At 29, Alejandro Cavazos led a team of more than 25 people at a multinational welding manufacturing company in Mexico. He drove around Monterrey in a company car, flew business class and enjoyed all the benefits of a cushy corporate position.
Remembering those days, he laughs in disbelief. “I don’t have any of that now,” he says. “And I don’t miss it at all.”
Today, now aged 32, Cavazos is back at the bottom of the ladder. As an intern at a tech hub in Barcelona, he earns 500 euros per month – less than half of the minimum wage. Instead of driving a company car, he rollerblades to work; with his part-time salary he couldn’t afford public transport, anyway.
In exchange, he gets to participate in projects dealing with modern urban design, and to picture himself as an actor of change, instead of a gear in a huge corporation. Cavazos has willingly become a ‘mintern’, or middle-career intern.
And he’s not alone.
Millennial job dissatisfaction is high: according to Deloitte’s 2019 global survey of more than 13,000 people, 49% of millennials will quit their jobs within the next two years. About a quarter of them reported having left an employer in the past 24 months. As an alternative, many millennials who began in traditional, career-track jobs have started to regard internships as an opportunity to relaunch careers, or switch professional paths before it becomes too late.