Wednesday, July 17, 2013

When they were unpaid interns...

Interesting post on the 6th floor blog at the New York Times Magazine, with anonymous staffers recalling their unpaid internships. One of them was someone who did one at an (unnamed) Toronto magazine. What distinguishes most of the anecdotes is a) they mostly had fun or unusual duties, b) attributed their subsequent jobs to the experience and c) acknowledged they couldn't have done it without living off Mom and Dad or holding down another part-time job. 

One said an internship at a nonprofit quarterly about urban issues in Philadelphia required her make a trek every week from New York.
"It was an edifying and rewarding experience, which is apparently more than you can say for most magazine internships. And at the end, probably because they felt bad for me, they offered me my first paid writing job."
The Toronto example said, in part
"The internship was invaluable, and the only reason I could afford to do it was because a) I was also working a part-time job in a bookstore at night and on weekends, about an additional 20 hours a week, and b) this being Canada, the government of Ontario had a program that paid you minimum wage ($7 an hour at the time) to do an internship in a creative field. This program was, naturally, one of the first things cut when a new, cost-cutting, conservative government swept to power."

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