Pizza Party USA: Finding a Way to Survive While Working an Unpaid Internship.

September 3rd, 2013 by Will Monson

One of the most important bits of advice I was given while finishing my undergrad in Graphic Design and Communication Studies was to get an internship. So while I was in my senior year, I did just that. However there was one small problem, it was an unpaid internship. Although the fairness of unpaid internships is a hotly debated topic in the media right now, it’s pretty common practice. What you need to remember is that it’s not impossible to live while doing so.

pizza

So as I did my 6-month internship gaining valuable experience that I rely on today, I was faced with a dilemma: I needed to make money somehow to pay my rent and buy my ramen food supplements. With school and work during the day, I was at a lost of how I could work at night without lessening the already dwindling hours I slept each night. It was a friend that came up with the solution: pizza delivery.

The most taken-for-granted job ever became my savior to my financial problems. I could work from 6 till 11 p.m., which was great compared to being a bartender and staying up till 3 a.m. I could listen to class notes or use the alone time to think of assignments or projects. I could use the opportunity to talk to the very people I was trying to design for in some of my projects.

intern

So my advice to students or recent grads, get an internship. Go out there and try to get a job at your dream company. The connection you make as an intern could lead to a full-time position once you graduate, and even if it doesn’t, you’ll gain invaluable experience. Don’t be afraid if it is unpaid either. While not ideal, you can survive. Just think creatively about part time work available to you–even if it means going on a Ramen diet, like I did.