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When did working student become title for UNPAID BARN SLAVE....

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  • #41
    Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
    You know, I used to believe this too, until I started a business.

    I cannot afford to hire someone that does not actually produce work to the standard that my business requires. Many people (even those right out of school) DO NOT have the requisite skills nor experience to actually come in the door and produce the work that is required.

    So I have two choices.

    A. I hire someone who can actually "make money" for the business and pay them well.

    B. I give some intern a chance to earn the experience, and then actually hire them when they are trained "enough" to produce the actual results that are expected.

    That's the only way to keep a business afloat. And I'm in a fairly lucrative one. We all know that most of the local barns aren't exactly rolling in it.

    Just pointing that out...
    Fair enough.

    But, man, I hate it when the "keep things afloat" strategy is to make employees little more than replaceable cogs. I say that as Marxist and as a HO who wants the barn help to do more than "phone it in."

    To my way of thinking, clients stand to lose a lot when trainers have uncommitted or (as is more usual) unskilled employees. And trainers lose something, too, when they do what is usual for them: Do everything important themselves.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

    Comment


    • #42
      well even out there in the non-horsey real world, kids get to do unpaid internships to learn how life in a company works... not very shocking in my opinion.
      Some European students are actually doing unpaid internships in the US + paying for accommodation and plane tickets themselves so the months they spend learning is actually a real investment...Still never as expensive as college in the US, but I digress...


      https://www.facebook.com/VoltaireDesign

      Comment


      • #43
        But, man, I hate it when the "keep things afloat" strategy is to make employees little more than replaceable cogs. I say that as Marxist and as a HO who wants the barn help to do more than "phone it in."
        Right - which is why Wal-Mart's strategy sucks, but an unpaid internship actually rocks...because the intern is getting more value out of it than the employer ever will.

        If we think about it horsey terms (to keep it horse related) - a working student that I have to teach everything to essentially makes me slower, makes me liable for their mistakes (that's fun...no really, it's fun...), and can potentially damage valuable equipment (like tractors, sprinklers, barns). In addition, I'm paying THEM in riding lessons and board. And while that may not seem like much, what I am risking is my client's money and my reputation (which for purposes of this scenario, is really good). When a WS screws up (which they will) I'm the one that takes the fall. That's a big risk...to me.

        What do I get? Not much. I get some labor but that comes with a heckofalotofrisk. The Working Student presumably gains years of experience and a way to boost their career.

        If I hire a proven employee, who knows how to do all of those things *already*, they come at a premium. This is actually *the much safer* route.

        And it's one of the reasons that I will only take an intern on if I know that I have the capacity to deal with one. I've chosen not to, because my experience has been that most people coming out of college expect a 40k+ salary and then they also want me to teach them.

        Uh...no.

        I would be very very hesitant and choosey if I were a Trainer to take on a working student. I would want someone who knows that this is a tremendous opportunity for them. I would want someone who is ready to work and isn't going to whine that things are unfair. Because truly, they are getting the better end of that deal.

        Now - I say all of that - are there employers who suck? Yes.

        Are there employers who take advantage? Sure.

        Most often though? It's been employees/students/interns who have no clue what they are asking a trainer/business owner/boss to take on. </rant>

        Comment


        • #44
          Working Students vs Interns?

          Working Students vs Interns?

          What about Internship programs? Looks to me like the Intern is being asked to PAY $1,000 or more a month to be a Working Student?


          http://mwstables.com/internship.php


          http://leoneequestrians.com/internship/


          Horsezee

          Comment


          • #45
            The rational part of me says that Working Student arrangements, like internships, work when each party is receiving a benefit sufficient to justify what they are giving. When that happens, working student positions can be a fabulous way to learn the business. The trainer is receiving labor - mucking, feeding, hit walking, whatever - that would otherwise have to be paid for. The WS is receiving training, board, housing, rides, whatever which would otherwise have to be purchased.

