendzone strategy in getting those two things for you? Very unsuccessful of course.
    Game is not only there for merely bedding women. It can be applied all other facets of life. It’s about winning.
    Speaking of which, David also uses the game concept of making your target qualify herself by asking a company this question during the interview, “A good rule of thumb is to ask: “If there were no interns available, would the company be able to run properly without paying someone for this work?”
    I’ll leave you with a fun little exercise. Read this article again and replace the following words; organization, company, and corporation with woman; payment with sex; employment with friendzone, and intern/internship with beta/friendzone.

  38. If a company is not willing to pay you for the work you do, what does that tell you about how much they value your work?

  39. A lesson about value.
    1) The most valuable resource on earth is not U$, it is not oil and it is not gold. Not even is it pussy. It is time.
    Many young people do not realize this truth until they are older, as in 45+.
    Then this ultimate truth is starting to get into even the hardest concrete heads.
    2) Your time is valuable. If you do not value your time – other people will value YOU likewise. Women for example. If your time is worthless, so are you in their eyes.
    If you waste your time away even your parents will notice and value you..less.
    3) A career is when you exchange your time for money. The more money per hour you earn the better.
    If you work 4 hours a day for 200 $/hour you will be seen superior to the guy who works 8 hours a day for 100$/hour.
    The higher your time is paid the higher your worth.
    Education has its uses if it does increase your value. You can check your value by your payment/hour. After HS this should be x. After college this should be x+y.
    If this number turns out to be “0” – there is something wrong. Very, very wrong.

  40. this is a terrible article with really, really bad advice.
    The right internship is worth it’s weight in gold… even if it COST you money (worse than being paid nothing).
    Key words: right internship
    this article offers short sighted advice, at best.

  41. Never work an unpaid internship. If your major requires internship credit, pick a different major. If every major at that school requires an internship to graduate, pick a different school. Most of these unpaid internships are entirely unlawful as the company is gaining an unfair competitive advantage from your efforts. A labor law attorney needs to sue them and shut down the programs.

  42. Just remember, even with STEM degrees, you are competing against the entire third world now. Your degree means nothing. Your effort means nothing. Either work for yourself or become a slave.
    Those are your choices. Unless you have family and friends in high places.

  43. I remember an interview I had when I was first starting out many years ago. The manager said that they didn’t have a paid position open at the time but if I was willing to work for the experience (free) then they would see what they could do for me, and maybe, just maybe I might get a paying job with them. (They were trying to make it sound like they were doing me a favour) I asked them if I had “stupid” written on my forehead. That was the end of the interview.

  44. This so-called “entitled” generation entering the workforce these days cracks me up. “I have no/limited real world work experience AND I won’t take the internship unless its paid.” I had two unpaid internships, one of which I drove 30 miles every other day. They were for small punk rock record labels, I did design work as well as every other facet of the business. I was paid in cd’s and concert tickets and worked nights and weekends to make ends meet. With those two internships though, I was able to build my resume, my portfolio, and my network. Doing so helped and my first job full time design gig and the rest has been a great career so far. In other words, man up, get out there, and get experience any way you can. The long-term importance of building a network, a resume, or perhaps a portfolio if you’re in design like myself, far outweigh any short-term financial struggles you might face if its an unpaid internship.

  45. Funnily enough my wife is looking for a junior assistant in her small company to train up in just the sort of field that an intern would work without pay: trendy, potential to work with celebrities and behind the scenes. Yet we decided (it was a considered decision: we discussed a short unpaid internship leading to a paid job) to pay whoever we choose. My thought is that I do not want someone working for us who thinks he or she has no value. What is the point of training someone who is not worth paying during training?
    It is a small scale equivalent of my beef with socialists and especially companies who proclaim socialist ethics, and who therefore profess to despise profit. If your motive as supplier to me as customer is not profit then what is it? If it is profit then you work for me, as I am paying you. Your interest is in supplying what I want in exchange for that payment. If your motive is not profit then you are working for your own ends: how do I know what your incentive is, why should I pay you, and how can I trust you?

  46. This totally sounds like it was written by someone of the millennial generation. The now generation. The me generation.
    When you accept an unpaid internship… you’re not working for free. You’re simply being paid something other than money. Knowledge and experience when you’re young and lack either… is far more valuable than some meager earning. This is an investment in yourself… something ALL successful people do. Period.

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