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charliemoosic Offline
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unpaid internship - March 20th 2015, 10:15 AM

hey guys

so i've already done a google search which was useful but i wonder if any of you could add your opinions and ideas...

situation is... after finishing a music technology degree summer 2018 (UK) i'm determined to do an internship in recording studios in the US. it's been my dream for years. so i've been sending round LOTS of emails to studios across the US, state by state. i've done 9 states so far from the first 4 pages on google search. and i have a map of states where i've been checking them off.

i've had quite a few replies offering internships but i think they're all unpaid (awaiting replies) and i know that one of them is unpaid. I want this more than anything but i won't have any family/friends to stay with in the US and i don't know how to support myself other than save up for 3 years and get an evening/weekend job when i do the internship.

it would be great to have your guys' opinions and ideas and stuff on this, i'm a bit stuck and people ALWAYS either say do what makes you happy or just tells me not to go... which doesn't really help...

sorry if this is confusing or jumbled

thanks!
   
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Re: unpaid internship - March 20th 2015, 11:57 AM

Well I was thinking if the internships offer university credit, I don't know if it will transfer over but if you find out it does then you can perhaps try to start the internship while you're still in school. University costs money so getting credits is like taking a class for free and doing what you like and getting experience. However that doesn't solve the problem with paying for the costs of living. In which case, and I've never done this before but maybe there are exchange programs or swapping houses/hosts/etc that you can do for a few months and during that time have an evening job but you'll be saving most of it because housing will be low charge and kinda go from there.
   
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Re: unpaid internship - March 20th 2015, 01:25 PM

thanks Gryff that really helps
   
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Re: unpaid internship - March 20th 2015, 09:34 PM

OK there is this thing, I think it is called a J1 visa... I can't remember what it is called, but it is basically a type of visa you get when you live in the USA (from another country) where you moved there to learn (e.g. entry level, internships, training jobs) and some of them are pretty sweet - companies sign up to have people come on this visa for 1 year or so. There is a second similar visa you can get. You might want to learn about these visas and see if any of them have what you want.

Personally, I find unpaid internships extremely fucking annoying. I've had 2 (although one was for university credits) and both times I learned very little because my bosses basically decided they didn't really have time for me and just wanted me to do the grunt work. I suppose grunt work is better than nothing, but an internship is supposed to be a learning experience, and it is unfair to not even pay someone if you aren't truly going to spend all the time they are there teaching them and letting them get a good experience. I would steer clear of them and get a paid job because people won't see you as free labour, if they're investing in you by paying for you to be there I think they will work harder to make sure you are actually a true asset (e.g. via training, education, teaching...)




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Re: unpaid internship - March 21st 2015, 09:22 AM

thank you that was really helpful
   
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Re: unpaid internship - March 22nd 2015, 07:03 PM

I'm on a J1 right now (with a reasonable amount of pay). I'm pretty certain that, just like for about any other type of visa, you'll have to demonstrate that you have the finances to support your stay in the US before you'll be given the visa. You won't be allowed to work for any other employer other than the one sponsoring you (in this case, the "unpaid internship"). You could look into freelancing, although I'm not certain what the regulations are around that - maybe for non-US clients, through online freelancing platforms, things like that. Although I doubt this would be a convincing argument for the visa official, as it might be one of those legal grey areas that no one is really clear about but most people do it anyway. Depending on how long the internship is, they might want to see that you have a certain amount in savings to cover for rent and basic necessities during those months. You have time; you can start saving up now.

I admire your persistence and really hope that you keep it up. I have many international dreams that I haven't had the energy to pursue because I've been intimidated by visa requirements and my lack of finances. Try to look for a paid internship - for the sake of being compensated fairly for your labour, if nothing else - it will make the process of actually getting into the country significantly easier.


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Re: unpaid internship - March 24th 2015, 04:28 PM

i never trusted unpaid internship... even if you are a newbie with no job experience and you should learn and practice all nuances of your future job, it does not mean you should do everything for free... chances are they can use your time and energy for some work they do not want to do themselves, and after your internsip is finished they say you are not good enough for them. Sure, not all free internships are like that, but anyway... Yes, i am too sceptical and cinical, I know
   
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Re: unpaid internship - March 25th 2015, 06:46 AM

Stay awaaaaaaay from the south. And Ohio (jk, its in my blood to say that).
The southeast US including Texas will drive you up a a wall, that tends to be the breeding ground for where many American stereotypes start at (not necessarily the obesity one though, thats everywhere). Thats where you'll find many of the gun-toting, bible thumping people.
For music, I would say that Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Seattle are probably the places to go (you might wanna check that though). There are a few places in the south where music is huge like Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans, but for the sake of your sanity, avoid the south.


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Re: unpaid internship - April 6th 2015, 08:17 PM

sorry haven't been on the site for a while! but thankyou for your replies, you lot are way more helpful than anywhere else i've looked and i hope you achieve your dreams too

it seems that getting a job in the US with a visa is too far-fetched for me to get but maybe it could happen one day. i could also try reeaally hard to somehow build finances large enough to put money into a US business so i can get a visa that way and live there... also studying a masters degree in the US would work but only for a few years...

but still, thank you for all your help
   
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