            However, I get a bit miffed on both sides when assumptions are made that:
            O the trainer is always providing more value than the trainer is receiving - I have watched many barns where talented hardworking students put in 12 hour days and received little in the way of training or instruction
            O that the WS is automatically entitled and qualified to ride or do whatever they want in exchange for a mediocre work effort.

            WS should enter an arrangement very clear on what they are receiving in exchange for their efforts. Trainers likewise should be very clear on their expectations.

            IMHO it is the WS who more often ends up on the short side of a bad arrangement hesitant to do anything about because they fear the implications of "bad press" if they leave on poor terms.

            Comment


            • #46
              Originally posted by horsegal301 View Post
              I can't believe this is even a question...
              I think it is a very legitimate question, and I am curious about the answer.
              Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org

              Comment


              • #47
                It might seem like slave work, but working under a respectable, knowledgeable professional is worth its weight in gold. It might not "pay" immediately, but you'll have connections, and experience to add to your resume that will pay for itself in the long run. Its also an excellent opportunity for someone who is financially challenged (unlike much of the horse world) to get an opportunity to learn, shine and create something for themselves that they never would have been able to with their own budget. Think of it as an unpaid internship, and leg up in the professional horse world if you're great at what you've learned to do. Knowledge and experience are priceless.

                Comment


                • #48
                  Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
                  an unpaid internship actually rocks...because the intern is getting more value out of it than the employer ever will.
                  Except that they are illegal in all but a few situations. Should we keep ignoring that fact?

                  Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
                  Now - I say all of that - are there employers who suck? Yes.

                  Are there employers who take advantage? Sure.
                  Like most employers who utilize unpaid interns.

                  Just sayin'.

                  You CANNOT have an unpaid intern except in very, very controlled circumstances which make it a ridiculous and losing proposition for most employers.

                  It really is a shame but it's the law.
                  Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                  Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    I think we agree, RugBug. And yes, the circumstances are controlled.

                    It does not benefit me in the least to take on someone with no experience and no, college isn't a substitute.

                    So I am unwilling to hire someone and pay them, fresh out of college. It isn't worth the risk.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Well, i am going to chime in here, because I actually run a working student program.
                      1. Working Students, are just that apprentiship programs, designed to take the place of a college education OR they are for the student that wants to participate in showing and riding, and cannot afford a nice horse of their own, OR they have a horse and cannot afford the board at a BNT's.
                      2. If you want to be paid then apply for a paid barn position. However, be prepaired to do the job you were hired to do.

