That will open up the internships to a larger group of students.
As for TypeByte, I think it's okay. My girlfriend went through it, passed with flying colors and got many interviews. The problem is jobs like colleges differ vasty.
Perhaps a better solution for the problem is a meaningful certification. Then you can simply focus on the specifics of the role and company to see if it's a good fit. Determining qualification is a solved problem in many other fields.
Beyond the medical field and lawyers, what other fields do you believe that qualifications is a solved problem? Mind that a certification itself can also be cost prohibitive — that’s ok if it can be amortized over many apps though.
Everything from air conditioner repairmen to physical therapists.
The current college system in the US is entirely flawed. College education should be free and slots given based on merit and not money. What you pointed out is that this bad system already starts at the cost for an application.
University education in Germany is basically free (~300€ per year) and application costs are printing 2-3 pages and sending them in or bringing them personally. And that's only for the final step, everything else is already online.
1. Depending on the university, you might not even have to print anything out, I applied to TUM purely digital IIRC
2. While I was studying they abolished the study fees. What you pay is student unions dues, which depending on which state include a public transportation ticket, access to additional medical consultations and career services and other stuff
3. We can also apply for federal study aid, depending on need. I worked and had parents who could support me, so I "only" got around 6000€ for all of my studies (plus an additional 3000 for studying abroad in Switzerland for a while) of which I'll have to repay 50% interest free, less if I can pay it off in a lump sum.
4. This is a very social-democratic German perspective, but I'd argue education is a right and should be given to everyone, limited only by the available resources. Conditional on limited resources split it between prioritising need (e.g., increasing social mobility) and prioritising ROI (in a rough sense, merit)
As an aside, I will be happily corrected if this is wrong, but I remember reading that in 2012 Germany graduated almost as many engineers (3 years bachelor plus master graduates, most of whom did a bachelor before) as the US (4 year bachelor with most people not going for the master of not as part of a PhD, if I understand correctly?). While I'm sure you can't exactly equate these numbers, with population numbers of 82e6 Vs 300e6 this seemed to me like the German system was doing something right - especially given German engineers seem(?) to be well qualified in the international comparison
I'm also a TUM graduate. At least a few years ago, you had to send in or hand in your signed final application papers (not even all documents) to the "Immatrukulationsamt". But so much of the process is purely online, that you might have forgotten about it.
"Entirely flawed" is also incorrect. At least according to this UK-based ranking: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankin...
The problem in the US is that too many people go to college to study things that cannot possibly afford to repay the cost of learning those skills. High school students are lied to by making them think college is the only path to success. Many 2-year trades exist (that you can apprentice - so earn while you learn) and pay much better than the opportunities available to 4-year students.
I do believe there should some cheaper public options but the biggest problem by far is too many people buy into the "you need college to succeed" myth.
> "Entirely flawed" is also incorrect. At least according to this UK-based ranking:
The ratings are not about cost for education and accessibility, i.e. a fair system for the population. They are about elitism.
I can't speak for other countries, but German universities are also underrated in these university rankings. Not on purpose, but because in the German system a huge part of the world class research does not happen at the universities, but at external research facilities like the Frauenhofer or Max Planck institutes. Those are afaik not included in the research and citation scores of universities.
And to come back to entirely flawed: There is also a lot of bad research happening just to boost publications and citation counts, two metrics that heavily influence the university ranking and "scientist rankings". If the university optimizes for ranking positions rather than high quality research, I would also call that a flawed system.
As for the quality of the American college system. I think it's hard to argue that many of the best universities are generally in the US. (I choose the UK ranking initially b/c it was the least friendly to American Universities). Many of these universities are also public and fairly low cost. My gauge on the problem of American universities is the bubble in demand. Too many people want to go to college for skills that aren't needed widely. This demand drives up cost to its currently crazy levels and creates long term debt issues.
As for the bad research to boost publication counts, I think basically every university does that.
Maybe you'd like this source better: http://www.leidenranking.com/ranking/2018/list
Maybe YC & YC companies can bring some order to this internship arms race by establishing clear application/decision timelines for YC companies? My sense is February is too late, but September-October applications for November decisions might work well.
As a former student and then recruiter for the SV company types, the Spring career fair was pretty good at filling up the intern roster. Definitely the fall is much much better for full-time & junior candidates.
Excellent. Unpaid internships should be illegal.
