Internshi*

sleep

Did he get enough of pay­ing you already?’ she struck me cyn­i­cally, as she always did.

Like the time when I received a Christ­mas present from the office where I spent my sum­mer intern­ship. Con­tem­plat­ing it under the tree for a few days before Christ­mas’ Eve already filled me with sat­is­fac­tion as a sym­bol of my undoubt­edly fun­da­men­tal con­tri­bu­tion to the work of the office for that year. Unwrap­ping it, I had a rush of joy: it was a note­book by the well-known brand! My excite­ment quickly sub­sided when I noticed my mum was shak­ing her head in dis­ap­proval. Her words that time were less sar­cas­tic and, maybe because of the fes­tive atmos­phere, acquired a morally solemn tone: ‘They should be ashamed.’

Later I did the maths and, as it turned out, my mother was right. Assum­ing that, because of my poor pro­fes­sional skills, I got paid just half the hourly wage of a newly grad­u­ate (those days they used to be paid), for my 225 hours of work I should have earned some­thing around 1000 euro. I felt ashamed too but, back then, my favourite cur­rency was ECTS. So was called the sys­tem of cred­its in use all over Europe to stan­dard­ize the amount of time nec­es­sary to suc­cess­fully com­plete any aca­d­e­mic career. Courses, lec­tures, work­shops, study trips and also intern­ships were pack­aged in cred­its each worth 25 hours of study or work.

The 9 cred­its earned through my intern­ship looked like a great reward at the end of the sac­ri­ficed sum­mer, as they allowed me to leave for Eras­mus with the near cer­tainty of being able to get my bach­e­lor degree by the end of the aca­d­e­mic year. After just three months, I was hold­ing in my hands a (prob­a­bly recy­cled) present worth 1% of the value of the work I had done: it didn’t look so great anymore.

This is when I resolved to never work for free again, at least for money mak­ing businesses.

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3 thoughts on “Internshi*

  1. Kowalski says:

    I remem­ber, after 12 months work­ing for a ridicu­lous salary, receiv­ing a set of 12 col­ored mark­ers, not from a well-known brand.

    1. Cadwoman says:

      whats up with the marker set ? maybe pho­to­shop brushes instead!

  2. Colt Sievers says:

    yep! In Italy, for instance, there is no paid intern­ship and all archi­tec­ture stu­dents are moved to work because of the ECTS issue, then there is the hope of some kind of learn­ing expe­ri­ence as well… which some­time turn out quite unsat­is­fac­tory. Well, this is an issue, that each gov­ern­ment should tackle by impos­ing at least a min­i­mum com­pen­sa­tion for the intern­ship, since in many coun­try even the min­i­mum does not apply…

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Kyle

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2021-09-28 22:54:18

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94Maggie

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multitude- multitude

on Survey

2015-04-01 13:27:31

[…] the spon­ta­neous responses to the last ques­tion of the sur­vey car­ried out in […]

Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 18:10:56

@Colt Sievers I will be the first to agree with you on all counts. I would love to read that article. If you ever want to publish it on my blogg please do not hesitate to contact me.

Colt Sievers

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:58:10

@Conrad having worked in one of those offices that you mention, I have found your post as much provocative as naive and simplistic. I should make an entire post to explain why... will leave that for later. Thanks, anyway, to keep the discussion alive