Fact or Myth? Paid Internships Do Not Exist

Where to look for paid agency internships in Philly and beyond.

Get over it.  Paid internships do not exist.  You’re destined to spend at least three months of your life getting coffee, making copies, and picking up your boss’s laundry for free. Right?

Wrong.  Paid internships are everywhere if you know where to look.  I’m not going to say they aren’t competitive, they are, but they do exist.  But, only looking on your college career center database isn’t going to cut it.  Most paid internships do not make it easy for you to find them. You’ve got to do your own research.  If you want to work in advertising, go to the agency websites and look up their intern information.  (It’s usually under the career section.)

Below is a list of a few agencies in the Philadelphia area that I know pay their interns, and a few outside the area as well.  Just remember, beggers can’t be choosers.  Paid internships are a God send especially when so many companies try to exploit their interns for free labor.  If you get the job and they ask you make copies, do it.  And do it with a smile on your face.  Make those copies the best darn copies they’ve ever seen.  After all, you are getting paid.

Recap:  If you’re doing work, you should get paid.  (That includes the occasional Starbucks run too.)

Agencies that Pay

If you know of anymore, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll add them to the list.


  1. This is a great subject to talk about.

    Getting paid for internship always looks attractive. It may make some job positions look highly more attractive than others, especially to students who need to make money to eat!
    I just hope the students remember that pay should not be the most important aspect of an internship position. Research the agencies and apply to the ones you really want to work at, even if it’s not paid.

    As listed, there are many great agencies that do offer paid internships. As Kassandra mentioned, it can involve hard work and they are even more competitive to obtain a position at. Some agencies offer a small stipend for commute expenses/etc… I know that LevLane offers a stipend of $75/week.

  2. Kathy, I was looking for the AIGA “Paid Internship Pledge” to post as I saw it at the Steven Heller event but I was unable to find it through the website myself. Thanks for posting. A great effort! Hope all agencies sign up over time!

  3. @ Christina – That’s a very good point. Experience is one of the most important parts any internship. However, some students don’t think it’s an option for them because they need to work to pay life’s expenses. I just wanted to inform them that there’s a way to do both.

    Also, thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely add LevLane to the list.

    @Kathy – Thanks for the link. I’ll update the list ASAP. 🙂

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