Post # 1
So I got an email from my top choice internship this week… which should be exciting! But it was followed with the statement “we pay our interns $7.25”. I had to look up to make sure that was minimum wage. I even get paid $8.10 at my part time job during the school year… so needless to say that wage is kind of insulting. (I’m in software development) Plus the internship is only 2 months long.
I already have an offer for the company I interned with last summer for $22/hr for 3 months. It makes it really hard to turn down even your top choice with a difference of $8000 in your hands. I do have to consider making it through the school year, but I really also wanted to study abroad the summer after I graduate.
Money aside, because I know thats what a lot of people will say, I’m not sure the difference in the jobs will be worth the price I will pay. The new job is in the advertising field, where I wanted to get my foot in the door for future opportunities. However, it would probably only be the internship because they don’t offer many full time positions, and apparently they are known for severely underpaying their employees. It was a really competitive process though so I feel like I achieved something by getting it.
The old job is pretty much strictly IT, and I also didn’t see myself working there full time after graduation. They do offer a steady salary and benefits, because they are a large company. Because I’ve worked there before, I have some leverage in what project I want, so I have specifically asked to do a certain kind of work. I believe it will be quite similar to the work at the new place, but probably less design oriented.
I can’t tell what to do. Common sense says old job, my heart says new job. But my heart also broke when I got the news. It was like the day I got accepted into my #1 top-tier college but I knew I couldn’t afford to go…<br /><br />
Post # 2
Since you are going to continue to study, I’d take the money. You can build your experience next time.
Post # 3
That is a rock and a hard place. But, I would go with the old company. From my own internship to employment experience, I can say that it was much more valuable to tell my employer that my internship was paying me WAY above minimum wage than it was to tell them where I was interning. It tells your future employer that you were valued for the type of work you did. It makes it much easier to negociate salary when you are looking for a paying job.
Post # 4
I say old, but make sure you don’t stick with the IT focused job for too long or you will surpass that chance yo have to break into the advertising market. Considering the internship is 2 months only and they never hire long term, it seems like somewhat of a dead end. Assuming you are young you should have plenty of opportunities to get other internships in advertising, or other jobs. But… you may not get paid 22.00/hour, that’s a pretty high wage for entry level. I want to stress though like I said, to make sure you get into a good advertising gig sooner rather than later even if it does involve a decent pay cut. I’d love to break into advertising or marketing, but at the stage that I am in my career, it will be very difficult because I can’t afford to take the cut that would put me at entry level to do so.
Post # 5
Take the money. That’s a huge blow for a job that only offers minimal experience.
Think of it like this… You’re so good, your old company wants you back! That actually counts for something.
Post # 6
The contacts I got from my college internships got me my first and second big jobs outside of school. If you want to retool your focus to be in the area of the new but lower paid job, I think you should take that and use it to make contacts, even if you won’t be working for them specifically for the long term. Having experience in that field on your resume will be worth more in the long run than the $8k. It could make or break your ability to crack into that new field, actually.
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
wouldyoukindlyy: Which one will open more doors? You’re lucky in that my internships were always unpaid. If you want to work in advertising you’re going to have to start somewhere so you have to balance the money from an IT job (which is nothing to sniff at if you want to pursue a career in IT) with getting experience in advertising which is the field you actually want to pursue a career in. Even if the advert internship company doesn’t offer full time positions, what is their company name worth on your resume?
At some point you’ll have to work an entry level advert position and most of them are paid nowhere near the $22/hour you’re getting paid for IT work. It sounds like you’re at the proverbial crossroads and it’s time to choose between IT and advert. In the longterm they both have good earning potential depending on what area you go into but you also want to actually somewhat enjoy the work that you do. If your heart is really in advertising and you can afford to take the paycut then take the advert position. That’s what crappy low pay or unpaid internships are for.
Post # 8
wouldyoukindlyy: Going against the grain here, but if you REALLY want to be in advertising, take the new job. It pays less but that’s because there are more people who want to be in advertising than there are jobs. And the industry doesn’t pay as well as tech (which is different from IT), finance, or management consulting.
As someone who worked for a global agency at the mid-level (supervisor / director / VP), whenever I interview and ask a candidate why they want to join, I always follow up w/ “what are you doing to get closer to your goals?” regardless of what they say. It tells me a lot about a candidate’s motivation and if they’re worth the investment of my time since interns are mostly worthless as they are learning the industry. It takes time to be independent and productive. Work product needs to be re-worked. I have to spend a ton of time training.
Given what I can see in the industry, stick with tech. Software engineers are making 85k straight out of school and $150k after 5 years if they’re good. This doesn’t include bonus, stock, food, gym, transit, etc. Unless you’re in interactive ads, but you’ll still make less and will be the first to go in a re-org / acquisition if they’re focusing on a tech team.
Post # 9
bitsybee: beachbride1216: Just to clarify for everyone, I’m not switching my entire career focus, only the track. That’s why I’m conflicted. I will be doing essentially the same job at both places, just with different context. One just happens to be at a smaller company. That’s why I’m not certain of the impact it will have.
It’s a good point that I might be the first one to go in a reorganization… that’s why I switched originally out of the video game track. Is a steady well paying fun job too hard to ask for? 😉
If I took an entry level JOB as opposed to internship though, my initial salary would be probably equivalent to the 22/hr which I don’t mind. According to glassdoor.
Post # 10
wouldyoukindlyy: I always had “more” impact at smaller places because there’s less room for error. I could single handedly be responsible for a company’s success or failure.
Smaller budget though, so less ability to impact users. When I worked at a global corporation, my activities affected 1ks of users and millions in revenue. But it seemed like a drop in the overall bucket. Just something to think about.
Post # 11
I’d go with the new job. As a software developer you have a bright future and lots of money making opportunities ahead of you. The point of internships is to try out differnt opportunities, so I’d go for it. The money is going to hurt right now, sure, but in the early stages of a high potential career such as this one you are investing in so much more than the actual dollars you are being paid per hour.
And I say this as an HR person who’s spent her whole career working for software companies.
Post # 12
wouldyoukindlyy: PLEASE. DO NOT accept $7.25/hr for software development work, no matter how much your heart wants to be in advertising and/or the company. If they hire you as an intern, you will be given the most undesirable time-wasting work, and the execs (whom you should be able to network with to advance your career) will be too busy high-fiving each other over how effectively they were able to exploit you. They will ALWAYS see you as “the intern”, not the promising young brilliant developer you are. I’m an old CS major, have been there, done that, got the t-shirts/coffee mugs given out in place of paying a decent wage. You can do so much better staying at the boring job, building skills with side projects in your spare time (write a mobile app! do something with raspberry pi! learn a new language! attend users groups!)
Post # 13
So I have a bit of an update.
I cannot actually afford to go to the $7.25 internship :/ I looked at my budget for a year and how much money I have left, and I’d have to take out another loan. I’m trying to minimize those.
While I feel like I’ll regret not going for a long time, I believe I’ll still develop the skills I need, perhaps even more so because the old company will keep me a month longer. I’ll have the chance to apply for more companies that I like for a job next year, now that I know where to look. And I think I will have MUCH more regret never going to Europe when I had the chance instead of taking a job that pays less than Subway.
I’m just pretty terrified because I know its hard to break into UI/UX design when you don’t have a large background. I couldn’t even get the local internship last fall. But my plan (I think) is to learn at the old company, and get another internship during the school year with a different local company to diversify my resume, and then I’ll be able to apply to another advertising company for a job come spring.