Slave Labor

I know internships are usually the very definition of slave labor, but to know and to experience are entirely diferent things.

Today was ROUGH. I intern at a very popular women’s fashion magazine and I work in all the different departments, which usually means that everyone thinks they have equal claim over my day. My daily tasks are never the same. While some days are easy going and fun, other days are hell. But I’ve never had a truly diastrous day in my 5 week term here until today.

I won’t go into the details, but do editors and editorial assistants forget how it is to be an intern? Do they think we are made of iron and steel and no task is beyond our boundaries? If so, WHY ARE YOU NOT HIRING US??

I knew this internship was going to be a toughie just because of the sheer prestige of the magazine itself. I also knew I would have to take a good hit on my ego. I was an Editorial Assistant for 9 months at a prestigious magazine website, before this. I loved my job, just not the topic. But, I was writing daily and going to press events and doing very un-assistant like tasks. The salary was as decent as an EA salary could get and with overtime, I wasn’t doing too shabby.  But, then back in May, I got laid off with 15 others.

I, of course, applied to a gazillion jobs. The problem was that there weren’t that many to apply to. I had the right to be picky now as I had worked at a great website and had gained amazing experience. I wanted to be somewhere equally prestigious! Well, three months of getting nowhere, I decided to go for a minimally paid internship at this great magazine. It sounded like a great plan and the internship coordinator is completely supportive of interns job-hunting and going on interviews. Since I was technically ