Ivanka Trump’s copy intern Quincy Bulin is currently on her third unpaid internship, so she really knows the ups and downs of saving money when you’re not receiving a pay check of any kind. Her article for Ms. Trump’s website on the subject is attracting a fair amount of harrumph-y indignation.
As Bulin writes, “It’s the conundrum every unpaid intern knows well: You don’t have a paycheck, but you still have living expenses.” Yes, such a conundrum, a true head-scratcher, an enigma. Yet, this article leads to more questions than answers. For example, why is this the header image?
The five tips within the article are sourced from the other interns Bulin works with (two of whom are named MacKenzie) who appear to be running the whole damn department. They cover saving during the school year, socializing with potlucks, setting a budget for how to spend your lack of income, asking for the very basic reimbursement of travel and lunch expenses, and finally, getting a job. Part-time, of course.
What about when your savings aren’t enough and bills still need to be paid? Batsheva Loeb, one of our marketing interns, tacked on a part-time job to her summer responsibilities. “I don’t like splitting up my days, so I’ll split up my week between interning and working, and then give myself a free day.” She works at Ivanka Trump Tuesday-Thursday, does her part-time job Friday, Saturday and Monday, and takes Sunday off. While there’s certainly a lot on her to-do list, Batsheva has no regrets. “My theory is that we’re young and have a lot of energy—we should push ourselves career-wise as hard as we can now.” If that means you’re working as a retail associate or hostess on the side to intern at your dream company, so be it.
I’ve worked my fair share of unpaid internships, and it’s certainly not Bulin’s fault that she believes her continued free efforts will lead somewhere. We both had the resources or ability to work part-time or be supported some other way. It’s Ivanka Trump, daughter of a self-proclaimed billionaire, most people seem to have a problem with.
The Trumps are the best at irony. Their irony is the greatest, hugest irony around.