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Am I being exploited? Internship

By Mikey_Gore ยท 13 replies
Jul 4, 2012
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  1. Right okay, I am currently doing an internship and it has been well over 4 months. It initially was going to end at 3 months with a possibility of a full-time job.

    I was told a full-time job wasn't available, but my internship was extended. I get paid the National Minimum Wage, and contribute to the company's work. I work on client projects.

    It's seems by keeping me under the intern label, he is giving me NMW salary which otherwise would have to be much more. I am told that there is no full-time job, yet they want a full-time intern there with the same hours as the rest of the employees.
  2. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +48

    Please don't take this the wrong way or anything.............."but what the heck are you complaining about"? So your an "intern", so your not a regular employee, so what? In today's trying times and the way the current job market is, just be thankful you've got a job! I know a lot of my friends that would barf up their left lung just to get slapped with the title of an intern! I have an old high school buddy who would do anything just to be a temp worker or an intern, my high school buddy has been looking for work for the past 6-7 months with no luck. His car got repo'd, his girlfriend left him and he's living off borrowed time on a house mortgage that could be taken out from under neath him any day now.

    So "National Minimum Wage"

    to "State Minimum Wage"

    to "County Minimum Wage"

    to "City Minimum Wage"

    Be thankful you've got a wage!
  3. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Unless it was written into your internship contract that there would be a full time job at the end of the 3 months you don't really have any cause for complaint. But if you're doing a good job and have built up a good relationship with your management then sure, have a word with them.

    I don't know the legal definition of an "internship" or if a company can keep someone as an intern indefinitely but I've seen some which go on for 6 months to a year.
  4. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    The two posts above me make a good point. You have a job and you're making money. There's a lot of people who can't say that. I would point out a couple other things.
    First of all, if this internship is in the field of work that you plan on making your career in then I would stick with it. I'm assuming you're getting good experience in the workplace. Degrees are good but companies jump for candidates with experience. So in a sense you're making more than minimum wage. This is even more true if you plan on sticking with this company for your career because you will have learned your companies culture, information systems, mission, etc.

    One more thing. If you do decide to call it quits make sure you have something else lined up first. I know it seems obvious but I've seen some people get so frustrated with their job they quit without thinking about how they're gonna pay the bills.
  5. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    In this day and age, exploitation is hard to define.

    If you were assured a full time tob, take up the matter with the management.
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,312   +100

    Frankly, yes, I do think your employer may be taking advantage of you, and no I don't think you should just be happy you're getting minimum wage. You deserve fair compensation for your skills and if you don't believe that's minimum wage, I would take ravisunny's advice and speak with management.

    Internship, as I understand it, is the exchange of cheap labor for job experience. It sounds like you now have the latter. Granted, if they didn't guarantee full time employment, you have no right to expect it. Likewise, they have no right to expect you to work for intern wages once your skills exceed that point.

    I don't think you should settle for less because others are worse off (unemployed). That doesn't make sense to me unless there are simply no other positions open in your field, in which case, I guess you're between the proverbial rock and hard place, and maybe you should just ride this out for the time being.
  7. Jay Pfoutz

    Jay Pfoutz Malware Helper Posts: 4,282   +49

    Good experience = good pay. Can't get good pay where you are...go somewhere else or suffer.
  8. c3h899

    c3h899 TS Rookie Posts: 37

    Apply elsewhere. IF you are a legitimate candidate for the position consult your employer about a higher position. If you are concerned with wages the other job will be fine, but when employers are faced with loss they tend to negotiate a bit more favorably.
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I'm in a very similar situation as your buddy Zen. Except I haven't lost my car, and I don't have a mortgage on my house. But I'm renting, living with ex-gf, lease ends at end of August, and I don't know where I will find work. If I don't find a job before about mid-August I'm really screwed for living arrangements. Almost everywhere wants a year lease signed, only month to month places I know here are weekly rent hotel rooms.

    So my advice to Mikey is to be applying everywhere else you can think of that does similar work to what you are doing now. Maybe you'll get a better offer, if you do, you can take that to your current employer and say "someone else is offering me this, I'd like to stay working here, what can you guys do?". Worst that can happen is they tell you they can't do any better and you go take the other job.

    So it sucks, but you have some income now, thats better than nothing and like lots of people said above, you are gaining experience.
  10. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12


    Have you completed your PhD ?
    How about a teaching or research job at the university?
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Nope, PhD got derailed, now it is a Masters. Research/coursework is all done, thesis is 60% written, plan on being done with that within the next month or two. Had some talks about teaching a course for another university in the area, but apparently that fell through because I haven't heard back. Its not complete doom and gloom yet, I have a ton of resumes/applications out, about 3 of them have a decent chance of at least getting me a 2nd or first interview.
    DragonMasterJay likes this.
  12. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    Wish you luck, David. :)
    Or should I say Sigma Nu Gamma Xi Chapter 1275? :D
  13. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12


    Personally, I think that tons of resumes/applications is not as effective as it seems.

    If you know someone where you want the job, your chances go up exponentially.

    Also, don't rule out the community colleges.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Right. One of the companies I know 2 guys that work there very well, and I know a few others loosely, and a guy that works for my dad is good friends with one of their high ups. Another company I have a friend of a friend that used to work there putting in a good word for me. And the 3rd another guy that works for my dad used to work there and knows the big boss there (its a small business). So those are the 3 I have a little higher than normal chance at.

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