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Old 15-12-2009, 19:35   #1 (permalink)
Alimayo
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How long shoud an unpaid internship last for?

I graduated from a graphic design technical school about 3 months ago. Shortly after I graduated I obtained an internship at an event planning company. Like I said in the title the internship is unpaid. When I first started it was great because I really did learn a lot and obtained some of the best pieces so far in my fairly small portfolio. Now however i feel like the work that I am being asked to by specification of the company are not portfolio worthy.

When I first got the internship no end date was talked about and at the time I was just glad to be doing something in graphic design. I have been looking for jobs online along with other internships but so far have not gotten any takers. My portfolio is site is arangographicdesign.com if any ones to critque it.(be gentle Im new Should I stay with the unpaid internship just keep busy or should I try to move on? If so when and what should tell the company? I think my start date was Oct 10, and today is Dec 15, 2009.

Thanks in advance. I am new to the world of graphic design and have amazing respect for you guys. Thank you again for any advice or help that you can offer me.

Alimayo
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Old 01-01-2010, 00:30   #2 (permalink)
reuab
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I think the general rule of thumb with unpaid internships is about 3 months. All places/people I have talked to say 3 months is roughly about the timeframe of an average unpaid internship. I did an internship this year from mid July to about mid October and they wanted me to stay on board but unpaid.. even while another intern & another part time employee was being hired. I had to decline because I couldn't do it anymore financially, driving there and my schedule at school.. it was just too much. Plus, they were basically using me for free which was benefiting the company by not having to hire someone else part time.
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Old 01-01-2010, 00:43   #3 (permalink)
freelancr
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If you can afford to carry on and stay there, but apply for jobs or do freelance work on the side. Otherwise it will be harder to get another job if you are stacking shelves in a supermarket.

I couldn't imagine working as an intern for fuckall, why not just freelance to gain the experience/portfolio? If you struggle to get work in, just do it for cheap rates, or start out doing free work for friends' businesses/local charities/clubs/etc.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:27   #4 (permalink)
Aibrean
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I would say 3 months as well. Usually internships are done over the summer or some other time where there is a big break.
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Old 01-01-2010, 14:39   #5 (permalink)
Mandy Moo
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I also think if you can afford it and it's not costing you any money (i.e they are paying for your travelling expense) you should stick with it for a bit. Experience is very important in this industry so you should gain more while looking for a job... who knows they may even offer you a job. If they start taking the piss then leave.
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Old 01-01-2010, 18:13   #6 (permalink)
Aibrean
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It sounds though, at this point, you aren't getting any new experience. You've graduated. It's time to look for a real job, not an internship anymore.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:10   #7 (permalink)
bamboomouse
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If you can stay where you are whilst you find a full time paid position it has to be the best option.

You will continue to build contacts and your portfolio and you never know where a contact will lead. Far less lightly to build good networks etc doing some fill in work whilst looking for the prime job.
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Old 14-02-2010, 23:02   #8 (permalink)
inspirohost
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No more than 3 months, but use that time to find a real job if you're done with school.
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Old 26-03-2010, 02:32   #9 (permalink)
DesignChic
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Three months is plenty, it sounds like they were taking advantage of you. I can't stand it when companies do that. I could see a non-profit organization doing that, but when companies are in business to make a profit, they shouldn't expect you to work for free. I went to your portfolio and your work is good enough to start earning some $$$, which hopefully you are by now as you posted a few months back.

Last edited by Limbo : 26-03-2010 at 18:49.
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Old 26-03-2010, 12:59   #10 (permalink)
zcrafts
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Hello,

I feel billing should be strict to stay on business 15 days after invoice payment day its reasonable to be accepted.
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