1) The determination if an intership covers a function they would have otherwise performed is very deferential to the company.
2) Interns do not have the resources to litigate if they believe their position is illegal. Even if they did, they would likely recover less than their costs. They also do not uniformly have access to competent labour regulators who follow-up on these matters.
3) The protections offered vary by jurisdiction as well as by industry/profession.
4) Interns also require networking and references in order to gain the full benefit of their work. Sounding the alarm on a company's hiring practices is a great way to poison the well.
The person you are responding to is not at all claiming the companies are driven By "altruistically" trying to shape the wealth dynamics of society.
Their claim was that the goal is to self-select for a certain type of desirable intern, not to give a certain type of person an overall economic advantage.
I don't buy that paid vs. unpaid internships offer a significant enough difference in cost to companies to be able to dismiss non-cost motivations as "not primary" without actual evidence.
With these internships, it's possible that the person in charge of hiring interns decided an easy to way to have impact is to reduce the salaries of interns. They do it and at the end of the year claim in their performance review "reduced the cost of the intern program to $0 while not compromising on quality". Great, here's your bonus.
Another possibility is that some folks need interns but don't want to go through the hassle of fighting other departments in the organisation for budget. The workaround is to offer unpaid internships that cost nothing.
And then there's just plain greed. The Kardashians run a business empire that makes hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue annually. They offered an unpaid internship as a gopher because they were stingy and knew people would do it anyway.
All of these strike me as more plausible motivations for unpaid internships rather than wanting to shape society. I'm sure that exists in some places, like elite law firms, but I think the scenarios I highlighted are much more widespread.
Again, nobody made the claim that the goal is to shape society.
> With these internships, it's possible that the person in charge of hiring interns decided an easy to way to have impact is to reduce the salaries of interns. They do it and at the end of the year claim in their performance review "reduced the cost of the intern program to $0 while not compromising on quality". Great, here's your bonus.
There are legal requirement for what you must do to offer an unpaid internship.
The most likely result is not a bonus, but being reprimanded / fired for switching to an illegal internship program and exposing the company to unnecessary liability and loss of reputation.
If that hiring manager is able to do this at zero additional cost while adding no legal risk and suffering no reduction in quality of work.... well they deserve that bonus.
However, this is a work of fiction and as such does nothing to support your argument.
> They offered an unpaid internship as a gopher because they were stingy and knew people would do it anyway.
You are stating this as a fact, do you have evidence for this? I find it equally plausible that the Kardashians were intentionally trying to select for fans who are loyal, devoted and well off enough to accept an unpaid internship.
GP claimed that unpaid internships are offered by folks who want to select for candidates from wealthy families. I agreed that this was possible but it was more likely that a company would want to save money. Either because every little helps, or because it makes budget planning easier. You said "big companies don't care about small savings". I pointed out a scenario where they could. You dismissed it as fiction.
You claimed that there's some massive legal risk associated with this. There isn't. If someone from the Department of Labour asks about your unpaid internship, simply say "the student earned college credit for this, so there was an educational component", even if all they did was fetch groceries for you.
You pointed out that the Kardashians could have wanted a loyal, devoted fan for their unpaid internship. Sure, that's entirely possible. That's just as valid a reason as wanting to save money. I'm sure there are plenty of companies that justify it to themselves this way. "We don't want people who are in it for the money, we want them to be really passionate about the useless widget we're building"
> You said "big companies don't care about small savings".
I did not say that. I said that the savings are relatively small enough that you can't just assume they are the primary goal without evidence.
> You claimed that there's some massive legal risk associated with this.
I did not characterize the level of legal risk. There most certainly is some legal risk and college credit alone is not enough to absolve you of that liability.
Where exactly did I say that? I'm pretty sure I didn't speak in hyperbole. Unpaid internships are a very easy way to have a large group of people remove themselves from consideration. Many of these people are considered undesirable by the people offering the internship.
It's more often than not a money issue.
People don't want to pay if they don't have to.
And forcing paid internships will reduce the number of internships available.
Well they can't because all of the other intern positions are only available for those to do it for free. So maybe don't act like interns have any real choice here.
If you allow unpaid internship, then employers will abuse this for fields where there is a lot of unemployment. And jobless people will be forced to accept those internships because they can't find any other job due to lack of experience.
Some slaves were ok to work for free and be owned by someone. Does it mean slavery should be authorized because some slaves are ok with it?