                      The problem is, many students come from all walks of life. Some have never entertained paying 1000.00 per month board. The only reference they have sometimes is what they have been paying to the neighbor down the street. Its hard for them to understand that type of value. Also the same goes for the kid that has never paid rent or food or hydro, parents have always paid, they just don't get the value.
                      We offer a lot to our students... so far out of 6 students, 1 has stayed. Over that time, some had to help with stalls, but not all the time. The usual barn stuff, you know turn in/out etc,etc, plus they are required to ride. All of the students had the same resume, i could just interchange names... its my passion, i'm a good worker, yada yada yada. One boy lasted half a day, because that is all they worked that day as the whole barn was going to fund raiser. He turned horses in and out, groomed 2, and filled water buckets with a hose... he called his mother to come get him, as it was too much work. One girl complained there was too much riding. One girl, thought she was a better rider than the barn owners. Most were indignate that i asked them not to use the cell phones while handling horses. Actually caught one texting while they were lunging a horse.
                      It takes a good three months for the student to actually get into a routine, and also be able to work at a normal level. It seems to be the way of the kids today. They come in thinking the job is easy and its not. Cold weather, hot weather, tempermental horses, the list goes on, but that is what the horse industry is. I dont know how much clearer i can be. Its frigging hard work. Go work at the local mall if you dont want to work long hours and be tired and sore at the end of the day.
                      I think a lot of these college programs are doing a disservice to some of these kids. They spend 30k to go to school and they come out not knowing a lot. These schools do not prepare them for the reality of the situation.
                      So on to my compensation package.... shared two bedroom apartment(not on the farm), shared car with gas back and forth to farm, you can bring your horse, OR one will be supplied for you(your own horse), food, (if you do not bring a horse, 80.00/month spending money), 2 formal lessons per week, but you will be riding at least 6 days per week. Coaching fees and trailering fees to shows all included. (you pay your own entries). Worth is equal to apprx. 2.5k per month, maybe more because food is expensive here.
                      You work 6 days per week. 7 am to 5:30 or 6, 2 breaks and a lunch hour in that day.
                      We have very nice young stock on our farm, I mean really nice horses. If just one kid showed a little initiative and determination, they would be more than rewarded. I always see the complaint about not being able to afford a nice horse, well they all get that opportunity and not one steps up to the plate.
                      Trust me when i tell you, that I a 60 year old fat lady can out work them and
                      i sit in an office chair all day.
                      I am sure there are great kids out there, maybe they are not the ones applying to these positions, who knows.
                      I am now starting to bring them in from overseas, they seem more determined and less worried about whether we get cell phone reception.
                      Just for the record, its not a slave labor position. They get tons of experience, working with the vets and other professionals. We goeso far as to bring in professional groomers and braiders to teach these kids. We actually do run it more like a school of sorts.
                      I will say the girl that stayed loves it. She came with money in the bank and support of her parents. She lived way up north and never had the opportunity to get quality lessons. He horse is a bit of a pill, and she is getting lots of help.Her parents will travel this summer to watch her show. We are more than pleased they are coming.
                      We will see, i have 3 girls coming, 1 all the way from England. I also have wait list from other students. This time i am not fooling around. I tend to feel bad and pat them on the head, and try and re-arrange the whole barn schedules to please them. Not anymore!
                      www.tayvalleyfarm.com
                      My other home.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by pds View Post
                        Well if they are not getting paid $ as a working student what would prevent them from collecting unemployment?
                        This would be fraud.

                        Generally speaking, in order to collect benefits, you must have lost your job and be unable to find another even though you are looking (generally speaking, you must prove that you are making every effort to find work).

                        It is not The Man's job to subsidize a volunteer experience.


                        Also, since when are unpaid internships illegal (other than in CA)? If I recall correctly, the requirements aren't exactly all that stringent.

                        1. The internship must be similar to training that would be given in an educational environment;
                        2. The internship must be for the benefit of the intern;
                        3. The intern does not displace regular employees;
                        4. The employer derives no immediate advantage from the intern;
                        5. The intern is not entitled to a job at the end of the internship; and
                        6. The intern understands that he or she is not entitled to wages.
                        According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by texan View Post
                          Well, i am going to chime in here, because I actually run a working student program.
                          1. Working Students, are just that apprentiship programs, designed to take the place of a college education OR they are for the student that wants to participate in showing and riding, and cannot afford a nice horse of their own, OR they have a horse and cannot afford the board at a BNT's.
                          2. If you want to be paid then apply for a paid barn position. However, be prepaired to do the job you were hired to do.

