Mrog wrote:The idea behind that is that people with a degree shouldn't destroy the market by interning for the next ten years of their life. Ideally people who are not ready for the market shouldn't graduate yet anyway, in my opinion.
@cwatkinson, apologies for hijacking your thread. If this sparks more discussion I will open my own
My situation in San Francisco was a little different. I am European and Trainee/Internship visas aka J1 visas can only be obtained if you have graduated.
There is no quota and they can be applied for year round but yes, companies will have to pay the intern a living wage.
My personal rule has been to only consider unpaid internships during my studies in the summer and then only paid internships if necessary after graduation.
So I did 3 internships during my studies of which only one was paid and 1 well paid traineeship after my studied which lead to fulltime employment.
From my experience, it was tough to make internships happen while I was studying as I was only able to to this during the summer when there where no classes. Which also meant I could only commit to 3 months. This is barely enough time to get your foot in the door anywhere, especially not if you have very little "real world" experience.
The traineeship after I graduated was amazing and I am very grateful I got the opportunity. I was able to commit for 6+ months without the pressures of being a junior designer and the all privileges that come with being an intern.
In general, I don't agree that you should only be allowed to intern during your studies. That time is a stressful and expensive one as is.
If people can make that happen in their free time and don't have to work during the summer to swing their education or if it is being covered in their curriculum, good for them. But that is not an option for everyone.
We all know that completing as many internships as possible is important in order to learn about different ways of working and areas of design. To put this pressure solely on students during their studies makes a lot of them start masters even though they shouldn't and instead probably would be better off interning.
Of course people shouldn't be kept in intern positions for years and I believe that possibly max 12 months with a living wage is a good time frame.
Internships and traineeships give both the intern and the company a low-cost/low-commit opportunity to evolve and learn while at the same time test a possible candidate. A place half way between student intern and junior designer.
I have seen this in the consultancy scene in SF a lot and I know lots of other industries are doing this.
My girlfriend was a communications intern in Munich after graduation which also turned into a fulltime position a few months later.