Monday, March 7, 2011

Why I Love People #542

On Saturday I posted a notice on Craigslist in hopes of finding a wonderful intern to help out here at the office; you may or may not know that internships are standard practice in the design industry, and in many industries, creative or otherwise, as a way to give students real-world experience (often for school credit) and potentially transition into employment with the firm in question.

I am planning to hire a part-time design assistant in the fall and thought offering an internship prior to the paid position being filled would be an ideal way to find a candidate that meshes will with me and the needs of the position.

I tried to be as thorough as possible in my description of the job, but a HUGE thank-you to Jamy for pointing out the error of my ways... I received this e-mail a little while ago, which is a fabulous way to kick off the week:


How insulting to the design community to offer to not pay someone for the chance to work with you. Design students pay for school. They work long and hard to work for free?! And to have their own car to run your errands without reimbursement for gas?!.... and then perhaps get offered a paid position.

Thank you, soooo much for your graciousness and the respect you pay or rather not pay this profession.

So sad that a professional design firm would post this. This has been passed along to many a blog in the design community thanks for the fodder.

-Design Professional and Teacher.

In an effort to beat him or her to the punch, here's my listing (since updated to further clarify the position)....if you're not grossly offended by my offer, we'd love to hear from you!


Alexandra Hedin said...

I actually thought your position was lovely. And I re-posted it. In this economy it seems like a great opportunity to be able to get your foot in the door with a designer working in the field and get the "experience" required to actually qualify for a real job.

I would be sure to add to your post that you aren't looking for any snotty people.

Revival Home and Garden said...

Ha! Good advice. Thanks for the kind words.... I was starting to feel like I was advertising for 7-year-olds to work in my back room or something. I really and truly want to hire someone for MONEY but want to give it some time for us both to ensure it's the right fit.

Thanks for the words of support!


Anonymous said...

Did you also send this opportunity to some local design schools? I know when I was in school, I would have been eccstatic to find something like this and as you said an unpaid internship is generally standard. I can't imagine that was really an educator that wrote back to you, none that I have ever talked to expected their students to receive pay during internships (if they received any, it was because of good fortune and better economic times).

Open House LLC said...

I get a pit in my stomach when I read notes like that. I have to step back and think that the unkindness should be overlooked and know that the person who "penned" the letter did not mean to sound so scathing while conveying their message. I applaud you for posting it.

Best of luck on the search.

Alicia said...

What a jackass!!! Yes I used the word. I also make note of the fact that whomever the high & mighty rant & raver is, while the have the nerve to preach, they do not have the guts to stand by their beliefs & sign their convictions...hence jackass.
Oh & jackass (yes I will continue to use the best word fitting) has never spent time in the political, entertainment or legal world. 2 of those 3 I was an unpaid intern.
Experience is invaluable. As a 45 year old professional, if I lived closer, I'd apply.

Revival Home and Garden said...

I tried the sympathetic approach, but the whole thing just seems engineered for the sole purpose of making my feel bad. And to be fair, the person's name was a part of his/her e-mail address, so I guess it wasn't *totally* anonymous...still, just enough to ruin my entire morning.

I wish I could learn how to keep things like this from getting under my skin, but I am reaching 40 myself and it still smarts. Ugh.

And Alicia, if you lived closer, the job would be yours!



Christopher said...

That was a pretty rude and inappropriate response to your post! An educator should be aware that unpaid internships are common if not the "norm" and often lead to a position, or at the very least valuable experience. Most design students or recent graduates that I have ever met would not be offended at all, especially in this economy. I say ignore that response - it is not based on any reality I have ever been aware of in my 15 years as an interior designer! :)

Amy R said...

I wonder what caused this person to be in such a nasty state to write this to you. Could it be they are jealous, out of work themselves, as many designers have found themselves recently. I can't help but wonder why they are teaching design rather then actually doing it. Whatever it was that drove them to write the letter it was just that not you or your desire to share your talents and knowledge with a young designer.

Anonymous said...

The problem with unpaid internships is that, you know, it costs money to live. And if someone is spending time working for free, it's taking away time from a job that actually pays. Simple economics, right?
So, how do you pay your bills if you're not getting paid? Just wondering.

Even $15 an hour is better than nothing, surely you can afford that.

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