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Frat Boys And Promoters: They’re, Like, The Same Thing

College in New York City is a unique experience that not everyone gets to live. Sleeping in the epicenter of the city that never sleeps is exactly what it sounds like – countless endless nights, crossing the streets from dusk till dawn, and doing it all again less than 24 hours later.

But there’s more to it. When the sun sets in the city, an underground society comes to life. Gangs of girls are strutting down the sidewalk in stilettos, accompanied by their cheerful comrades and a guy or two with his hair spiked in a black button-up slapped on his chest. Where are they going? What are they even doing?

The longer you follow, you notice they approach a tight door with a bouncer, unhooking a velvet rope and letting in the ladies with their body-con dresses. You didn’t think it was real until you finally saw it, but that guy following those girls helped them get in through that door. And that’s not just any door, that’s a nightclub. And that’s not just any guy, that’s a promoter.

A club promoter is not a typical person that the masses would have the “pleasure” of meeting, especially for those in college. Nightclubs are one of the biggest entertainment outlets for college students in NYC. But who can blame us? It’s not like we have frat parties to crash 4 times a week…

Or do we?

I’ve experienced the club culture, and as much as I loved my off-beat NYC world, the back of my mind always wondered what a frat party would be like at a big school. So although it was sort of true that we didn’t have the stereotypical college-esque frat party to frequent on weekends, the good thing about New York is that if you’re looking for something, we probably have it. And on that note, I was right.

I had come across a group of young guys one day and understood that they were recruiting people to come to a future party their frat was throwing. And since I got the invite and was secretly more excited than I should’ve been, of course I grabbed my gang and we headed across the river for a very, very strange night.

This is where the similarities come into play.

Why Frat Boys and Promoters are the Same People

1. They look for girls to come party. Promoters need to bring girls to clubs so that it gives the club more attention. In this sitch, the bros were seeking out belles so that their party could be more crowded. For both sides, the more girls, the better, because as bad as it sounds, girls who look like they’re smiling and having fun attract all types of people.

On another note, both at nightclubs and frat parties, these girls are dressed exactly the same. Yes, it’s acceptable for a girl to wear a black hip-hugging dress and patent heels to Avenue. At a frat house, the ensemble is a bit out-of-place. Just a tad, IMO.

2. They pile on the alcohol. Promoters never make the ladies pay for anything, booze included. When you arrive at the VIP table, bottles upon bottles of Vodka are just ready to be picked up and mixed in with a splash of cranberry juice. And they keep coming, so don’t expect to complain about empty handles.

A frat party is similar in this fashion. I didn’t believe the rumors that the bros had been drinking since happy hour all the way through 1 am, but they somehow accumulated enough alcohol to sustain the guestimated 220-person max in their crowded townhouse. Keep up the fundraising, boys.

3. They’re dangerous. You may have heard Ghandi-esque people say “you can only trust yourself,” but it might actually apply here. While promoters try to serve you at the club and make sure you’re having a good time, some often want to serve girls in other ways. The unlimited alcohol can quickly turn into a negative rather than a quirky benefit. If your promoter keeps pouring you drink after drink, beware.

The same for frat boys. And it’s unfortunate because they’re your age and sometimes, you think you could actually be friends (or more) with some of these guys. But some of them might have cruel intentions. I’ve seen them lead sideways-stepping girls up the stairs and their partners in crime clapping them on. You don’t want to be that girl.

It may be all fun and games, but it’s not a game you can play forever. I’m all for making as many friends as possible. Just don’t get too friendly.

Ladies First: Samantha Jones

Every girl has a defining, distinct moment that she remembers where she believes that she emotionally (not physically, there’s actually a difference) (at least in my book) transforms into a woman. Some may replay the memory of their first kiss playing spin-the-bottle and consider that their coming-of-age tale. It may be the purchase your first Coach purse with those backwards and side-to-side, outlined in glitter C’s. On a more graphic note, I was blessed with this moment sitting in front of the TV at age seven or whatever, exposed to a censored ad for HBO’s “Sex and the City.”

I knew my parents were avid fans of “The Sopranos,” but they assumed they could hide it from me. From then on, I was aware that any content on HBO would be risqué, but ads for “Sex and the City” did pop up on other cable outlets and I couldn’t avoid them. But from what I saw, it was just a group of girls hanging out and gossiping, which, even at age seven, my friends and I were guilty of.

