Can I take an unpaid internship or volunteer to work for a company?


Hi, I am a student studying in the US. I was originally planning to travel to Europe this summer, but had to cancel my trip. I thought i would look for an internship instead.  I see most of the companies only hire Senior students, but I am not. It is really difficult to find an internship right now, especially under this situation. I was wondering if I could email the companies I am interested to see if I can volunteer to work for them for 1-3 months, either part time or full time just to get some working/ training experience, and I was also hoping to get a return offer or something after this. If I am allowed to do so, could you recommend a few architectural firms that offer training to the interns or firms still look for interns. Thank you.

Mar 25, 20 10:31 am

Don't work for free. Period.

Mar 25, 20 10:34 am
Non Sequitur

Never take an unpaid job.  never. no exception.

Have some respect for yourself.

Mar 25, 20 10:35 am

I would work for a short period of time if you've never had any work experience or the firm has big names.

From both you are getting something out of it. Otherwise it is not worth it.

Mar 25, 20 2:27 pm

no, it's never worth it to work for free.

atelier nobody


Mar 25, 20 5:06 pm

Never, ever work for free

Mar 25, 20 5:14 pm

If you haven't gotten the message yet ... Can We Talk?

Mar 25, 20 5:49 pm

If you are not able to get an internship - I would actually suggest u taking the time on brushing ur software skills, do something u always wanted to do (hobbies) that isn't possible during academic terms... Do not work for free. We have to work together, worldwide, to eradicate such awful practices. Good luck to u! :)

Mar 25, 20 7:01 pm

Why not use the time to get that solo project done? Submit essays to paying publications? Take on that competition that can be a great addition to folio? Initiate something in the community? I don't know what your cup of tea is but your time will be better spent doing initiating towards your own career....Not simply throwing it away on a firm that opts out of paying for professional services.

Beyond that...most firms won't be engaging new hires at the moment...because everyone is working apart. How do you onboard/co-work with a new hire when everyone is sheltering in place?

Mar 26, 20 9:54 pm

can you? yes you can
should you? no you should not

Mar 26, 20 11:50 pm

I've made this mistake right after graduating with my B.Arch. Even though I was warned against it, the warnings were not vehement enough! I got great experience, but was it worth degrading my work? Was it worth undermining all the years, effort, sweat and tears of design studio? --- NO NO NO. (Notice that is in caps?)

At the end of it all, it does come down to respect for yourself, respect for the profession and respect that the firms should have for you and your ability as an emerging professional. 

Mar 27, 20 3:49 am

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