Which is better? Giving the choice of an unpaid internship or no choice at all?
The only legitimate reason that comes to mind is that they actually cannot afford to pay the intern. In which case, they really should not offer any internship positions at all.
I mean, seriously now. Do you think an executive in a company that's that new and/or that strapped for cash is going to sit there one day and think "You know what's on top of my mind right now? Training an intern, showing them the ropes, offering them some quality career experience!"
My guess is that it's more along the lines of "Man, I really wish I had some cheap labor right now".
EDIT : actually, now that I think of it, I know a friend who did exactly that. He even said to me that he preferred this unpaid internship to the one he got one year later, paid, but bad environment and no mentorship.
There are definitely points in my life where I would definitely tell someone who had an opinion like yours to go F themselves, because I want do make decisions for myself, and not have someone else get in the way of my own consenting decisions.
You can decide not to care about the opinion of the legislative bodies that came up with those rule (and tell them to "go F themselves"). You can be the best driver and 100% certain that driving 180mph at this particular moment does not pose any danger. If you get caught, you are still in serious trouble.
The reason is simply that people have determined that, in most cases, driving 180mph in a residential area is not a good idea. Most probable situations where it might be a good idea, e.g. if you are doing it while driving an ambulance, are already accounted for. Not every such situation is covered by an exception, but the alternative of letting people drive 180mph in residential areas and sort it out for themselves does not work out.
If you want to live outside of society, in an anarchy where anything goes as long as two parties consent to it, you're free to move to there.
This is because it has a large chance of hurting people around you. not because it would hurt the individual.
> If you get caught, you are still in serious trouble.
No, actually. You will not get in legal trouble for accepting an unpaid internship.
My point being that your opinion is extremely patronizing, and that maybe you should let people decide for themselves what jobs that do or do not want to accept.
This is an especially important concept to understand, when the people that you are trying to "protect" tell you that they do not want your "protection", which involves trying to prevent them from accepting jobs that they want.
In the car analogy above, they are the ones that have a large chance to get hurt by your driving.
Just be careful who's opportunities and jobs you try to take away from people. That might have been their only shot.
(Also, what are you trying to do with the overly emotional aspect of bringing up your friends here? How is that supposed to work, should I bring up a tearjerking story of people who are "extremely insulted and upset that they were not able to afford an internship because affluent people would intern for free"? And then repeat your last paragraph, verbatim?)
That said, it's definitely underenforced. Most unpaid internships probably don't follow the rules. When it is enforced, the penalty is typically no more than a slap on the wrist + back pay at minimum wage.
that is correct, yet totally not useful as a statement.
There should be a very high bar for making illegal any activity between two consenting parties where there's no obvious and severe externalities. I don't see how this harms anyone outside of the intern/company, both of which should be free to make their own decisions.
Why is "obvious" a requirement? A hidden or indirect but severe externality is fine?
perhaps it harms ppl who cannot afford to do an unpaid job?
But then again I went to a highly renowned university in Germany, which I also could not have afforded if it wasn't completely free.
So, I was not free to make the decision to take unpaid internships.
If you're not free to make the decision of internships how did you choose the company you went into ? Also, I guess the company and their managers, because they have a budget to respect, are not free either to make decision, by the same logic ?
Exactly, "everyone" did. And I probably already paid it back with my taxes already. And, one can dream, maybe in another way too, through the work I perform.
Had university or my internships been very costly, it's not unfathomable that I would have a lower salary, in addition to performing lower-quality work (in terms of knowledge going into it).
I am done discussing with you. The viewpoints that you have presented so far seem shortsighted and detrimental to society to me. Luckily, you are unlikely to have any effect on standing law.
Meanwhile, the top HFs and prop traders will pay the same or better (often higher pay, no housing). Jane Street is a big one (esp. if you go to Brown), Citadel isn’t even top-notch and will offer that, and then obviously D.E. Shaw, Renaissance, Two Sigma, and so forth.
Numbers probably aren't including housing, which in Silicon Valley puts a ~$7500 monthly salary roughly up to $10k.
Unless a Trump Department of Labor changes it's mind about implementation again, I guess. There was some point in the last decade where the Dept of Labor got more serious about enforcing this, not sure the current enforcement environment.
If the institution doesn't care and the company expects the intern to do work they'd expect from an (however underperforming) employee, which is what all too often happens, then the case is clearcut and I fully agree.
