With so many unpaid internship lawsuits currently pending (think: the former Harper’s Bazaar intern v. Hearst Corp., the lawsuit stemming from Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan, the former Elite Models’ intern lawsuit, the unpaid internship lawsuit that W Magazine is currently facing, etc. etc.), it is interesting to hear what some of the industry’s most successful designers say about their internship experiences.

Nicolas Ghesquière, the former creative director of Balenciaga, spent the summer working at Agnès B. in Paris when he was 15, for which he was paid in clothes. Of the internship he says, with a laugh: “I watched, I photocopied, I made the coffee.” After that, he was offered an internship with a new young designer, Corinne Cobson. He says: “For two years I worked for Corinne in Paris every weekend and every holiday, then went back to school in London. When I left school she gave me a proper job.”

Last but not least, on the eve of his 19th birthday, Ghesquière began an internship at Jean Paul Gaultier. “It started out as a supersmall job, making coffee and dog walking, eventually doing color cards and photocopies, but it was fascinating.” It seems Ghesquière doesn’t have anything but good things to say about his internships and after a long tenure at Balenciaga, it seems they paid off. So, I ask: Internships – good or bad? Share your thoughts in the comments below.