I would like to take some time off (more like reduce 50% study workload) from the life of a student on his way to a PhD.
So far I have been living off tuition waivers and payment for assisting my guide write papers and grade for his classes and I make a bit above $17/hr on the average (I get paid by the hour and the rates change on the kind of work I do).
My specialization is in sentiment analysis from text data: machine learning and large data processing.
I am interested in working in a corporate environment for some time, and had applied to a few companies, on my guide's recommendation.
This arrangement would mean, instead of working at school all the time, I split my time into half between my professor and another company.
A specific company interests me as they do similar work that I am doing in my research, and my potential boss (who interviewed me) and I are both excited about starting work together, but I have been offered $21.75/hour.
This was after I asked him to reconsider his initial offer of $17/hr (companies know how much I or any research assistant makes at our university as it's public information)
My expectation was atleast $35/hr as people who work on that same problems as full time employees make $50+/hr, but they are mostly PhDs.
It is hard for me to justify my impact on their business side of things, but I would be working on similar problems as a full time employee, and making similar contributions.
Accepting the new job would require me to travel atleast 2x 20 miles roundtrip to San Bernardino, CA or take a 2x 2 hour bustrip from campus, among other things.
It would also require significant rework of my class schedules (possibly impacting the time for me to earn my degree as I might have to turn down classes during usual work hours)
This would be my first internship experience in the US.
I am not sure if I would get any benefit besides the hourly payment as an intern. What are the benefits I can expect while working for this company (or any other software company)
For example, could I ask them to reimburse my bus fare or fuel costs in addition to the hourly pay?
What kind of an "employee" is an intern? (Read about exempt and non-exempt employee, but that's all very confusing)
Since this is the second time, since my interview, that I have requested, and been offered a higher rate, should I continue to ask them for a value near a $35/hr rate?
I already have a bachelors degree and am on my way to an integrated masters and PhD degree.
I am afraid of pissing them off or coming accross as an opportunist - specially when I would really like to work with them.
Since I am a student on F1 Visa I am hour capped at 20hr/week and 40 during breaks/week with no overtime. This job though would have some adhoc hours like any IT job.