But if the institution expects the company to show the student around and give them a lot of tutoring, then the case is less clearcut. I've mentored a few interns in that scenario myself, and it can easily take a day per week on average. Requiring companies to pay such interns more than something symbolic can make the companies a lot less willing to take interns to begin with. The side effect of that is that it then reenforces the early career problem of "all jobs require x years experience; how am I to get those years of experience if I can't apply to any job?"
As a YC founder who's raised millions of dollars and employs dozens of people, I got my start - and may not be where I am now - without an unpaid internship.
Unpaid internships are a vastly lesser evil than demanding a four year degree for an entry level job. Those four years could have been spent earning as well as learning. A six month unpaid internship is a hell of a lot cheaper than an associate’s degree, never mind a Bachelor’s.
This is a copy of his CV:
There is a well-oiled machine for scooping up thousands of talented CS students and funneling them into positions at top companies, but if you are on a slightly different path it is easy to be overlooked by the recruiting machine.
What eventually worked for me was continuously trying to get into companies that were better than where I was, while working hard enough that I learned lots and impressed the people I worked with. It didn't take as many steps as I thought it would to get to Google/Facebook level, and overall it was faster and probably more interesting than going back for a CS degree.
Edit: I should elaborate. There are companies out there offering internships that I would die for. I don't mean FAANG stuff or Big 5 or whatever. I'm talking small shops like Teenage Engineering or medium sized business like Ableton or Native Instruments. I have been put in an awkward position where I have experience working full time as a developer, but I'm not necessarily learning anything or developing my skills. It sucks not being able to qualify for a certain subset of entry-level opportunities because I'm not apart of the college/university institutions. I will be keeping my head up as the position I am in may just be what forces me to be extraordinary at what I do.
Some of the best coders and ops people I've ever worked with either never went or never graduated from college.
If you've been working 2 years as a full-time mobile dev, you're qualified for a full-time role. We pay our interns industry salaries, just for 3 months instead of 12. We do take a little bit of extra care to give them a good intro to the company and make sure we take them to a factory in their first (and only) 3 months and have a few intern events over the summer, but otherwise, it's 80-90% like having a software developer job. A few places will have some HR/recruiting drone 86 your resume because of no college. Many will not and most hiring managers who are/were programmers won't care.
tl;dr: Apply anyway (for full-time).
Would it be easier if you graduated 6-3 from MIT? Sure! Would it be easier if you already had 2 years at Netflix? Sure! You have to play the cards you're holding at the moment, though.
Side note: I've also heard the complaint recently that companies and recruiters are being too selective by asking about open source or personal projects, so there are definitely some out there. We don't have a set formula; I'm happy to talk about you, your goals, your skills and abilities, and anything else that comes up. If you've got a great personal project, let's talk about it.
- You're a good writer.
- You do have two years of experience.
- "I will be keeping my head up as the position I am in may just be what forces me to be extraordinary at what I do." -> this sentence betrays a really good attitude.
I'd apply full-time if I were you. Worst case scenario, you'll be in the same place you are now. Best case scenario, I've got someone I can bitch at when Ableton Live hurts my feelings...:)
How about a “Senior Intern Program”?
BTW: It’s a good and underrated movie (https://youtu.be/ZU3Xban0Y6A)
I'm at another YC company, Starsky Robotics now, and we're open for interns! Come join and build self-driving trucks.
And I must say - what an absolute disaster of a summer. Lived in a large concrete structure where the CEO, my boss (amazing person who I credit with making the summer bearable) and 9 other interns lived. We slept in a room with 5 sets of bunk beds that led to a kitchen on one side and a back room (kind of a garage like space) behind it. Days regularly stretched from 10am to 2am. My pay was room + board and then $400 a week on top of that, which I found out was more than the other interns were making. Too much crazy stuff happened to go into exact detail but a representative listing of events(some of it good, some of it bad):
1. Somehow many of the interns + full time staff (across eng + sales) were either D1 Wrestlers or semi-professional martial artists. I actually credit them with getting me into strength training for the first time. In the back, garage-like room, however, was a wrestling mat. Many, many drunken wrestling matches were had in that room, which while no one was forced to participate in, everyone tended to get in on. I was definitely not on the more athletic side of the group and was put into many, many armbars.