                          The problem is, many students come from all walks of life. Some have never entertained paying 1000.00 per month board. The only reference they have sometimes is what they have been paying to the neighbor down the street. Its hard for them to understand that type of value. Also the same goes for the kid that has never paid rent or food or hydro, parents have always paid, they just don't get the value.
                          We offer a lot to our students... so far out of 6 students, 1 has stayed. Over that time, some had to help with stalls, but not all the time. The usual barn stuff, you know turn in/out etc,etc, plus they are required to ride. All of the students had the same resume, i could just interchange names... its my passion, i'm a good worker, yada yada yada. One boy lasted half a day, because that is all they worked that day as the whole barn was going to fund raiser. He turned horses in and out, groomed 2, and filled water buckets with a hose... he called his mother to come get him, as it was too much work. One girl complained there was too much riding. One girl, thought she was a better rider than the barn owners. Most were indignate that i asked them not to use the cell phones while handling horses. Actually caught one texting while they were lunging a horse.
                          It takes a good three months for the student to actually get into a routine, and also be able to work at a normal level. It seems to be the way of the kids today. They come in thinking the job is easy and its not. Cold weather, hot weather, tempermental horses, the list goes on, but that is what the horse industry is. I dont know how much clearer i can be. Its frigging hard work. Go work at the local mall if you dont want to work long hours and be tired and sore at the end of the day.
                          I think a lot of these college programs are doing a disservice to some of these kids. They spend 30k to go to school and they come out not knowing a lot. These schools do not prepare them for the reality of the situation.
                          So on to my compensation package.... shared two bedroom apartment(not on the farm), shared car with gas back and forth to farm, you can bring your horse, OR one will be supplied for you(your own horse), food, (if you do not bring a horse, 80.00/month spending money), 2 formal lessons per week, but you will be riding at least 6 days per week. Coaching fees and trailering fees to shows all included. (you pay your own entries). Worth is equal to apprx. 2.5k per month, maybe more because food is expensive here.
                          You work 6 days per week. 7 am to 5:30 or 6, 2 breaks and a lunch hour in that day.
                          We have very nice young stock on our farm, I mean really nice horses. If just one kid showed a little initiative and determination, they would be more than rewarded. I always see the complaint about not being able to afford a nice horse, well they all get that opportunity and not one steps up to the plate.
                          Trust me when i tell you, that I a 60 year old fat lady can out work them and
                          i sit in an office chair all day.
                          I am sure there are great kids out there, maybe they are not the ones applying to these positions, who knows.
                          I am now starting to bring them in from overseas, they seem more determined and less worried about whether we get cell phone reception.
                          Just for the record, its not a slave labor position. They get tons of experience, working with the vets and other professionals. We goeso far as to bring in professional groomers and braiders to teach these kids. We actually do run it more like a school of sorts.
                          I will say the girl that stayed loves it. She came with money in the bank and support of her parents. She lived way up north and never had the opportunity to get quality lessons. He horse is a bit of a pill, and she is getting lots of help.Her parents will travel this summer to watch her show. We are more than pleased they are coming.
                          We will see, i have 3 girls coming, 1 all the way from England. I also have wait list from other students. This time i am not fooling around. I tend to feel bad and pat them on the head, and try and re-arrange the whole barn schedules to please them. Not anymore!
                          See....I would LOVE an opportunity like that! I grew up riding, my parents are race horse people and for some dumb reason (blame my teenage brain) I quit riding and went to nursing school after high school. Worst decision of my life. I hate what I do for a living and wish I would have done things differently. If my husband and I could afford to live off his income alone, I would find a excellent WS position and "re-do" my professional career as horseman. I have the riding experience and horsemanship skills to be great at it, but my life at this time just won't allow it to happen. Its really depressing to think about, actually. Especially when your friends tell you its what you were meant to & should do for a living.

                          These kids who passed up the opportunities in your program should be kicking themselves. And probably will be down the road. Props to you for offering an outstanding program.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by grandprixjump View Post
                            I was looking through a reputable equestrian website at jobs. One was for an eventer I haven't heard of, they want a 6 day a week barn help, in exchange for board for 1 horse and a lesson a week. Must be the most expensive board in the country...

                            It's crazy that people expect a slave to work for them in exchange for NOTHING....Because they call it a Working Student...

                            Working students should be respectable learning experience, NOT FREE LABOR FOR NOTHING....
                            I haven't read this entire thread so excuse me if this point has been made. Where I am from, board can run easily around $2k a month. If a working student is working full time, 40 hour weeks, and working for say $10 an hour...they are only making $1600 a month.

                            So at the right facility this arrangement sounds amazing. I say that as someone who has a horse and would NEVER be able to afford board at home (my horse is at school) and who would kill for a working student position with your stated arrangement at many barns located around me.

                            But I get that I live in an expensive area. That arrangement wouldn't work for an area where board might only be $400 or $500.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Not looking in the right places...

