Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Fun With Craigslist

In keeping with this morning's post on unpaid internships, your MatchGirl thought she'd share the following, which she found on her afternoon job search.

Seeking Smart, Organized Intern for Exciting Fashion Company (Garment Center )
Date: 2009-09-16, 10:36AM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Fashion Label, selling in Bloomingdales and other fine retail stores, seeks an energetic, smart, motivated intern who is interested in Fashion. Responsibilities include being the right hand to the fashion designer, and assisting in many tasks crucial to the success of the company.
This is a non-paid Internship
Administrative, computer tasks
Marketing Research
Fashion Research
Organizing photo shoots
Errands in Garment Center
Working with suppliers and personal Clients
Meeting buyers and clients of the brand.
And many many other tasks. Every day is interesting and different.
Requirements :
Excellent Organizational skills
Excellent Presentation Skills
Excellent Verbal & Written Communication Skills.
Prefer some background in Fashion , But not absolutely necessary.
Must be available 3-4 Full days per week.
Must be interested in learning about what happens behind the scenes in the development of a Fashion Brand.
Thank you .

* Location: Garment Center
* Compensation: NON-Paid Internship

To be fair to the poster, the "internship" is labeled as such. But if you read down to the bottom, you will see that the employer is requiring a commitment of 3 to 4 full days per week. Now, that is something that a student could do, had this internship been posted at the beginning of the semester, before their class schedules (and usually part-time jobs) were set. It's a few weeks into the semester, however, and I know the students in my class have their lives pretty much organized.

It seems to me that the designer has found themselves in need of an assistant and simply doesn't have the cash to pay for one. "Responsibilities include being the right hand to the fashion designer, and assisting in many tasks crucial to the success of the company."

Dear original poster of this listing, if the assistance the "intern" will be providing is so crucial to the success of your business, don't you think you ought to share the wealth?


  1. "share the wealth" is more than likely anathema to this individual. Of course why anyone would want to work for someone who thinks verbal and written communication skills are separate entities is beyond me. Written communication skills are VERBAL, unless one insists on leaving out the verbs. If they want someone who can speak as well as write why don't they say so?

  2. Your analysis of this ad is spot on. The fashion industry is struggling. We have had massive layoffs and plenty of bankruptcies, just keeping from going under is a goal now. Even with more work, few of us can afford the expense of adding more people, so internships are on the rise.

    At the same time, so many of us are looking for work that a low paid assistant job gets hundreds of applicants, many of whom would never have considered such a position 2 years ago.

  3. @39th and Broadway -
    I know that times are tough in the industry (I've been out of work for 10 months now) and I have no problem with people getting interns - for credit, a low stipend, lunch money, what have you - and working a couple of days a week. But this particular employer is looking for 4 full days a week at no pay/stipend/whatsoever. Not to learn, but to do work integral to the operation of the company. Which is not just uncool, it's illegal (check out the previous intern post).

    And, yes. I agree that people are applying for and taking jobs that they wouldn't have dreamed of previously. I know I have!

    I'm just a firm believer that one should treat people the way they want to (or were, when they were coming up) treated.

  4. @MatchGirl
    "Which is not just uncool, it's illegal."
    Straight talk. Thanks for that.