2. One of the interns was very new to the software industry and a bit older. Moved to Mountain View from I think it was Kentucky. Super nice and jovial guy and a super hard worker (we played a lot of basketball that summer and did some condition training. He was not the most in shape person, but one time did sprints until he threw up), but also had a lot of emotional issues. More than once he got incredibly drunk and had to be talked down from hurting himself and others by the other interns plus staff.
3. My 21st birthday coincided with the very start of the internship. To celebrate, I chugged an entire (smaller) bottle of whiskey, and we proceeded to run around our neighborhood incredibly drunk, including a stop to Safeway carrying around a mannequin one of the founders owned. At one point snuck into someone’s backyard and chilled in their pool for a while. It was honestly a very memorable time.
4. One of the founders was going through a divorce at the time and sometimes did not handle it super well. One night he showed up at the work/live space (he had his own apartment nearby) drunk as hell and begged for one of us to go to SF to go clubbing with him. I, being a very dumb intern, acquiesced as he was pretty much refusing to leave unless somebody went with him. How did we get to SF you ask? By driving in his BMW of course! We hit easily over 100 on the 101, him blind drunk, but in the end made it out alive. Sadly, the club he had wanted to go to had closed at that point so we just ate at a Denny’s instead and went home.
5. And the last thing I’ll end with is the CEO. What an absolute scumbag. He was a physically very large human and he knew it. He would throw his weight around to intimidate those around him - thankfully all the other full time employees (who were awesome) were no slouches themselves and so were able to at least somewhat contain him. At one point, halfway through the summer, he ordered all the interns to give a status update on their projects. We all thought it was a fun way to show off what we had been working on and prepared accordingly. After the talks, he yelled at us that we weren’t pushing hard enough and that if this is how seriously we took our jobs, some of us would be fired. For a project that of course we had no way to make go faster or get more direction on (and for a lot of us was our first internship!). I forget why this next part happened, but he tried to organize a MANDATORY company camping trip the week before it was supposed to happen for us all to bond. The entire company revolted, and basically told him to go to hell. He was a lot more calm for the rest of the summer, and then (from what I remember) was basically forced out later that fall for utterly failing to do his job.
So many other things happened (we had the world’s weirdest office manager who at one point made out with an intern against his will and then felt very hurt that he wasn’t into her, despite the fact she was at least 20 years his senior) that I have seriously considered trying to get everyone back together to do an oral history as something, as I’m sure it was a time that no one will ever forget. After that I basically came back to school and did not code on the side for 3 months as I was so burned out, but eventually got an awesome job afterwards and things have been pretty good since!
EDIT: Reposted for better formatting
> the last thing I’ll end with is the CEO. What an absolute scumbag
My head is having a hard time reconciling these 2 statements.
For YC, it was pretty damn slick, but made possible only because a close-knit bond between companies exists to an extent. I remember being super interested in self driving cars, really wanting to work at Cruise and getting their founders email from a YC Partner at the dinner. I was just out of my freshman year, and extremely nervous about emailing the cruise folks, and some of my coworkers at LeadGenius helped me draft intro emails. They were just really great people. My managers at LeadGenius (YC alums themselves) were the first people I told when I got into the fellowship. There were a lot of signals along the way that the folks involved in YC, from the partners to the founders, were __good__ people. I wanted to be part of that. And still am, and still do.
As job-seekers, we should start maintaining a black list of firms that treat prospective employees badly, and urge others to not apply.
I don’t even know how emailing you about it is supposed to help. If GP has been ghosted by you years ago, in what way does it help them to contact you now? All it does is provide an easy way for you to improve your hiring process while giving the other person nothing in return. The dynamic is similar to the unpaid internships we’re railing about in this thread.
I expressed my concerns about not hearing back from employers to Kartik -- I applied only because he reassured me that every application "in their system" (sic, iirc) gets a response.
"We don't do that", hah. If a founder wants to lie to prospective hires, that too when they are meeting them for the first time, it suggests that something is really rotten at the company. If you don't treat people nicely, well, there's a tonne of other firms in the area that are hiring...
I was accused of this same thing on a "Who is Hiring" thread a while back. I posted about looking specifically for senior front end engineers. What I got instead was close to 50 emails from boot camp grads, many of them data science.
If candidates feel the need to disregard what I say, why exactly do they deserve my time in return?
I agree that my tone was could have been better.
I don't buy the rest of your arguments, and would not comment on them for the sake of being misinterpreted again -- following the Golden rule of not feeding the trolls.