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Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Unpaid, full-time internship"

Things like this really piss me off:

"U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida is accepting applications for an unpaid, full-time press internship this spring in Washington, D.C."

Who is actually in a position to take an unpaid, full-time internship? People with rich parents, and no one else. If that's not you, you have the following options:

1. Spend several years working lower-level or only tangentially-related jobs until you've got the required experience to find a job similar to the internship that actually pays you, but be several years behind the rich person who was able to take that internship.

2. Take the unpaid, full-time internship and get a second full-time job elsewhere so you can actually pay for rent, food, bills, etc. Hopefully that unpaid internship is only 40 hours a week (unlikely) and even if it is, good luck performing your best at either job working 80 hours a week.

3. Don't bother going into a super-ambitious field, because almost all of them require a lot of unpaid time spent "gaining experience" and "demonstrating commitment", and you simply don't have the extra time to spend on it.

It's possible to be successful in life despite your circumstances--examples abound--but above average intelligence + above average work ethic + below average socioeconomic status often equals average success, at best. It shouldn't require brilliance to succeed despite one's background, nor should average qualities lead to outstanding success because of a privileged background, but that's still the way our system is set up.