Mar 02

PepperPrep:  Where you pay to not get paid

March 2 Guest Post by Trish Taylor, Peppercom

At a time when most PR firms are scouring the landscape for new revenue streams and defending its turf, we just came across the perfect windfall  – pay-for-play internships. There are tons of parents out there willing to shell out whatever it takes to keep little Johnny from whining and looking good to the Joneses, so why not pay for your children to work? Hey, whatever it takes to get them out of the house, right?

Parents with heavy pockets are now paying $8K to PR firms, law firms, etc. to hire their lazy, underachieving kids for summer internships. I mean, why bother looking for an internship to get a career when you have that keg tapped in the closet and dad’s nickname is Moneybags? If you’re a parent with money to burn and a kid who soon will have a BS degree, we have a created PepperPrep. Our team is already busy cold calling multimillionaire parents with deadbeat kids as we speak.

The Chicago Tribune article quotes an intern whose dad paid $7K for an internship at a Chicago PR firm I’ve never heard of: "I guess I put off thinking about the summer until March. It was probably me trying to deny that I was going to have to get an internship that summer."

Must be nice. I hate to admit this, but I had nine internships. I didn’t have to pay for one of them though. Although, I did commute into Chicago for a couple that didn’t pay while I bartended and worked at a local grocery store at night. I had five in undergrad between my sophomore and senior years, one during graduate school and then three between grad school and finally landing a full time gig at the ripe old age of 26.

I was the product of being in grad school during Sept 11 so when I came out, no one was hiring. I would get an internship only to watch the company’s first layoffs. But my persistence paid off and it was my dad who I have to thank for that. He was a maintenance guy at many places that closed and moved operations to Mexico before he landed at a bread factory. As soon as he heard the shop was closing up, he made sure to have another job.

He’s never so much as $7K in the bank and I don’t think he’s even bought a vehicle for that. He gave me $20 a week in college to help with groceries if he had it. But I’m sure glad my parents taught me to work.

My advice to students out there now…nothing beats getting your hands dirty and you’ll earn a whole lot more respect over the whispers of, “Did you hear what her daddy bought her? Her job.”