                              Try... http://www.yardandgroom.com/jobs/Uni...-Student/23312

                              http://www.yardandgroom.com/jobs/Uni...nt-Groom/20844

                              http://www.yardandgroom.com/jobs/Uni...4-Riders/24663


                              (Disclosure... I am not affiliated with any of the above. I just found them on Yard and Groom after reading this thread)

                              ~Emily
                              "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                I agree with Texan. We have a lot of people that don't last because it is work. Kids 16-21 don't seem to want to work these days. So spoiled. I was a working student starting at age 14. Board credit equaled more money for horse shows. I am thankful my parents taught me the value of a dollar.

                                The package the OP mentions would be worth $1,500 in my area. I bet you wouldn't make that at McDonald's, plus that means you get to work with horses all day

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by texan View Post
                                  Well, i am going to chime in here, because I actually run a working student program.
                                  1. Working Students, are just that apprentiship programs, designed to take the place of a college education OR they are for the student that wants to participate in showing and riding, and cannot afford a nice horse of their own, OR they have a horse and cannot afford the board at a BNT's.
                                  2. If you want to be paid then apply for a paid barn position. However, be prepaired to do the job you were hired to do.

                                  The problem is, many students come from all walks of life. Some have never entertained paying 1000.00 per month board. The only reference they have sometimes is what they have been paying to the neighbor down the street. Its hard for them to understand that type of value. Also the same goes for the kid that has never paid rent or food or hydro, parents have always paid, they just don't get the value.
                                  We offer a lot to our students... so far out of 6 students, 1 has stayed. Over that time, some had to help with stalls, but not all the time. The usual barn stuff, you know turn in/out etc,etc, plus they are required to ride. All of the students had the same resume, i could just interchange names... its my passion, i'm a good worker, yada yada yada. One boy lasted half a day, because that is all they worked that day as the whole barn was going to fund raiser. He turned horses in and out, groomed 2, and filled water buckets with a hose... he called his mother to come get him, as it was too much work. One girl complained there was too much riding. One girl, thought she was a better rider than the barn owners. Most were indignate that i asked them not to use the cell phones while handling horses. Actually caught one texting while they were lunging a horse.
                                  It takes a good three months for the student to actually get into a routine, and also be able to work at a normal level. It seems to be the way of the kids today. They come in thinking the job is easy and its not. Cold weather, hot weather, tempermental horses, the list goes on, but that is what the horse industry is. I dont know how much clearer i can be. Its frigging hard work. Go work at the local mall if you dont want to work long hours and be tired and sore at the end of the day.
                                  I think a lot of these college programs are doing a disservice to some of these kids. They spend 30k to go to school and they come out not knowing a lot. These schools do not prepare them for the reality of the situation.
                                  So on to my compensation package.... shared two bedroom apartment(not on the farm), shared car with gas back and forth to farm, you can bring your horse, OR one will be supplied for you(your own horse), food, (if you do not bring a horse, 80.00/month spending money), 2 formal lessons per week, but you will be riding at least 6 days per week. Coaching fees and trailering fees to shows all included. (you pay your own entries). Worth is equal to apprx. 2.5k per month, maybe more because food is expensive here.
                                  You work 6 days per week. 7 am to 5:30 or 6, 2 breaks and a lunch hour in that day.
                                  We have very nice young stock on our farm, I mean really nice horses. If just one kid showed a little initiative and determination, they would be more than rewarded. I always see the complaint about not being able to afford a nice horse, well they all get that opportunity and not one steps up to the plate.
                                  Trust me when i tell you, that I a 60 year old fat lady can out work them and
                                  i sit in an office chair all day.
                                  I am sure there are great kids out there, maybe they are not the ones applying to these positions, who knows.
                                  I am now starting to bring them in from overseas, they seem more determined and less worried about whether we get cell phone reception.
                                  Just for the record, its not a slave labor position. They get tons of experience, working with the vets and other professionals. We goeso far as to bring in professional groomers and braiders to teach these kids. We actually do run it more like a school of sorts.
                                  I will say the girl that stayed loves it. She came with money in the bank and support of her parents. She lived way up north and never had the opportunity to get quality lessons. He horse is a bit of a pill, and she is getting lots of help.Her parents will travel this summer to watch her show. We are more than pleased they are coming.
                                  We will see, i have 3 girls coming, 1 all the way from England. I also have wait list from other students. This time i am not fooling around. I tend to feel bad and pat them on the head, and try and re-arrange the whole barn schedules to please them. Not anymore!
                                  I'd have killed for a chance like this. $80 goes a long way when food, transport, and housing are provided.
                                  Too much riding? Is there such a thing?