So it was relatable. But it wasn’t until I entered my last year of middle school that the movie was released, and a year after that, it was running on HBO. By then, I was 15 and I finally got to meet Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and the infamous Samantha Jones.

At that age, my career interests were seeping into public relations and, to quote myself, “wanting to make people famous.” I related to Samantha because she was a PR executive with her own firm. I quickly caught on that her boyfriend/eventual ex-boyfriend was not just an actor, but also her client, who she helped to quickly rise to fame.

While I can’t say that I’m on the same page as all of Samantha’s lifestyle pursuits, I do value her as a career inspiration. After watching the first SATC movie and then catching up on the series via E! re-runs, I admired her non-stop life in PR and her constantly evolving circle of colleagues and friends. Just as a high school student, I envisioned myself like her, working in a floor-to-ceiling glass window office by day, speaking boldly and confidently branding herself, and running around from event to event, including those that she most likely threw together without breaking a sweat, with her clique by night. As fictitious as her character is, her career is achievable for hungry girls like myself. What she does when the work is done, however, isn’t something she has to share.

Dear HR, Why Don’t You Love Me?

The drama you endured in seventh grade is not completely irrelevant. If anyone has ever said “your experiences shape you as a person” or some cliché bull of the sort, in a way, it’s not far off. Seeing your BFF Katie talk to your crush, Alex, when she obviously knew how much you “like-liked” him was totally not cool, and then finding out he asked her to the Halloween dance instead of you was nothing short of a cut in the gut.

But in one way or another, we’ve been here, at this stage and felt this tinge of emotional pain. The guy you went out with last week doesn’t call you back. Your mom spits out cupcakes you baked for her office party. Your dog doesn’t run to you when you walk in the door. There is nothing more heartbreaking than being told that you aren’t good enough, but it’s exponentially more hurtful when it comes from someone of higher authority – a potential employer.

A hustling and hungry student (ie: me) is all too eager to not have her eyes glued to job boards and edit resume after resume to send to Human Resources departments. The cover letter has been quadruple-checked for spelling errors and address changes and you think, “I’m gonna kill it.” And once you press “Submit,” there is no going back.

This semester, I probably went through this process about 40 or 50 times in total. For those of us who struggle with patience, the anticipation of getting a response from a company that you admire like a fangirl makes you tick. It’s exhilarating to know that you could possibly contribute to a force that has had such influence on your interests and your life, but it’s stressful to have to play the waiting game with HR.

Silence screams in exponential volumes. Companies get applicants for jobs and internships like they’re hosting a One Direction meet and greet – it’s hard to get back to everyone, let alone even skim the applications. I’ve been in this situation and have re-sent and re-re-sent applications to companies, especially the ones that are at the top of my “Dream Careers” list. But still, just because you send once doesn’t mean it’s enough to get a response.

Nothing, however, compares to a rejection notification. There have been instances when I’ve gotten automated email responses within 12 hours of applying that said, “Currently, you don’t fit the qualifications.” Some messages have been more personalized, and while I appreciate being notified, it can be upsetting. You stare at your screen, take a deep breath and think, What do they have that I don’t have?

You see how your questions have come full circle – what does Katie have that you don’t have? What does the lucky applicant who got the job have that you don’t have?

From what I know, you have to keep moving forward. Remain positive. Remain polite. If you’ve spoken to anyone regarding positions and opportunities, don’t lose touch. Hustle and do anything you can to stay in the game. If you’re passionate enough about it, you’ll get what you deserve… And probably a nicer guy than your seventh grade crush.

The Cycle

True or False: Education is meant to be your top priority while in college.

At any other school, that’s true. At FIT, that’s a hard value to keep up, since the nature of the school is to use the resources of NYC to its advantage and get into the workforce immediately. It’s inevitable that you’ll be an intern right from the get-go, or at least a volunteer for NYFW at some point your freshman year. The importance of our schooling gets lost amidst the crazy quest for the best internships and making connections with CEOs at nightclubs.

My freshman year, I, too, fell to this naïve idea and picked up two internships. First-year classes like mass communications and how-to-use-Microsoft-Office were nothing short of boring and I let all the material I should’ve retained fly right over my head.

Enter sophomore year, and the content of the classes began to change. One requirement was a class called Publicity Workshop, where we learned about what publicists do and how to create press kits. Everyone at FIT at some point “wants to work in PR,” and although being a publicist may appear to be a glamorous job, it’s not. Plus, a publicist doesn’t just make celebrities look good – every business, brand, and company needs a publicist.

