We get so many emails to the student list about great internship opportunities doing work for no pay. I’m continuously amazed that people think that anyone should work for free and further want the kind of candidate that cannot find a paying job elsewhere.
Somehow there’s a continuous misconception that the experience is far more valuable than actual money. Fortunately, it’s often possible to find both. Unfortunately, it’s often absolutely necessary to find both.
What young adult seeking professional experience and supporting themselves in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. can afford to sacrifice the majority of their work week to an unpaying job? Only ones with some sort of outside support. Instead of offering a salary and selecting the most qualified applicant, the opportunity goes to those that can afford it, not those that deserve it.
Here’s how this posting should really read:
I am seeking someone with currently high in demand skills to help me build something I hope to make a profit from for free. I am able to invest in websites including muxtape and tumblr, but not the people needed to build them.
Specifically, marketing and distribution can now be achieved at less than one percent of the old cost - especially when you get free labor.
I want to support musicians retaining control of their work while you web minions give me yours for lunch and a subway ride. Try not to think of how I pay my rent while you struggle to pay yours.
Are you a young smart person who wants experience in the new music industry?
The record labels have resisted change for too long; now it is imment. The Internet allows us to create new businesses that were not possible a few years ago. Specifically, marketing and distribution can now be achieved at less than one percent of the old cost. This means artists can retain control of their work — which means that with a clear strategy and a solid set of balls, we can finally fix this deeply broken (yet astoundingly important) part of our culture.
I am looking for a few interns to work at Normative in my Brooklyn home-office. This is an extremely entrepreneurial environment because not only is the company itself a startup, but each album-project is a self-contained startup. We are gearing up for our first releases and I can’t do everything by myself anymore.
I need people who can do web work, but also “shit work”, ie, errands and mailing stuff. Basically, if you want to work your ass off for me a few days a week, and you are driven and focused, then you are an ideal candidate.
Whatever your skills, I will put them to use. I’m particularly interested in people with PHP/MySQL, Flash & Actionscript, web design, accounting, illustration, and video editing skills.
Also, I live with Reggie Watts (and maintain his site and make his videos), so you’d be helping him out sometimes.
This is a non-paying position but I can cover travel expenses and will buy your lunch. To apply, email me and tell me why you want to work for me and what you’re good at. Also, let me know how far from Williamsburg you live — commuting is a must!
About me: I’m 26 and in addition to Normative, I’m an investor in Muxtape and Tumblr. Previously, I worked at Connected Ventures, where I co-founded Busted Tees and Vimeo, and worked closely on CollegeHumor from a few months after its founding in 2000.
What Corrine writes perfectly encapsulates how I feel: there’s no way I can nor should get an unpaid internship in one of the most expensive cities in America, especially since I’d be coming in from Chicago with nothing but my dog, a box or two of my possessions, and my parents’ well wishes. Of course, therein lies the problem: I dream of getting a graphic design job in NYC and becoming financially independent, but in order to get all that, I need professional web/design experience with some company (honestly, the freelance route isn’t really cutting it). It feels that in order for me to break into the design world, I need an internship. Now I don’t have a BFA in graphic design, but rather an English lit degree with years of web experience and several academic graphic arts classes behind my back. Because I don’t have that oh-so-coveted graphic design degree, I simply have to work a lot fucking harder to prove myself. However, with an internship under my belt and my artistic capabilities that’s on par with any BFA graduate, I think employers will finally take me seriously.
Now Lodwick and his former partners at Connected Ventures embody every young adult’s dream: to take something and make it into a successful and, most of all, lucrative phenomenon; to be young, creative, wealthy, influential, and powerful in the busiest and trendiest city of America — a place, in itself, that inspires dreams and aspirations. Now as much as I admire Lodwick and Connected Ventures’ ambition, innovation, and entrepreneurship and how I would jump at any chance to work for any of them, it would — in my current situation — just be financially unadvisable to take an unpaid internship.
Of course, there’s another problem: while NYC offers tons of design and web-dev internships, it’s so fucking hard for me to find one here in Chicago; while one small company in Chicago may post an intern listing, New York will post about 12 times that much — yet all are unpaid. In fact, on any given day, Chicago’s Craigslist may post at most 10 potential art/design job listings while New York’s Craigslist will post 20 to 30 jobs a day. And out of the fifty web-dev/design/production internship and employment listings I’ve sought in the past 5 months, only two in Chicago have responded to my emails. By contrast, I’ve at least gotten a dozen emails back from several people outside of the Midwest (I’ll be honest, most of the responses say they want someone local). I’m beginning to think that Chicago, in comparison to New York or the West Coast, really isn’t looking to hire creative talent.
So I feel fucking stuck, like I’m trapped in a box. I see an opportunity to exit, but it’s blocked by a glass wall. In other words, I see what I want to do, and I know I’m more than capable of handling it, but I currently don’t have the money or the resources to support myself outside of the Midwest. At least for free.
The good news is that I may have found a photography internship in Chicago with a highly reputable magazine (the second Chicago listing that has ever responded, I might add). It’s great, but photography’s not necessarily my expertise. Nonetheless, I hope this opportunity will give me some experience and give potential employers evidence that I have what it takes to be a great asset in the art world. Secondly, I sent something out to a great New York-based graphic design company in the hopes of getting a paid internship. I’ve seen what this company has done in the past, and I would genuinely love to work with them.
Here’s hoping that either of these opportunities will go through, because frankly — after 5 months of searching, sending out resumes, and arriving at dead-ends — I’m starting to feel a little down. I know I shouldn’t have any feelings of self-doubt, but after trying so hard and getting nothing but silence, it just wears your confidence out a little. Nonetheless, I’m trying to quell these negative feelings by knowing that someone, someday, will appreciate my talent enough to hire me and that I should, right now, just continue on creating: I’ve resigned myself to still make art (even if it’s for myself). And I promise you — five years tops — I’ll be in New York City.
I find it very ballsy (maybe even a little pretentious) that they released the album’s 8-minute version as the video. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a great song that’s darkly different from what Death Cab is known for, and I think it’s pretty cool to see the entire world in an 8-minute video.
On the settings page you can now specify a custom title and caption for your muxtape. Some mixes need a little context and this is a great place for some liner notes (they’ll also show up in RSS). There’s also been lots of little bug fixes across the site; ampersands and unicode should work perfectly in the organizer and all custom fields, for one.
I should have blogged about this sooner on Tumblr (I did on Bluegoomba.com), but Muxtape’s design is so clean and simple. Web design and entrepreneurship at its best.
If the developers do listen to this (and I’m sure someone has suggested it), but I’d like to see a feature as to who favorited my muxtape. Maybe these people have mutual musical tastes with me, and if so we can get together over a cup of coffee and discuss how much Pavement has an influence over today’s trends.
Also, since I’m going to change my muxtape every so often, I’d love to see a history feature that shows previous songs I’ve uploaded in the past.