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Do You Want An Internship? It'll Cost You....

dsc_arch


"Faced with a dismal market for college summer internships, a growing number of anxious parents are pitching in to help -- by buying their kids a foot in the door."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123310699999022549.html#printMode


I just fired my staff and asked them to pay me and hourly rate in order to come back and make me coffee!

 
Jan 28, 09 4:36 pm
vado retro

since when is this a new thing???

Jan 28, 09 4:40 pm  · 
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dsc_arch

not at $12,00 per week!

Jan 28, 09 4:49 pm  · 
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med.

What a gigantic douchebag thing to do. >:(

Both the firms and their parents should be ashamed.

Jan 28, 09 4:52 pm  · 
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On the fence

There are lots of places you can work for free if that is what interests you.

Habitat for humanity would be one of them. Looks good on the resume too if you put in the hours. I mean as long as you can't find a job at least this would benifit you.

Jan 28, 09 5:08 pm  · 
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asiatic

Just a note that you can't usually work for Habitat for free, it's pretty expensive...

Jan 28, 09 10:52 pm  · 
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flaneursturtle

What middle-class parent is paying for at least 2 university educations and thousands afterward for unpaid work. Sounds like more neoliberal policy BS.

I agree with Archmed.


... not surprising for the WSJ.

Jan 29, 09 9:08 am  · 
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PodZilla

"there's no distinction here between the uber-rich and someone whose parents are schoolteachers."

Yeah, right. My parents aren't schoolteachers, but I can guarantee you they would not pay more than my entire summer's wage just to get my "foot in the door." I find it difficult to believe that college level students would have a hard time finding unpaid internships, unless they were complete introverts who would have a hard time filling half a page of a resume, had no personal contacts with any of their professors, never visited their university's placement office, or never simply pounded the pavement to get their name out there.

Wasn't indentured servitude abolished 150 years ago?

Jan 29, 09 12:19 pm  · 
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binary

send your applications and a check to me.....

Jan 29, 09 12:42 pm  · 
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lletdownl

hey now... i have a good friend who works for one of those companies. definitely not a douchebagish thing for anyone to do!

Jan 29, 09 4:22 pm  · 
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slop

lets run a poll to see how many would let their parents buy them into internships.....

Jan 29, 09 11:30 pm  · 
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holz.box

i'd rather my parents pay me to design their cabin. but they keep f*ckin balking on that one.

Jan 30, 09 1:33 am  · 
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idiotwind

my parents would look at me like i'm a ******* moron

Jan 30, 09 3:28 am  · 
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j'aime

I defintely think if you can get the postions in the right offices which are still very competitive, it's worthwhile to do so in a long run. WIth any investment, there's are those who can't afford it, there are those who invest in the wrong company, and there are those who pay a fortune for something most people wouldn't pay pence for. But there are those who invest in the right one and make a fortune.

For me, this transfers to architecture, to work for anybody for free/below minumum wage or even below double minimum wage is madness, but to work for someone who going to benefit you in the long run may be worth it. Just look at the alumni of OMA to prove it, JDS/BIG/WORK/Xavier/REX etc etc etc etc.......or alumni of any of the places I would deem worth working for free for 6 months...I can find hundreds of precedents to prove it.

As with the stock market example above, if you can't afford to invest, or not capable in any way, or not smart enough to suceed in the markets, best stay away from it, but for those who indulge, there is big benefits on the other side. But don't get confused about internships, they are investments, and there are investments worth taking and then the 90% rest of investments/internships not worth taking. (of which people make a fortune at your expense.)

It is very shortsigted to say immediately an unpaid intership is not worth doing, but anyone willing to judge so quickly, i would look at like a ******* moron

Feb 1, 09 12:41 pm  · 
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odb

"For me, this transfers to architecture, to work for anybody for free/below minumum wage or even below double minimum wage is madness, but to work for someone who going to benefit you in the long run may be worth it."

