by Anonymous Grad
I majored in Communications and I’m quite confident in my abilities when deciphering this age-old process. I’m not one of those Comm. students who took it just to get through and find their way, no I feel as though this is the field that best serves me.
Social media and digital engagement are the areas that interest me the most. I have high aspirations for myself, I plan on changing the industry one day. But for now I’m seeking formal experience sending out my resume and LinkedIn profile in hopes that someone gives me the opportunity to present to them an undiscovered star.
Living in the NY-Metro region, I knew the competition would be great but I imagined the same for the opportunities. My first response was received a month before graduation, two months after I had applied. The internship was for social media in a digital ad agency. It’s on the long list of preferred companies which range from boutique agencies to corporate 500 firms. They offered me two dates to interview, one a month from the mailing and another two weeks after that.
I scheduled the interview for the latter as the prior was the week of commencement.
Having completed internships in the past, I’m quite familiar with “the deal”. No or little pay, perhaps transportation covered, flexible schedule, and the promise that “this isn’t the typical run and get coffee internship!”. However I was not prepared for this proposal. No less than 30 hours a week, days negotiable but time wasn’t. They insisted I commit to working 10-8 at least three days, there would be no pay, no stipend for transportation. Heck, they didn’t even promise that I wouldn’t have to run and get coffee!
Needless to say, I didn’t accept their “offer”. I know the norm has been to provide internships in return for experience, that it is to be looked at as a trade off. But this time of requirement would hamper my ability to find work around it and traveling downtown from NJ, while not a problem, would mean I’d really be working 8-10
Things are starting to change as internships are being re-branded as fellowships. They tend to come with a longer commitment but a monthly stipend or hourly pay is typically available.
So be warned 2013′ers, there’s still companies out there that are trying to take advantage of you. I know desperation may set it and the prospects of finding something you enjoy may be slim, but the advice given to me was to hold out for what you want. If you get it right the first time, you won’t be in this position again.
*Anonymous Grad is written by a member of the graduating class of 2013 from a top 100 school in the North Region.