Thursday, 3 December 2009

the world of an intern

As a fresh graduate, I have fallen foul to the economic climate. Horrible statistics of unemployment and dwindling job prospects hit me no sooner than my mortarboard had hit the floor. But being a media and communications graduate there was a little glimmering light at the end of the tunnel. A degree in fashion journalism I have (BA Hons Writing Fashion and Culture to be precise, which in english means I know stuff about fashion, I have an understanding of a variety of cultural theory, and should have been given the fundamental skills to be a good writer/journalist), a job I do not. Enter the infamous word that rings in many a young and eager graduates ears....Internship. Now primarily interns frequent the industries of fashion (you may dissaprove of sweat shops in india but a internship in London is not far off), journalism and a plethora of other media professions like pr and advertising. And these are the areas I know best. 

I started interning when I left university, working for a fabulous small designer in London, I had a wonderful time and actually got to do stuff. I had responsability. I felt valued and I got to experience the inner workings of producing a show at London Fashion Week. Experience is what I signed up for and experience is what I got. I feel sorry for interns who get stuck photocopying and making the tea. As of yet I have not been asked to make tea.

To be honest, there are a lot of immoral and unethical people out there taking advantage of fresh and enthusiastic interns with a whole set of original ideas, and getting all the benefits of a fully fledged member of staff without spending a penny. My view of an internship is this; you are there to gain experience. That's the deal.  No? I dont even mind the whole working for free bit,  however travel expenses paid should be a given. But when you are working for free, and generally harder than the paid members of staff, and your not learning anything, and your being asked to make tea. Well thats where I give up on this industry I'm afraid. An internship should be a two way street. You give 100% and in return you should be given the industry knowledge and a place to put all those university skills into practice.

Unfortunately our industry is over-populated, over saturated and over-subcribed. And i'm not sure i'm in the right place. Competition is just not my thing. 

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