It may benefit the individual who gets it directly (and even that's questionable), but it hurts architects and architecture as a whole by depressing wages for everyone (firms can keep their wages extremely low with the knowledge that someone out there is willing to work for nothing-this correlates with architects lowballing fees to get work in the first place) and makes the field even more of a closed circle for the wealthy with connections than it is already.

A lot of the firms that you listed as OMA spinoffs were not interns, they were there for a decent period of time, had decent titles on projects, and in REX's case, were partners in the firm.

I honestly would have no problem with the US government stepping in and enforcing labor laws and tax evasion at places that do not pay their interns. It's your choice to desperately devalue yourself for a line on a resume (and in many cases, the work isn't that meaningful in and of itself), but your choices have consequences beyond yourself.

Feb 1, 09 1:22 pm  · 
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idiotwind

jamie, you most likely seem like the sort of person that people think very lowly of. **** you. some people can't afford the luxury of free jerk off time. thanks.

Feb 1, 09 1:39 pm  · 
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j'aime

odb, you agree the internships are worthwhile by saying that one would benefit. The total cost of sustaining oneself for 6 months is not excessive. I received a leonardo da vinci scholarship to do mine (only EU citzens), so had just under enough to get a cost of living.

Also regards BIG JDS and others, before they were partners, they were interns, and you don't get up a ladder by starting at the top...I don't see that much difference between my internship and college, one previous post said, if you consider working at OMA work, your in the wrong place, if you consider it the cheapest education at the same level as harvard, then go for it. Joshua Prince Rasmus went to Yale, god knows how much that cost, he spent his money on the training one way or another...and prob was an intern as well at first, i don't know....

I am all for labour laws..canada seems to be making good ground there.

It would be a nice world were we all paid better, personally you have addressed a good point, i don't think it's as small as issue as you describe, most employers would pay their staff well if they could afford to do so. The problem is most architects business sense is idiotic. From my parents perspective my brother is an investment banker, and my sister an actuary, both of their internships paid about 50k USD/year. They hate that i'm doing architecture at all, as the amount of work most architects put in is not worth what they get paid. My first internship paid about 30k and my second one nothing. (EU grant paid for it). Both are top offices, the first a corporate, the second a deisgn office on the architecture A list, but no money what so ever. I wanted to see both sides, so I deem it worthwhile from my perspective. But the difference in the two offices, one had business sense, one had none. I made the choice to work for someone with no business sense, I could have easily said no and worked for another office.

If all architects had the business sense, then we would not have unpaid interns, but hey, that dream is not the way it is...

blackharp, you pay for jerk off time????

Feb 1, 09 3:19 pm  · 
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odb

"The total cost of sustaining oneself for 6 months is not excessive. I received a leonardo da vinci scholarship to do mine (only EU citzens), so had just under enough to get a cost of living."

Maybe this is the difference between the USA and the EU. We don't have anything like a Leonardo Da Vinci scholarship here. We don't have universal health insurance (yet) or anything resembling the social safety net that you have. So we have to pay for that as well as pay exorbitant rent. And in many cases student loans. So yes, sustaining oneself is actually difficult without some renumeration from the place where you work.

"Also regards BIG JDS and others, before they were partners, they were interns, and you don't get up a ladder by starting at the top."

Except most people are interns at a hot firm...and that's it. They don't move up the ladder at that firm. They leave after the time is up.

"most employers would pay their staff well if they could afford to do so."

I don't know if I agree with that.

"The problem is most architects business sense is idiotic."

I do agree with this.

"If all architects had the business sense, then we would not have unpaid interns, "

If US labor laws were actually enforced ,we would not have unpaid interns. It's that simple. I have heard of firms (like SHoP) that don't hire interns if they don't have the money to pay them. (I don't know how true that is for them now) I think that's the basic procedure every firm should follow. Period. To do otherwise is damaging to the field. I know that the incoming labor secretary is hardcore and I wouldn't be surprised to see a crackdown on things like this.

"They hate that i'm doing architecture at all, as the amount of work most architects put in is not worth what they get paid."

