YES.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I started working at EVR Advertising just about a month ago as–take a guess–an unpaid intern! Before working here, I was (and will be next year as well) an unpaid intern for the Athletics Department at UNH. I’m considering just making a career out of this whole unpaid thing. I mean who needs money anyway, right? In my opinion, doing what I love and getting experience, even if it is for free, is so much better than working that same old summer job just for the sake of getting a weekly paycheck. (To be honest, I also work that same old summer job a few days a week to fund my “Annula’s Fridays” habit that I have developed here at the office!)

To put it in a form that we can all appreciate:

Intern Salary: $0.00… Annula’s Friday: $11.00… Experience and knowledge gained: Priceless

Thank goodness, because if it weren’t priceless, I couldn’t afford it!

In the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve already learned about brand strategy, market research analysis, earned media, how to write and format press releases, and event management (one time I got to ride around in a golf cart all day – pretty cool right?).  In my first week alone, I had the opportunity to sit in on conference calls and attend meetings. Learning how to interact with clients is not something I can learn in a classroom, only through experience.

There has been a lot of buzz in the media lately about unpaid internships– Will they pay off? Are they worth it? Are they even legal? For those of you aspiring to follow in my footsteps, livin’ la vida broka as I like to call it, I offer my expertise on the topic. In regards to the three questions above, here are my answers: YES, YES, and not entirely sure (though for the record, I think they should be).

Photo credit: Flickr redgeckoTO