One class was devoted to event planning. I didn’t realize at the time that one responsibility of publicists, among the many that they have, is to organize an event that a brand wants to have. And they don’t just put it together, they also write up the press release and then send that out to the media.

As tedious as the work is, publicists have to stay composed. I learned that no matter what, when someone from the media is invited to an event and shows up at it, the publicist has to cater to their every. Single. Need. Why? It’s simple: so that they get good press. And that’s publicity. It’s a lot to execute, but it’s all for one reason.

When my internship started at Guest of a Guest in January, I knew that I would be covering events, but that was the extent of it I knew at that point. I started picking up more and more parties to cover and noticed a trend in how I was being treated. Someone would come up to me, tell me the firm they worked for, and then say in uptalk, “Thank you so much for coming! We’re so glad to have you here! Is there anything you need? Are you hungry? Do you want a cocktail menu? Don’t worry, we’ll take care of evvvvverything.”

I realized that what I learned in school about public relations had come full circle with my experience in the media and technically as part of the press. This has been a unique way to learn about public relations. We get invited to events and press releases about parties. PR firms want their events, brands, and sponsors to be written about in the media, and in a good light. What I’m doing here is so crucial to their business, and I had no idea. To return the favor for being so welcoming to me at these events, I pay it forward and write sincere reviews about the events.

The attributes of academia may seem time-consuming and as students in NYC, we may believe that education comes solely from experience. Take it from me – use what you learn and apply it to your internship. It really does come full circle.

Ladies First: Life Lessons Lauren Conrad Taught Me

Pretend it’s 2005. You’re in sixth grade again and spending your Friday afternoon sipping on caramel chillers (with whipped cream) at Panera, gossiping about the guy Allie has a crush on, and wondering whose house you should hang out at for the rest of the evening. Eventually, you annoy Allie enough to get her to let you come to her place so you can stalk this cute boy’s MySpace page. After an hour of sharing quizzes on your homepage and looking for quotes to put in your AIM profiles, you decide to turn on MTV, which Allie’s parents weren’t big fans of. But this was your version of rebellion at 12 years old and you were proud of this forward march.

A scenic b-roll backdrop of the Hollywood sign appears on the screen and you and Allie screech “Omigod!” Everyone’s favorite TV show back in 2005 is on: “The Hills.” The two of you kick back on the couch, pop some popcorn and catch up on the reruns that you’ve already seen three times since the most recent episode aired.

Admit it: you lived vicariously through lives of the leading ladies and pictured yourself as a grown-up/20-year-old showrooming at boutiques on Rodeo Drive and grabbing sushi with your girls, followed by a late night at Les Deux.

Out of all the girls that were featured, though, the show revolved around one in particular, Laguna Beach belle Lauren Conrad. Let’s be real, you probably read that and just sighed, thinking, Ugh, I love her.

Although “The Hills” was criticized as pseudo-reality, every aspect of Lauren’s personality was as fresh as a batch of bakery goods. You could smell the sugar of her personality through your TV screen. Audrina described her as an “old soul,” almost beyond her years. She balanced school and strived for success at her challenging Teen Vogue internship. She sincerely valued the well-being of her friends and even when they didn’t return the favor, she still made efforts until the end. She never fought, but she was firm.

LC can be credited with teaching millennial girls across America some of the most important lessons they’ve ever learned before they turn 15. From trying to defend her friendship while Spencer and Heidi were dating and ditching to picking up roles in her career. So I’ve put together a relatively short yet important list of life lessons Lauren Conrad has taught me:

Life Lessons Lauren Conrad Taught Me

1. Bows before bros, AKA sisters before misters, AKA your friends are the most important relationships. (In some cases, yes, male counterparts are considered “bows” or “sisters”)

2. A few close, trustworthy friends are better than a lot of fake friends.

3. “Just always go to Paris!”

4. You can’t click with everyone.

5. Surround yourself with people who build you up.

To say that Ms. Conrad is a class act is an understatement. But even to this day, her success grows among various levels. She operates two fashion lines, is a philanthropist, and is planning a wedding. Oh, and she’s still giving the best advice in the world on her site, LaurenConrad.com. It takes talent to remain so poised while so busy. When I say I want to be Lauren Conrad, I’m completely serious. I hope Allie’s anti-MTV parents can learn to agree with me.