That's one of the reasons I sort of hate architecture too. I think if there were some cold-hearted, rapacious people in architecture like you find in law school or business school, the whole field would actually be better off. I tell my brothers (both lawyers) about the practices in architecture school and out in the field, and they say if people acted like that in the legal world, they would be run out on a rail or at least shamed. But they actually have standards of conduct in the law.

Sorry to write so much and go off about this, I feel really strongly about it and it riles me up.

Feb 1, 09 3:38 pm  · 
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j'aime

Weird, when i was writing that last post, i had that last paragraph e.g. SHoP Architects, as i know they are someone i respect as architecture through smart business....then deleted as I didn't know their policy to interns....

I guess the situation is very different is US, my university degree cost me about 1000 dollars for my three year undergrad, of which I lived and ate at home. but obviously architecture school has expenses...

"Except most people are interns at a hot firm...and that's it. They don't move up the ladder at that firm. They leave after the time is up."

I strongly disagree with this, while yes some might be wasters...most are very talented and better off as the result of the internship..i predict many will suceed to a high standard. A much higher standard than what I would expect from my undergrad degree.

With regards architects being such iditos at business...
"Be the change you want to see in this world" Gandi
That's what I keep telling myself!!!lol....

Feb 1, 09 4:18 pm  · 
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idiotwind

moron

Feb 1, 09 4:41 pm  · 
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usernametaken

It fairly simple: people like the guys from MVRDV, XDG, JDS, BIG, WorkAC and such were at OMA because they were talented and worked their asses off. They weren't there because their parents paid a big fat check for them, they worked there on their own merit. If you think that you can buy your way into it, and will really make it after paying up, your a complete tool.

Feb 1, 09 4:50 pm  · 
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odb

I think not requiring some money for the work you do does equal buying your way in.

I have noticed a lot of Europeans who seem more willing to work for free in the USA and I have heard that state support is a reason that they can do that. Unfortunately that yanks the asking price down for everyone, which I think will get even worse if and when this recession ends.

As to this: "odb, you agree the internships are worthwhile by saying that one would benefit."

No offense, but work on the reading comprehension-yes, one would benefit (maybe). *Others* would suffer down the road from the decision to work for nothing. In summary: It's not all about you.

Feb 1, 09 5:30 pm  · 
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j'aime

i fully agree...

Feb 1, 09 5:41 pm  · 
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j'aime

fully agree was to usernametakens comment

anyway, nobody suffers because i take an internship at a decent office, if i didn't, there is a queue of people a thousand long who would take my place....or so they say...

If you want to change the system (which I do contrary to all this talk) the method you are proposing is not even worth thinking about as its never going to happen. be more realistic!

and my reading comprehension is fine, i was talking about me and I simply do not believe that others suffer down the road due to these decisions.

Feb 1, 09 5:50 pm  · 
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Luke.Kakizaki

I'd rather start out as a pole dancer with an unpaid internship that put myself that pathetically low.

I agree with odb, I don't think comparing compensation with other countries is a strong argument without looking at state support and welfare and all that good stuff that America is so freaking lacking. Most people can't live a "normal life" with cell phones, food, shelter, internet, heat, transportation, and alcohol under $1500 USD. Oh, and if you don't want crack heads and shipments stolen in your apartment you'll probably have to bump that up depending on the city.

I'm not in the field yet, but isn't it pretty sad to say in an interview "oh yeah, i got this amazing internship at XYZ firm, omg i learned so much and everyone was soo talented blah blah blah.... and I had my parents pitch in to help me out, you know, cuz i'm not good enough to get paid"


Feb 2, 09 5:48 am  · 
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chaos3WA

well, alas, i checked those internship websites and no matter how much money you have, they still can't get you an internship with toyo or zaha. guess it doesn't work for architecture.

Feb 2, 09 8:44 am  · 
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Moody

WOOW NOW I KNOW WHY I CANT GET A BLOODY INTERNSHIP

Feb 2, 09 1:45 pm  · 
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Peter Normand
http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/egr/1017407827.html
http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/egr/1017569470.html

"Architects willing to work for FREE!"

Feb 2, 09 2:07 pm  · 
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