being an intern is an INVALUABLE experience!
I got an email from someone asking why the intern position was unpaid
I thought I would put in a few words about my own experience as an unpaid intern.
there are experiences in life that is are invaluable and that even though I didn't get paid - I felt that these experiences all help build who I am today and my strong work ethics.
I don't know if my strong work ethics came because I never had anything given to me, I had to work for it and I grew up in a poor part of the city and we all struggled, and getting an education was high on the list and would pave my way to where I am today.
when I was in junior school I wanted to be a teacher and working at a summer camp was a dream job for me and I didn't have much teaching experience since I was so young so I decided to look ahead and wanted to build that experience so I decided to do volunteer work at my local library to tutor kids that had trouble reading and I did that every saturday for two years and proudly put that on my resume and got the job teaching at summer camp.
when I was in high school I wanted to be in the arts field and wanted to immerse myself in the community and I did internships at the Power Plant, Canadian Art Magazine, and The Ontario Crafts council - even if I was stuffing envelopes during my shift, I gained experience and saw how these places operated and it helped me with my business skills.
while I was in grad school I had the wonderful opportunity to intern with sculptor/installation artist catherine widgery. I did a lot of production work and it was really helpful to see how an artist balances life and studio work and also that being an artist is not just being in the studio, but a lot of other networking, media relations, working with other people involved in the projects like architects and engineers, also all the research involved.
when I finished grad school I wanted to work at the Art Gallery of Ontario and it was hard to get into the education department, so I wanted to get my foot in the door and looked into being a volunteer, I did my time at the prints and drawing centre, doing talks with the docents. since being a volunteer you were consider staff and the gallery would hire internally first before posting it to the public, every shift I would look at the job postings to see if a teaching position was open and finally one day I saw a teaching posting and applied for the job, and I worked there teaching art for 10 years.
all these volunteer and intern positions were unpaid - the people I met and the experiences I had was invaluable.