Archive for November, 2011


Ok sorry we haven’t posted much up blah blah, we haven’t even linked properly to our Guardian front page (oh by the way did I mention we were mentioned on the front page of the Guardian?)…in the meantime here is a link to a post we missed on a great blog ‘unspeak’, which unpicks the meanings implied and constructed by political language or articles in the press. The post in question beats the hell out of an article in the Economist, which was published in September- we really should have seen this sooner and for that we are truly sorry.

Archiving Interns Anonymous

It is with a large dose of geek joy that I read an email we just received from the British Library Web Archiving programme- they want to archive Interns Anonymous as part of their project to ‘represent aspects of UK documentary heritage’. This means they take care of every part of the site, even backing it up on a hard drive (in case the internet breaks?), so researchers in the future can read it.

As a history PhD-er, I’m pretty up for seeing something I co-set up become history before my very eyes…as our Policy-Officer-Hero-of-the-Hour, Joseph Thomas says, ‘I never doubted whether we were culturally significant. I think this warrants a blog post’.

If you’re reading this, future researcher, you can imagine me sitting in a cafe writing this, imagining you reading this.

Rosy Rickett

IdeasTap has some exciting opportunities for y’all

The arts charity IdeasTap is looking for an arts or media intern to write a weekly anonymous column about their experiences at the bottom rung of the career ladder. Whether you’re interning as a journalist, PR, on a film set or in a theatre, they want to hear from you. The winner will be paid £100 per 500-word column. Intern X will be taking over from IdeasMag’s current anonymous columnist, Actor X.

Applicants must be interning regularly in order to be eligible, as the column will run for an indefinite period of time. It is fine to complete several internships during your reign as columnist, as long as the placements more or less follow each other. Apply here.  Applications close on Tuesday 22 November at 5pm.

IdeasTap is a creative network and funding body for emerging arts talent, and IdeasMag is their in-house publication, featuring interviews with successful creatives and advice on making it in the arts. They are also currently recruiting two paid office interns– one in editorial, another in development.

Young, rich and working for free…


The following isn’t a direct account of my own experience, it’s that of a friend’s. I keep reading about “people with affluent parents” or “people who can afford unpaid internships”, but here is an example of that in practice.

I myself have done a handful of short unpaid internships, but luckily they were only a few hours a week so I managed to stay on the dole/in a job at the same time, and the organisations really needed the help - they weren’t for profit and did a lot for the local community. I would recommend the odd 2 week internship to those who can manage it, but the fact that I am in a good job right now is partly down to my adamant decision to never consider long term unpaid internships, whether or not I could somehow save up the money to do it. I’ve been extremely fortunate, but I was determined to hold out for a decent paid job.

My account is a clear example of how the unpaid internship culture of this country is working. An acquaintance of mine - who I met through a paid internship - has long complained to me of her boyfriend’s laziness and unwillingness to find a calling in life. When we interned together, she would tell me about how he barely scraped through his degree, as he was uninterested in the subject, and was being propped up in a house that had been bought for him by his wealthy parents. After graduating, and not necessarily wanting to enter the world of work yet, he went straight into a History Masters (presumably paid for by said wealthy parents). She told me about how he nearly failed a lot of his modules and had to resit, taking 2 years to complete the degree. At this point I didn’t want to make any judgements, some of my most intelligent and hard working friends and relatives had been through similar issues at university, however, I didn’t exactly expect the following to happen to this guy.

My friend often talked to me about how she debated whether or not to even stay with her boyfriend on the basis of him not wanting to get a job, or have any interest in a career at all. Fast forward a few months, and his ‘contacts’ have found him an unpaid internship with his local MP (his first job ever). It turns out that the job is going to be based at Westminster, and it’s unpaid. Here’s the point where most people would start looking for something else, because living and working in London for 4 months unpaid is well out of most peoples’ reach, regardless of how great an opportunity it might be. Fortunately this young man has wealthy loving parents to support him. This doesn’t seem too shocking, except for the fact that my friend keeps bragging about his £600 per week flat by the river. In Westminster. Almost every other day they update their Facebook profiles with pictures of them enjoying meals out and drinks after work. Those are the kind of treats that unpaid interns should be able to reward themselves with, right?

I don’t imagine that this has been anything but the norm for years, but it’s sad that someone who really didn’t have to work hard, or show any interest in politics at all, is on the fast track into Parliament, when I also know of really hard working individuals with years of experience, still struggling at the very bottom of the politics ladder.

Something’s wrong here, isn’t it?


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.


Interns Anonymous accept no responsibility for the contents of the blog, comments or any other content on this site that is posted or provided by third parties. This website is designed to act as a forum for interns to share experiences and opinions about their work, therefore, we will not censor opinions we do not agree with. The opinions stated in blog contributions do not represent those of Interns Anonymous. We disclaim all liability for such content to the fullest extent permitted by law. If you have any queries please email us.

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