Welcome to Exploited Interns

Child labourers at a Florida cigar factory, 1909

You’ve done the lengthy application, been down to the testing center (at your own expense), gone through three rounds of interviews — all for that coveted internship in the big city. Day one you arrive in newly purchased smart work attire, properly groomed, waiting in the reception to be whisked up into the swanky steel and glass building’s beating commercial heart to dazzle and shine your way into permanent employment.

But wait, once escorted up there, what’s this? A tutorial in how to work the photocopier, a list of coffee orders to go out and get, instructions to arrange entertainment for the Partner’s sprogs’ birthday party? Sound familiar?

With so many graduates in the job market, internships have become a key ingredient to a great career. Difficult to obtain and often less than satisfying, you frequently come away feeling exploited.

Internships should be a two-way street. In return for your (underpaid at best) labour you’re meant to finish with a greater insight into the industry you hope to work in.

Increasingly however interns are being used as fodder for the office’s menial tasks. In a difficult economy with so many graduates desperate for work, companies and organisations are taking advantage of willing interns, taking them on in place of actual staff to avoid having to pay someone the minimum wage.

Well, here at Exploited Interns we want to hear your stories. Don’t get us wrong, there are some great internships out there, and we will be showcasing some of them on this blog. But there are also employers who need to be named and shamed. If you’ve got an internship story you’d like to share then email us at exploitedinterns@gmail.com.

We’ll also be bringing you advice from industry professionals on what to do to get the most out of your internship and also what you really mustn’t do.

Finally we’re going to be covering the campaign to end unpaid internships, so make sure you follow us on twitter @ExploitedIntern to keep up with all the latest news.

One Response to “Welcome to Exploited Interns”
  1. Tom says:

    Unpaid internships are a national scandal. The more coverage this issue gets, the better.

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