Internship duration


Hello archinect,

I am a recent graduate (M. Arch) with one summer experience as an intern. I just got an offer for an internship at a prestigious NY firm and I have to choose between 6 months or 12 months. I am having trouble making this decision. Would 6 months be enough to be qualified for a Junior position afterwards? Does staying the full 12 months have any benefits?

Looking forward to your wisdom

Feb 22, 19 5:36 pm
Non Sequitur

is it paid?

Feb 22, 19 6:44 pm

Of course!

Non Sequitur

you'd be surprised how many are not.


By now I'm not surprised anymore... I'm just not willing to accept unpaid internships.


Seems odd to be taking a temporary position as a recent graduate. Why not just seek full time employment? Being a recent graduate should be enough to qualify for a junior position.

Feb 22, 19 7:14 pm

I'm foreign, so for visa reasons and to get acquainted with american standards & units it seems like the best option. I see that some firms ask for experience specifically in the United States.


take 6 but build into your offer a performance review around month 4, with the option to extend to 12.  that way if you hate it, you're out, but if things go well, you can extend

Feb 22, 19 8:34 pm

That sounds like a good option. I'm going to try to negotiate that.


You should also make clear your intentions during the interview process. You've finished your M.arch, so youre really more of a junior designer than an intern. Let them know that you're eager for this opportunity, but you also see yourself staying at the firm longer-term than just an internship and that you want the opportunity to transition into a proper JD role moving forward after the initial internship period.

Feb 23, 19 1:12 pm

Thank you. It would be indeed really good if I could transition into a Junior position in the same studio, it would seal the seams. Thank you for the advice :)


With an M.Arch under your belt you really shouldn't intern more than 6 months, you'll devalue yourself and your education. If they are not willing to offer you a position after half a year they're not going to offer you a position after a year either, they'll simply replace you. You also don't want to work for people that don't value you or your work and treat you as an intern for an entire year, just so they can save on paying a decent salary.

Feb 25, 19 3:02 am

You would only just be getting "your feet wet" after 6 months.  You really need a decent length of time to learn anything and absorb the office workings.  12 months is a min in my opinion.

Feb 25, 19 5:11 pm

Really? If they are not willing to upgrade your position after half a year, you either suck at it or they're not even considering the possibility.


My idea is, as whistler explains, that by staying 12 months I'll have time to strongly affirm the experience and possibly jump into a Junior position. On top of that I think it's the only way to create a good enough chance for visa sponsorship.


A 12 month internship is really taking advantage of you, you should be good enough for them for a junior position after half a year. Places that only want 12 month internships, in my experience, never really plan to offer junior positions but rather get a new 12 month intern. But your choice...


Maybe I'm wrong.

Non Sequitur

We only do summer interships (probably at $18/hr), so +\- 3 months. Anything else is a full-time gig with salary. We have folks that have been here for a decade and still don't "get" how things work tho.


There are a few firms I know of with that formal 6 or 12 month internship structure - the ones I'm familiar with tend to treat their internship programs as a separate channel from long-term hiring, and view the interns as people who are there as a transitional step, to get resume material, a prestigious firm's name, and some familiarity with basic office norms, before they move on to their longer-term "real" career elsewhere.  In other words few if any of their interns are offered permanent positions within those firms - it's more of a use 'em up and burn 'em out deal - a way for the firm to have a never-ending supply of new grads with the latest software and presentation skills, with eager-beaver attitudes and energy levels. There's not really any expectation of upward mobility in that role, as they'd rather keep the steady rotation of fresh grads.  Since I don't know which firm you're considering I can't say that's definitely the case there, but if I were you I'd try to talk with some former interns from that specific firm to get a sense of whether a longer-term role is a realistic consideration or not, before I'd try to make decisions based on qualifying for a position that might never exist.

Feb 27, 19 3:46 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: