Archive for the 'charity' Category

Internships in Conservation

Interns Anonymous catches five minutes with another ex-intern in our continuing series of interviews. This time, we explore internships in conservation.

Interns Anonymous: You interned in the third sector. Tell me a little about it:

********: Well I was at a conservation charity for three months, and it was called an internship. It was basically an admin position.

Interns Anonymous: What did you do?

********: Filing, archiving files, moving them from paper to a computer and… that’s about it.

Interns Anonymous: What hours did you work?

********: 9 to 5, part-time, for three months.

Interns Anonymous: Did you feel like you got much out of this experience?

********: Well, I learned how to do admin. I know how to do work. I didn’t gain any skills, or qualifications which would help me get paid work in conservation.

Interns Anonymous: Was it sold to you as experience that would lead onto a paid position?

********: Definitely. Yes. That’s what they said. It will be valuable experience for charity or conservation work.

Continue reading ‘Internships in Conservation’

Intern Interview #1

We are unleashing a new feature on the website: the Interns Anonymous interview. Armed with a dictaphone and 10 minutes of spare time, we are interviewing past and present interns about their internship experiences. We kick off with an ex-headhunter who wanted a career-change in her mid-twenties. She turned to internships to get into the charity sector.  

IA: Where does this story start?

I chose to have a career change earlier this year. I was advised that the best way to get into other organisations - having worked for four years but with no actual qualification to show for it - was to do internships…I was in a unique position because being an headhunter, they were all with my clients.

IA: So they weren’t advertised?

No, none of them were advertised, I just knew somebody there and I normally worked with the person I knew, in their team

Continue reading ‘Intern Interview #1′

Time out: Interim interning

The Guardian profiles a women called Anneka Dawson, a 25-year-old student at the University of Sussex who is halfway through a three-year PhD on child development, funded by the Economic and Society Research Council (ESRC).

She has just returned to her studies, following a three-month internship with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), which she believes will stand her career prospects in good stead. “In future, I would really like to work with a children’s charity,” she explains. “So this was really good for me. I gained insider knowledge about how the voluntary sector works and I got help and advice on how to join a voluntary organisation. I met a lot of people, both inside the organisation and at conferences, and having that experience on the CV is really good, because this sector is now really competitive, even for volunteering, so it’s good to have something to make you stand out and show how dedicated and enthusiastic you are.”

The internship was funded by her existing funder, the ESRC, and Dawson has been able to add a three-month extension to the end of her PhD funding, so she hasn’t had to lose any time from her studies. During the internship Dawson moved from her home in Brighton to live with her parents, within easy commuting distance of London. The ESRC paid her travel costs and would have paid accommodation costs, had that been necessary.

“It was a very different environment and I needed to learn a lot quickly, but that was a good challenge,” she says.

All right if you can get the funding.

Valuable but difficult: living on the biscuit collection

I have found interning to be an extremely valuable, but difficult experience for someone of my background. I live near Reading, at home with my mother who is a disabled single parent living in social housing and my younger sister who is in her first year at university. I am currently the only person in my household who is able to earn properly. I am one of the unfortunate few whose parents are not in a position to support them while they intern. In fact, I have to help my mother pay her rent and buy food because she can’t afford it, and help out my sister with money for books and equipment. The concept of interning is alien to my family- they can’t understand why, with five A’s at A-level and a strong degree from a top university, I have to work for free. It is increasingly frustrating and demoralising for me to keep justifying it to them when we lack basic necessary household items such as a washing machine and a cooker.  

Continue reading ‘Valuable but difficult: living on the biscuit collection’

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? 

Continue reading ‘Why am I here?’

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