Why am I here?

It is hard to know how to distinguish between pre-existing existential dilemmas and those induced by doing an internship. Almost everyday of my fairly useful and fair internship I would question WHY AM I HERE? WHAT AM I DOING? And possibly when will I earn some goddam money? 

Maybe people do this when they are doing paid jobs but at least they can do it over a pint that didn’t increase their debt, charge them interest on an overdraft and lead to a guilt spiral- I should only be eating lentils and drinking water, no beer for the unpaid.

Actually my particular organization has lead to some genuinely frustrating moments. It was very badly run and relied on interns as you would permanent staff. Indeed, interns who left shortly after I arrived had been working for 6 months, for no money. Jobs were expected to materialize because management had implied that this was the case but (of course) none did. Sure, this is partly because funding cuts are hitting businesses and charities hard but it also demonstrates a manipulation: ‘soon we’ll get the money and pay you’ when in fact the management probably knew no money was coming.

Another thing, certain things had money spent on them, which then turned out to be a complete and utter waste. It angered me that money had been wasted when that money was donated in good faith. I also felt unwilling to campaign for the organisation as a whole, even though I knew the work I was doing was worthwhile, because it was like, how do you say, ‘pissing in the wind’. It was an interesting experience and all but I am not sure if I would recommend it to anyone. 


I felt like him when I was doing my internship

I felt like him when I was doing my internship

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Interns Anonymous

We want this website to be a forum for interns to share their experiences and discuss the ethics of unpaid employment. Most importantly, we want this site to be a place where YOU can tell us your story.


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