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Experience > Money

For six months last year I was an intern making $350/month in exchange for +40 hours of work a week. That breaks down to $2.18/hour. Well below minimum wage. Very well below. At the end I was not wealthier, but I had gained valuable experience.

$350 a month is not a lot of money. The only way I was able to work for for this paltry amount and not end up on the street was because I have a bad-ass wife who supported us.

So why would I accept a design internship that paid this? It came down to dual experience:

  • Hands on industrial design

  • Living in a new country

This ended up working really well for me. I learned a lot, made some great connections, and had some great projects to add to my portfolio. I would have loved to have been paid well, but I came out ahead in other aspects.

In the end, internships* are not about money made, they are about experience gained.

Of course we need money to meet "X" so you can achieve "Y" without living in squalid conditions, but if one place offers great experience and low wages, while another offers mediocre experience and high wages, choose a chance to grow your skills, not your wallet.

In the end, internships are not about money made, they are about experience gained.

*while internships are not about money, work certainly is. I encourage you to seek fair wages for professional services.

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