Archive for December, 2009

Guardian Media Monkey: Grazia staffers in a froth

Outrage at Grazia magazine after an intern who was sent out regularly to buy skinny lattes for the beauty desk announced at the end of her stint on the mag that she had in fact been buying them all full-fat ones. Cue much spluttering from the staff and a mass rush to the nearest set of weighing scales. Actually Monkey just made that last bit up, but feels after pulling a stunt like that, the intern’s future in the industry is assured.


From Guardian Media Monkey

The Intern at the Christmas Party

When you’re an unpaid intern, perks of the job are few and far between. A wage is pretty much the only perk you have in mind. 

But when my three-month internship at a glossy lifestyle magazine recently ended without a job offer (merry bloody Christmas), I decided my dignity had been sufficiently battered and consequently I had nothing more to lose by accepting an invitation to the company’s Christmas party. 

Whether my boss invited me out of guilt (sorry we made you work full time in a job we could have paid someone much less gullible than you to do), or because they didn’t think I’d accept it (you’re just one of a thousand futile faces we’ll see come and go here), I’ll never know. The important thing was that the party would be at a swish London nightclub with copious amounts of free, that’s right free, alcohol. So even though they couldn’t/wouldn’t employ me, they at least had the common courtesy to get me smashed enough to forget the last three months of slave labour.

Needless to say, the office Christmas party is usually a scandalous affair where bladdered fifty year old managers try to snog the secretary, some “joker” finally discovers what his genitalia looks like photocopied twenty times, and sometimes where (god-forbid) people try to network. 

what a joker

Not me. I was quite content drinking my hopes of a media career away into a dark puddle of regret, disappointment and ultimately, vomit. There I was, not an official employee nor a complete civilian, but that shadowy intermediary figure, the intern; a person everyone secretly envies for your freedom, but disregards because of inexperience.

Continue reading ‘The Intern at the Christmas Party’

Where do you draw the line?

Almost all MPs hire interns. Hundreds, probably thousands, go through Parliament each year. This is a fact we have highlighted on these pages many times over the past year.

We have heard from interns feeling exploited and abused and those who had great experiences and managed to progress from being an intern to a researcher or a caseworker.

We don’t often highlight particular adverts here… but occasionally… just occasionally… something stands out as beyond the pale.

Let me introduce you to David Lidington MP. He is looking for an intern.

Continue reading ‘Where do you draw the line?’

The financial services deserve a mention

We haven’t had many posts about the financial services industry (working 16 hour days probably leaves little time to read blogs), but this intern advert certainly deserves a mention. A private equity firm asking for 2-3 months unpaid work! I am no banker – but I bet the money is sloshing about somewhere to pay NMW! Especially with offices in London, Paris and New York!

As an intern at Fidequity you will be an integral member of our team and will work hands-on with all team-members. Some of your tasks will include: researching the private equity market, database management and presentation preparation, along with general administrative duties.
Please note that this is an unpaid internship, however, reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, such as travel, will be reimbursed.

Staggering. As the person who emailed us this advert said:

No private equity firm who is still solvent cannot afford to pay staff for admin work. So either this is truly despicable money-grubbing, or it’s a conscious filtering ploy to ensure that only people who were born with a silver spoon can afford the admission fee to enter their hallowed industry.

Any financial services interns care to comment? Or even better – write to us with your own intern stories. Both good and bad.

The Sincere Qualms of a Middle-Class Graduate

An unemployed graduate is writing about their struggles to get paid employment over at this blog. Sound familiar?

So this week has been an awfully busy week considering my severe lack of paid work. Having completed my time at the charity last week I was left with nothing to do. However, with the optimistic idea that ‘experience on the cv will lead to a job’ in my mind I decided to hunt for something to do. I have recently decided that PR isn’t fulfilling me enough…by this I mean it is not fully-filling my wallet…in fact traveling to my many unpaid work placements is actually emptying it.

Expenses-only engagements are illegal, say Employment Tribunals

The Employment Tribunals, sitting in Reading, have ruled that workers engaged on an expenses-only basis are entitled to payment at least in line with the national minimum wage, in addition to payment for the holiday they accrue.

The decision arises from a case brought by Nicola Vetta, a former art department assistant, against London Dreams Motion Pictures Ltd.

Read more here:

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