I saw a post by yet another designer asking for interns. What they are really asking for are slaves. I wouldn’t even call them volunteers because that would imply that it was for a charitable organisation, some institution that does things for the public good. But this is certainly not the case, despite the fanciful ideas floating around in our little art school heads. I hate to break it to you, but our work as designers has roughly 1.8% of the impact of that middle aged woman down the street from you volunteering at the library.
The design firm gets paid mind you, albeit not a lot. Then that trickle’s down to people beneath them being paid even less, which is in the case of intern means nothing.
They might say, “But the business is so hard, there is no money…” and I would agree and then would remind them that this is indeed a business in the end of the day. I would go on to explain that I might not be a business expert but that I know enough to know that they are probably in the wrong one if they can’t support themselves without profiting off of the unpaid labour of others.