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16-09-2010
  31
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Yeah many internships will not pay. I guess its the price you pay to gain experience and to put it on your resume.

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16-09-2010
  32
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ettebe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Interesting article.

My father disliked me doing an internship, seeing I wasn't getting paid for the work I was doing. Which was patterns for almost 15 hours and so forth. It didn't bother me not getting paid, seeing I was doing something I like and was perfecting it.

It all depends on who you speak to.

I am for internships as long as they turn into some sort of job placement within a year, but any longer it doesn't make sense.

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16-09-2010
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I don't think that there is anything inherently wrong in having intern programs from either the employee or intern's point of view, but if some of the allegations posted here are true, that means that some design houses have perverted the intent and spirit of internships.

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16-09-2010
  34
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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I am one of those who couldn't afford to take up an internship while in school. Internships are truly your way in, especially in fashion world since everyone wants someone with direct experience.

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23-09-2010
  35
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I work as an unapid intern for an online edition of a mainstream Polish fashion magazine. You can say that being an online intern is a lot easier, but in real it's such a hard work - sometimes I think that I'm just doing everything that people more experienced than me should do, e.g. I was responsible for doing the full coverage of the NYFW, which was quite exhausting when you realise the fact that I live in Poland (GMT +2) and this is my last year of the high-school there. That times I was taking about 3-4 hours of sleep a day, which isn't a good amount for an 18-year-old.
On the other hand, now I know how it is to work under a lot of pressure, I have a good thing to write in my personal statement and know everything about next season (now I'm doing other fashion weeks), which is very useful, so... I think that despite disadvantages it was a good decision for me to start my internship , I hope that in future I'll become an intern of a printed version of this magazine and later... who knows?

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29-09-2010
  36
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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because there are so many people wanting a taste of fashion, there are many happy to take un-paid work that will look good on their cv. until this stops, which isn't going to be soon, the un-paid malarkey won't.

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02-10-2010
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This is a very interesting discussion.

As a student I'm very lucky to have had positive unpaid industry experiences. However a classmate of mine recently did 2 weeks full time work experience at a well known Australian label and had a terrible time. She was over worked the hours on the contract and unfortunately experienced a very bad mannered designer who is seen very highly of in the media.

She's walked away without rose-coloured glasses but still doesn't know if she's right to judge that her extra pair of hands were exploited.

It can be hard to tell when you've only had a few industry experiences.

It is very unfortunate that some interns and students are perhaps exploited, often it can lead to an end to an interest in the industry. This is a shame when many interns are young students who could potentially replace today's industry workers.

But whatever doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger and experience is experience whether good or bad. But it IS a shame that cases such as my classmates occur.

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04-10-2010
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I did loads of work experience and unpaid internships. Ranging from a few weeks to over a year. However, I was only able to dedicate a day or two/weekends to those jobs because I was in college or working.

However, that experience was invaluable and I would never been in my perfect job (with lots of money) at 21 without them.

It's just common sense. Don't let people exploit you.

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10-10-2010
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fundamentally, internships are set up so it helps inexperienced students learn on a job. i had done quite a lot of internships, some turned out to be great because i was learning things and some others felt like i was there helping the studio rather than the studio teaching me. but all in all i havent experienced any horror stories told by my classmates.

in one case. at a small designer studio my friend worked at, she spent a week along with some other interns as studio decorators painting the walls white. as well as fetching lunch for the designer everyday.

in the uk, the government has been trying to fix this problem by creating a graduate paid work scheme where a graduate goes to work at a studio for at least 4 weeks and get paid by the government for that time. after 4 weeks however, the studio can opt to take on the graduate and get paid by the studio.

but sometimes even this help can be abused. at another place a friend of mine worked. the designer took up this scheme. now, my friend knows this designer is a cheap a-hole and got curious to why this designer is taking on a graduate who will potentially get paid by the designer after 4 weeks. and the designer answered something like, 'who said i will be hiring that person? i will simply let him go after 4 weeks and get another graduate'
how awful

internships arent the bad person here. it is how many companies abuse it and cheating it that makes me quite mad.

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27-10-2010
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I think both...but I heard the Teen Vogue one was serious exploitation

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29-10-2010
  41
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I live less than 25 minutes (by bus or train) from New York City and would LOVE to do a fashion-related internship. The problem is that most of these positions are unpaid and I simply cannot afford to "volunteer" 30-40 hours a week while paying transportation fares.

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04-11-2010
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^ IMO if someone is really interested in fashion and is fortunate enough to live close to one of the fashion centers, then they should consider saving up the money for transportation, lunch and other expenses. I am very critical of the intern sponsors who use interns in an exploitative manner, but if someone can get with the right designer, publication, agency, et. al., it is definitely a valuable experience / worthwhile investment.

ETA:
This is not meant to be a swipe at you, because I know that there are a lot of factors and individual circumstances that have to be taken into consideration, but for those who really, really want to get into the industry, it may be a worthwhile "investment." Also, I don't think all internships are alike: an internship at one of the top design houses, magazines or agencies will look good on a resume; alternatively, doing meaningful work at a smaller company along with a reference from one of the top people is a plus as well.


Last edited by agee; 04-11-2010 at 09:04 AM.
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11-01-2012
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Fashion internships are an elitist concept. If you are someone who has to work part-time to sustain yourself, you really can't afford to do an internship.

Saying that, I've been lucky enough to get internships in two different designer showrooms in Paris and am now a full-time intern at a well-established London fashion office. I do the same work as my boss. I have a lot of responsibility, and sometimes I feel that I should be getting paid. BUT, at least I am not coffee making or floor sweeping, so it is challenging and I learn new things every day.

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11-01-2012
  44
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If you're performing demanding tasks for a commercial firm which leads to that company making a profit from your time and activity, then you should be getting some sort of remuneration for your efforts.

If an established company cannot economically survive unless it skimps on paying its employees a fair wage, that company has no business being in business.

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20-02-2012
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I think it is grotesquely unfair. But it’s the fashion industry and they seem to think they’re a cut above the rest and can get away with this exploitation. Sadly there are enough willing fashion diehards that would just about cut off their right arm for the chance to get in with a big fashion house, so this will become a problem of perpetual proportions.

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