First written by the Gods, there are two core principles upheld by every college student across the country: the ability to perform any basic task at the last possible minute and the frenzy that ensues trying to find an internship that will wiggle their foot into the door of that cruel, baby boomer world. Also written by the Gods as an addendum are the types of internships made available: paid and unpaid. While some of us have the benefit of earning cold hard cash after a long day’s work in a corporate office, others are rewarded with a pat on the back and a placeholder for experience on their resumé. For frenemies Jessica Pinsky and Tina Hawk, this divide is all too personal.
“I’ll never tell Tina that I think it’s really fucking rude that she goes out to eat for every meal, or that she’s never made her own coffee at home. I just feel the tension whenever I fill up my thermos from my homely coffee pot and add generic brand creamer, while she watches and sips from her single use Lucky Goat cup. I’m sure those flavors are really rich with the blood of capitalist expenditures and fiscally conservative beliefs," said Jessica Pinsky, an English major and unpaid intern who works 35 hours a week configuring different ways to reach her word count requirement at the laundromat that hosts her. “It’s okay, though. What I lack in compensation for my labor I make up for in sick intellectual talking points.”
“Life may seem as sugary as my eight dollar coffee or as neat as my gluten-free cereal that I buy even though I don’t have Celiac disease, but my internship is honestly super stressful. Like, my boss wanted me to hand draw cards that said 'thanks 4 bein awesome XD' and deliver them to everyone in the office. Obviously I did it, but I had to go through three boxes of crayons," said finance major Tina Hawk as she bolded, underlined and italicized the word “paid” at the experience portion of her LinkedIn profile. "I wouldn't have gotten this internship if it wasn't for my unpaid internship at Coasting Through Life Inc., though. All I had to do was push people in office chairs around all day to keep up morale, but it definitely helped me build character. But my new internship isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. $14 an hour isn’t even that much. Combined with the $100 bills my parents throw at me weekly, I barely have enough to go to Okeechobee Fest this weekend.”
Despite their differences in pay grade, work ethic and overall experience, Hawk and Pinsky (which sounds like a badass 70’s cop duo) have one thing in common when it comes to their interning: neither of them will be offered full-time positions after months of grueling labor that should be delegated to the number of existing full-time employees with vacation time and health benefits working for their respective companies.