Hailing The Queens

One of my favorite movies this past holiday season was, to say it nicely, a controversy. Orchestrated by a renowned director and performed by a half-rookie, half-Oscar-nominated cast, The Wolf of Wall Street stole my heart in a mere 3 hours. I did not want to stop talking about it. I would’ve paid to see it again. And again. It was unique, engaging, and sticking to the point of entertainment in general: entertaining. Dubbed by my friends as fairly “prim and proper,” they were surprised to learn how much I enjoyed this film that was referred to as “softcore porn.” But as an entertainment enthusiast, my response was, “It was just fun. And the action never stopped.”

If you’ve seen the movie, then you’ll know that the action never really did stop, no matter where Jordan Belfort was, and no matter who he was with. Does the name Naomi ring a bell? How could it not? Belfort’s deviant-turned-mistress-turned wife slayed him at first glance.

But dare I say it was more like lust at first sight rather than love? She was golden tan and platinum blonde and voluptuous, so of course the power-hungry (or, power-thirsty, rather) Belfort craved for her affection. And he got that on the first date: a full-frontal right at her living room entrance. Not just for Leonardo DiCaprio to enjoy, but for everyone who paid $12 to see this cinematic masterpiece.

This is where the majority of the controversy lies, though. Noted as offensive and an objectification of women, ladies were warned that they wouldn’t last through this movie. Even my vocal, open-minded aunt confessed that she left halfway through. Critics complained that Margot Robbie’s nudity – along with others’ that were displayed in the movie – sold women as objects of desire. However, Robbie defended her character and said that it was voluntary. She told a British magazine, “If it’s justified and the character would do it, it should be there.”

One of her biggest points was during a Red Carpet interview at the Golden Globes that I never initially took into consideration, but resonated and stuck with me. When asked about being criticized as a result of her nudity, she felt that it was expressing how much power women actually do have over men – but in a desirable way. More specifically, in this case, the benefits of Naomi’s body won over Belfort’s heart and mind, and with that, she was able to get anything she wanted from him, whether it was material, physical, or emotional.

Any girl can use this to her benefit. But that’s not a good thing. Whether a woman wants to climb a corporate ladder or pin a guy into a relationship, sex isn’t the way to achieve it. The pleasure can only last for so long.

So a man hires a woman for a relatively important role based on looks rather than professionalism and qualifications. Sure, she’s attractive, but just because she gets the job done in between the sheets doesn’t mean she knows how to use Google Analytics or write up a flowchart. If you fall for that, then congratulations, you’ve been officially screwed intwo ways!

And no matter what the physical exchange is for, the results are short-term for men, but whether women want to fight it off or not, the feelings last with them, thanks to oxytocin. That’s the hormone that’s released when a woman peaks. Therefore, it is literally impossible for women to not emotionally attach onto men they sleep with. Once again, guys, you are screwed in two ways.

As much as my or any other girl’s body can be a powerful tool to get what they want, there’s no breath of relief that compares to any professional accomplishments I’ve had. My personality and my passion will get me where I want to be, both personally and professionally. Not my body.

Ladies First: Cameran Eubanks

Poised, passionate, and pretty in pink are three adjectives that all not-girls-not-yet-women want to be described as by their friends and family. While everyone may have different perceptions of what the “perfect woman” may be, I consider those to be the 3 P’s, and I try to fit them accordingly. I walk standing tall and confident, I believe in what I do, and I believe that being well-dressed is a form of respect for myself and the people that I’m surrounding.

This spring, reality-TV junkies and multitasking college students were introduced to Bravo’s newest series, “Southern Charm.” From a noticeably recent pattern, Bravo tends to develop shows based on the upscale lifestyles of select geographic locations that can still manage to pull in the station’s entire target demo, which ranges from young adults to mothers. “Southern Charm” takes place in the colorfully niched city that is Charleston, SC. It’s a city swarming with old money, men walking down the streets in madras and pastel-colored suits, and girls glowing in matching Lilly Pulitzer patterns (“Southern Charm” is also the name of one of my favorite new Lilly Pulitzer prints introduced this spring, so the timing is actually sort of convenient – or is it?). So, basically, if my heart and soul weren’t sold to New York, I would probably float down the Atlantic Ocean to the Charleston coastline and just lie on the beach forever.

While those are all perfectly acceptable reasons to drop everything and begin anew in Charleston, one of my driving forces is to become total BFF with one person in particular from the show. Enter blonde belle Cameran Eubanks on the small screen. She has perfectly curled and highlighted hair, a smile whiter than snow, and whether she’s grabbing lunch with a friend or attending an extravagant polo match, she is dressed to the nines. From the outside, she is the face of a classic Charlestonian.

