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Stuff White People Like: Unpaid Internships November 6, 2008

Posted by Emily in jobs schmobs, moving, rants, working.

I had to giggle (and violently shake my fist) when a friend pointed out post #105 on the site Stuff White People Like: Unpaid Internships.

Over the course of my job search, I have been flabbergasted by the extent to which unpaid internships are offered as the main, and sometimes only, way to get started in a number of fields. Of course these internships are mostly 15-25 hours a week and often require a commute, making another full-time job a bit dicey, and are located in huge cities where rent and cost of living are high.

As the site says, “White people view the internship as their foot into the door to such high-profile low-paying career fields as journalism, film, politics, art, non-profits, and anything associated with a museum…If all goes according to plan, an internship will end with an offer of a job that pays $24,000 per year and will consist entirely of the same tasks they were recently doing for free.

Please add publishing to that list. I must be “the wrong kind of white person,” because I just can’t buy into the idea of competing to work for free.

Although I think I found the $25/week stipend for the internship at a famous art museum, with a job description which looked like this: Duration: January – June, 2009; a 6-month commitment expected. Average of 15+ hours per week, Monday through Friday plus evening and weekend special events as required.” even more insulting. 25 bucks? Really?

Read the entire post here.



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