Why I Accepted An Unpaid Post Grad Internship & Quit Within A Month

Moving to New York City has already caused me major financial challenges. Honestly, it’s just me getting used to the cost and spending strategically.

I continued experimental marketing in New York City. However, with a bigger market it posed as a challenge for me to consistently get booked.

I turned back to retail, where I thought I would not go. This time around it turned out to be a great opportunity. My view of not being able to express my personality, advance within a company or have a positive environment had changed.

Finally, I found a company where I could express my personality or style, although I realized I had none. Asked for opportunities to advance within the company and was presented with them. Aside from mistakes I had made and learning the protocol for the company. Compared to other retail or just jobs I had it posed to be a 80% positive environment. (There are still a few bad apples but never let the bad apples keep you running from opportunity.)

To prepare for NYFW in February and the chance to attend shows and be apart of the mayhem. One night, I reached out to a blogger friend of mine for advice on how I could get involved. She informed me that I should check out fashionista.com. Having been subscribed to their mailing list for a while I never realized how credible their resources were. So I did, I cold email a few companies that I was interested in until one stick.

Well one stuck. The next morning after staying up until 3am sending emails, I got a reply from a company and was offered an interview. Within the week, I interviewed and was offered the position.

Over the past few months, I’ve seen trends about negotiating pay. While I knew the internship was unpaid, I thought I would at least inquire about a travel stipend, because traveling on the MTA train is not cheap. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in their budget to provide that which I understood.

When it came down to it, I felt I had to take the chance. My goal was to see was this company what I imagined it to be. Could it really be the leap in my career that I needed.

However, it didn’t turn out the way that I hoped. My goal was to keep an open mind and hope that I would enjoy it.

As an intern, I understood that I wouldn’t be handling account but did anticipate being challenged in my field. Instead, I was provide with tasks such as painting frames, getting the CEO’s lunch in 20 degree weather and organizing storage closets. To make matters worst, I had a passive aggressive boss.

From previous experiences, I know what my limits are and what I’m willing to put up with. I could tell this internship would not benefit me in anyway. Especially if I had a boss who never gave me any tasks but sourced from other teams interns.

With that, I quit, I’ve done jobs that were a waste of time but those jobs taught me to see early on when something like this isn’t for me. This definitely was not for me and there is a certain level of respect I expect from anyone no matter who you are.

I’m happier now and productively focusing on my brands and other projects. Still seeking out other opportunities. I feel you’ll never fully know if an opportunity is for you on the front end, take the chance and see during the process if it was everything you every hoped for.

Have you ever accepted an unpaid internship? Was it worth it?


4 responses to “Why I Accepted An Unpaid Post Grad Internship & Quit Within A Month”

  1. Dominek says:

    Hey there. Thanks for sharing this about work experience. I have never had a unpaid opportunity but I can see why you left. They should have been providing you with learning experiences.

    • rashebajones says:

      Thank you, I agree. Honestly, I do not feel as if my supervisor liked me because I asked to be placed on dual teams. She then would never ask me to do tasks unless it was painting a frame or cleaning something up. I understand as an intern or entry level position you have to start somewhere, but not being treated unlike a human. I know my worth and go where I am felt appreciated.

  2. Thank you for being honest about your experience. It also helps to know what you like and don’t like and what you want out of a professional environment.

    • rashebajones says:

      It is still a work in progress, but I’ve seen similar signs and know when it is my time to move on.