The dilemma with internships di Mind Design, London

Testi — June 14, 2012


Un testo scritto dallo studio Mind Design di Londra sul dilemma del tirocinio.

We had many interns in our studio over the years and learned as much from them as they hopefully learned from us. We always treated them like everyone else in the studio and paid at least £350 per month (even at times when we were struggling). We followed their careers and are still in contact with most of them. Until recently I thought internships are good arrangement from which everyone benefits. However, nowadays there are so many student’s, graduates, even post graduates entering the internship circuit that the situation has started to affect (and change) the design industry. Not necessarily for the better. So what is the problem with internships?

1) The industry is becoming dependent on interns.
Especially in difficult economic times design companies might recruit interns as a cheap short-term workforce. It is worrying to see how this has already developed in the fashion industry where there are sometimes 10 interns to 1 designer, working long hours and weekends. The other problem is that when the cost of ‘staff’ becomes less design agencies can charge low fees and undercut each others prices. It doesn’t take long until even clients figure out how the game works. We have been asked to complete projects for ridiculously low fees where the clients have already suggested ‘maybe your intern can do it?’. Those clients should approach graduates directly, not design studios. Without any overheads a few hundred quid might be ok for a graduate and could mean a first step towards self-employment. We all started like this.

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