Every character on a show, reality or scripted, faces a challenge that has to be overcome. Viewers are attracted to controversy, and even though there are several scandals on “Southern Charm,” Cameran faces a total of 0. Cameran’s storyline in the show revolves around her career change from the cosmetics industry to real estate, and the cameras follow her as she tours all the charming Charleston homes with her mentor.

When Cameran isn’t working, though, she’s portrayed as an extremely honored and respected friend not just by the other females in town, but by her male counterparts: Shep, Craig, Thomas, and Whitney. The four guys all fight over the girls in town, but none of them seem to ever quarrel over Cameran or dare ever take advantage of her. She listens to them all bicker and gives them all advice on how to treat women. Shep, who bounces back and forth between every single girl in the city, surprisingly seems to be closest with Cameran. Personally, I think it’s a challenge for guys and girls to be “just friends” without some sort of chemic tension-slash-I secretly think they belong together, but Cameran makes it a crucial point that she wants to be treated like a modern woman without directly turning any conversation on her, and Shep, along with the fellow men, don’t cross any lines.

I don’t think my hair will ever be as blonde as Cameran’s (sadface), but there are other aspects of her personality that I want to achieve. She’s career-oriented in an area that’s male-dominated and she isn’t an easy target. She resembles class, elegance, and proper etiquette. If I could have her as a mentor, I would, but hopefully that wouldn’t stop us from hanging out on the beach and reading magazines, either.

 

 

Judge Me, But Don’t Judge Me

If anyone I ever went to high school with wants to come to me and tell me what they thought of me, by all means, do it. I don’t know what I was really labeled as. Was I a dork? A teacher’s pet? Was I a loner? Was I friendly?

While I wasn’t aware of my social standing in high school, I did everything I could to come across as well-rounded. I was very involved in extracurriculars like French Honor Society and Student Government, I got straight A’s, and I made sure I was friendly to everyone. I think it was important to be friendly to everyone no matter what. As a teenager, you wanted your reputation to be positive. I admit, I do look back and wonder what impact I had in high school, and if I had any on my classmates.

But if I’m being honest, none of that matters anymore. Once you get to college, you can start fresh, but I made it a point to make sure that in college, I kept my values, and the number one value that I believe in is to be yourself. I never faked anything – my personality, my opinions, my interests. Reflecting on my past two years at FIT, meaning that my college career is almost halfway over, I have stayed true to this and I really do deserve a pat on the back/pint of Ben and Jerry’s/all-inclusive vacation on a Mediterranean cruise.

While I’ve achieved this, it’s unfortunate that others seem to look down upon this or that their opinions may not match up to mine. That’s fine and they can think what they want. Several of my hometown “friends” made an attempt to alter my priorities, judged me based on my personal choices, and assumed that my college experience wasn’t “fun.”

Here’s the thing: I’m having so much fun. Launching my career may be one of my biggest priorities right now, but I have never had more fun or been more entertained as a student at FIT. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else for college. While the internship and job hunt can be stressful and frustrating, it’s a creative and thrilling experience, too.

But if you’re going to judge me because I’m not parading down Fraternity Row every weekend, I might just have to judge you right back. I’m sure it’s fun and I believe that, but if that’s your only concern right now and you’re not even thinking about what you’re going to do after you graduate, when will you think about it?

 

 

Ladies First: Elle Woods

Imagine that you’re in bed one night, in the same bed you’ve been sleeping in for what feels like an eternity – your dorm bed, your bed at home – and it’s your pad of comfort. This is the spot your body and your mind know so well and you can drift into dream mode securely. But then, you wake up the next morning, and you’re not in the place you expected to be. Nothing around you is familiar. The people are different. The aura is different. How do you respond? How do you get out of this situation?

This is the spot that Elle Woods, the famed and seemingly blasé about life main character of Legally Blonde, found herself in after her boyfriend, Warner, broke up with her at the moment she expected him to get down on one knee. At that split second, her vision of her future was wiped out, almost as if she had become blind. Her high-pitched and heated reaction could make an objective viewer of this scene roll their eyes and switch the movie off, but you have to give it a chance – that’s only 10 minutes in. 10 minutes later, Elle Woods makes a full 180.