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                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by texan View Post
                                    All of the students had the same resume, i could just interchange names... its my passion, i'm a good worker, yada yada yada.
                                    What is something that an applicant could say in their resume to stand out?

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                                    • #58
                                      Jumps, thats a good question. For me, its not about the skill, if you are a willing person, then I think you can learn those skills. What i want to see is that you allready show either through past work, volunteering, or even just helping around your school, that you can be counted on to at least try and do the job. If you had a regular gig, babysitting, and you did that for a good long while, at least that would show me that you can actually stick to something.
                                      I would like to see some sort of evidence that you understand the value of what you are going to be doing. I also ask everyone "what is it that you are looking to get our of the program". Thats a huge thing with me, as maybe the program wouldn't suit what you are looking for. For instance i just had a girl e-mail me about coming. She started off by saying she was allready working at a barn, and wanted to know what our hours were like. Big red flag there for me. Horses are horses, they have no set time, and crap happens at barns. Say the vet was coming and couldnt make it till late afternoon, if your really interested in learning then you first priority should be... I get time with the vet. Not its 5:00 we need to go home. We use a vet that is very well known in our area, and she is very accomodating to students, she tries very hard to teach as she is treating. Like i said you need to ask yourself what it is you want out of the position, and put it in your resume.
                                      You might want to also mention, that you are ready to financially, physically and mentally take on the position. Trust me 80.00 per month is not a lot of money, and showing the barn owner you have a plan in place, so you can actually take the position, is a big thing. At least for me. If your goals are to show, than the entry fees have to be paid, so you would indicate at least to me, how that is going to be handled. Seeing a plan on paper is more important to me, than you telling me you have cleaned 30 stalls before.
                                      Again, that is just me, as I work very closely with the barn owners, to ensure we have a good program in place. My barn owners are also in the barn at the same time the students are and they are working, so training is not a problem.
                                      To me, you running a successful lemonade stand tells me a whole lot more about you than, ya its my passion and i can work hard. Heard that all before.
                                      So if by chance you are still reading all this and are thinking of doing it, be very sure of what you want. Know this, it will be the hardest but most rewarding position you will ever have.
                                      www.tayvalleyfarm.com
                                      My other home.

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                                      • #59
                                        I was a "working student"/ undergraduate intern for a vet clinic and the pay I got was probably equal to what most working student positions come out too. Considering full board at many of these facilities is $500-800 without training rides plus 1-2 lessons a week at $60-80 a pop ($240-320/month), plus innumerable learning experiences, I'd say you get a lot out of being a working student. It's not supposed to be a job that pays your bills and keeps you in the lifestyle to which you would like to become accustomed. Its experience.

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                                        • #60
                                          At my eventing barn, to work off a lesson you pretty much need 6 hours of work. She is going off a rate of $10 per hour and her lessons are $60. Most of the work is tacking up horses, cleaning tack, organizing and cleaning things, etc. Theres not cleaning stalls since we don't own the barn. I have been there a while so also get to hack horses whenever I want but lately have just been working on my own horse. At another H/J barn I worked at I only did about three hours of work for a lesson. I just had to check on kids and make sure they were tacking up their horses properly and make sure things were in line. I eventually moved up pretty quickly and got to hack horses because they knew it was getting to boring for me! Lots of different possibilities out there, just do what you think will work best for you!

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