I’ve spent about a year of my life in various internship roles and felt conflicted about whether the industry experience justified the (sometimes) unpaid work. Now I’m employed full-time, I haven’t been too concerned about internships. But I recently discovered Intern Magazine, a magazine dedicated to debating intern experiences and ethics, and the whole discussion has been blown wide open again for me again!
It seemed so strange to have an entire magazine dedicated to internships that I picked up a copy of issue 3 ‘The Education Issue’. I also couldn’t resist the beautiful teal cover! In my experience, internships are offered as a pathway into a creative industry, and this is true of most of the experiences in Intern. Inside, the contributions are from interns, or former interns who share their outlook on photography, art, fashion, freelance journalism and graphic design internships.
Intern was founded by Alec Dudson in 2013, drawing on his experience interning within independent magazines and funded by a Kickstarter campaign. There’s a real range of experiences and angles in Intern. Some contributors have had brilliant experiences – fulfilling internships that have led to part-time jobs or enriched careers. Others, less satisfactory: they were taken advantage of, under-paid and thus felt unfulfilled by the experience. The Education issue examines if an internship is a link between university and industry, and if its a beneficial step for graduates, particularly those interested in esoteric creative jobs.
The clear message throughout the issue is that every internship is different, and they each have to be judged on their merit separately. Intern delves into the ethics of unpaid internships; how to invoice as a freelancer; how internships and social media can work together. So, for anyone interested in doing a creative internship, the magazine would be a brilliant source of support to inspire, and review whether an internship is ‘worth it’. For other readers, the nuanced culture of internships explored in the magazine is so interesting that you may need to pick up a copy!