If someone were to ask me who my favorite fictional character was, I wouldn’t say Elle Woods (if I’m being honest, I don’t know who I would say). Elle Woods is not a fictional character. She’s present in all of us. The Elle Woods in each of us wants to be a loyal woman, but we also each want to be a well-respected woman. In Legally Blonde, it may have taken the motivation to win back her ex-boyfriend to do so, but in the end, she achieved this.

I have three favorite scenes from this movie. In the beginning of Elle’s studies at Harvard Law School, when her initial intention was to recapture Warner’s affection, Elle fell to the prank of dressing up for a costume party that never actually was a costume party. She honorably entered the affair and made the most of it, especially when she ran into Warner. But this moment was a turning point for her as a woman. He said to her, “You should do something more valuable with her time.” She stepped out of her hypnotic state, responding, “Am I on glue, or did we not get into the same law school?” Elle immediately stormed out, realizing that she was at Harvard not for Warner, but for her own personal and professional advancement.

The morning after her exit presented one of my favorite film quotes of all time when she visited her manicurist, Paulette, at the nail salon to break the news. From behind, one of Elle’s toughest educational critics, Professor Stromwell, happened to be at the salon and overheard the conversation. What she said to Elle not only stuck with her, but still resonates with me: “If you’re going to let one stupid prick ruin your life, you’re not the girl I thought you were.” Inspired immediately, Elle turned around and ran back to the courthouse to single-handedly win the trial for Brooke.

I get chills (and sometimes cry) every time the Harvard Law graduation scene appears on my TV screen. Elected as the student speaker, Elle quoted Aristotle’s “The law is reason free from passion” and then argued it:

 “I have come to find that passion is a key ingredient to the study and practice of law – and of life. It is with passion, courage of conviction, and strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world. Remembering that first impressions are not always correct, you must always have faith in people, and most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”

After expressing these key lessons, Elle did become one of my role models. Before I had even watched that last scene of the movie, passion, conviction, and sense of self were three qualities that I made sure I presented. If I say something, I say it like I mean it, I know my worth, and I believe if you’re going to do something or some project, you must do it with passion or not at all. It’s all or nothing.

 

Room For Growth

 

I had been warned as an ambitious and daydreaming middle schooler who swore that she would be an anchor for ESPN’s SportsCenter that if I wanted to reach my dream job, I would have to relocate to a small town in Idaho for 12 years after college covering stories on families’ pets for the local weekend news show before getting any sort of “big break.” Sort of like a season 1 of How I Met your Mother Robin Scherbatzky without the luxe Brooklyn apartment and 3000 miles away from any borough of New York.

Even as an overly-optimistic sixth grader clad in braces and Harry Potter-shaped glasses, I kept telling myself two things whenever this caution sign came to my head. 1: I will not end up in Idaho. 2: If I have to go to Idaho to live my dream, I will.

But my naïve optimism could only go such a long way. When I began to pick up production internship opportunities in college, so many of the job descriptions read, “Going on runs, assisting in daily office tasks,” and the like. At the time, all I cared about was the status of having an internship and where I worked. So with any chance I was given, I made sure to take it.

Going into an office and not knowing what you would do that day was an exciting feeling. To know that I wouldn’t be sitting at a blinding cubicle was pleasant and that I would get to run around a bit made me feel useful. No matter what my assigned task was, it was very largely appreciated and I strove to earn the respect of my seniors. However, I knew that I was capable of doing the same tasks as a production assistant. In fact, I was doing the same tasks as a PA, but I wasn’t getting paid.

When I hear about internships my friends are doing now, it seems to be that there are so many lopsided levels. From what I hear, if you’re interning at a small start-up, you’re extremely integrated in the efforts that your company is trying to accomplish. On the other hand, students who get internships at well-known companies are labeled as “The Lucky Ones,” and then what do I hear? They get bitched at all day and they have to tape labels on clothes for 12 hours straight.

How on Earth are we, as students who are paying several prices to intern for these companies, supposed to learn from getting yelled at all day? What is a student supposed to gain from going around asking employees “Is there anything I can do for you?” and the answer is “No,” when really, there’s a huge task list with chores scribbled on it that have yet to be crossed off? If your student intern is studying communications, chances are he or she has learned the ABC’s of press release writing. Let her use her academic skills in the workplace.

And if she messes up? Don’t scold or scare her. We learn from mistakes, but we don’t learn from harshness, yelling, or negativity in general. Teach us. As interns, we are here to learn about our potential careers. Employers: these are our lives and we don’t have time to waste. Take us under your wings with sincerity.