Archive for October, 2009



MPs can no longer ignore employment law - it’s time for Parliament to take a lead

Last night Interns Anonymous went to Parliamentary ‘Interns Summit’ in the Macmillan Room of Portcullis House.  The speakers were John Bercow, Charles Clarke, David Willets, Wes Streeting of NUS and Dan Whittle of the Union Unite.

Dan has posted his speech on the Labour List blog – which I will repost below. I also took some audio recordings of the speeches and will try and get them onto the blog in the coming days.

Continue reading ‘MPs can no longer ignore employment law - it’s time for Parliament to take a lead’

Internocracy launches the Interns Campaign for Change

Internocracy, the internships organisation, today launches the start of the ‘Interns Campaign for Change’ - a chance for interns and those interested in a fair deal for young people to join us in challenging the unfair status quo in internships and outlining how we can change things for the better.

Crowdsourcing the way forward through The Interns’ Manifesto for Change

At Internocracy, we want to have a conversation about how we can change the currently dysfunctional internship sector in the UK.

We’re throwing open the challenge to anyone interested in solving the inherent problems that exist to get in touch with us with their ideas, thoughts and experiences of internships. We’ll then work with interns past, present and potential - including our own Interns Advisory Board - to turn this into an Interns Manifesto to present to politicians and policymakers.

Get in touch with us at hello[at]Internocracy[dot]org, on Facebook or Twitter.

Dom Potter, Co-Founder and Director

One of the “lost generation”

A blogger for the Guardian describes how their internship led to a job

I cannot recommend the experience enough, particularly as it has since lead to a job offer with the same company and, perhaps more importantly, helped me to better understand what I want to be doing and where I want to be doing it.

My advice to anyone contemplating such a route, is to work out exactly what you are going to be doing before you start your placement — ask questions, do your research and don’t feel tied to anything you aren’t comfortable with just for the sake of ‘experience’. Make sure you know what you want and what you are getting yourself into.

Continue reading ‘One of the “lost generation”’

The Newcastle-London intern commute

Recently, I graduated from Journalism School, and I know exactly what it feels like not having a choice about being forced to participate in unpaid internships.

Some of my unpaid internships were challenging opportunities and valuable learning experiences, while others were counter-productive; a waste of my time, energy, and money.

On occasions, all I did was walk around newsrooms reading newspapers for the duration. No one seemed to notice or even care that I was there, and if they did, they didn’t seem to be interested in acknowledging my presence.

To me, this defeated the purpose of what an internship is supposed to be about and why companies participate in internship programs.

For instance, a few years ago when I lived in Newcastle, I got a placement down in London. In order to fund the internship, I had to work 5 nights a week at a restaurant. I got off work at midnight Sunday and caught a bus 249 miles down to London to start a shift in a newsroom at 9 that morning. When I arrived, my supervisor told me that there wasn’t any work for me and that I should go home. Needless to say, I became angry and quit on the spot.

Anna, who wrote this post is now a freelance journalist and is looking to write about this issue. If you want to talk to her about your experiences contact her via this email address, or call her on: 07706154283.

Payback time

Many designers treat interns as a convenient source of unpaid labour. However, Adrian Shaughnessy argues that we shouldn’t forget to give something back:

We designers are quick to grumble about sharp practices - free-pitching and a cavalier approach towards intellectual property spring to mind. But we can only claim moral superiority if our attitude to interns is beyond reproach. If we refuse to pay for their services, or if we pay them a fee, but neglect to devote time or effort to advancing their knowledge, we are no better than Hammond or all those unscrupulous clients.

When I had a studio, I always paid interns. I didn’t pay much, but I paid something, and I always made sure that I spent time with each one. Sometimes they had to do the sandwich run or make the tea, but I never asked anyone to pick up my dry cleaning. I’m sure there are a few designers who didn’t get my full attention and left without much discernable increase in their knowledge. But I’ve met quite a few of them since and I haven’t been punched yet. There’s still time, I suppose.

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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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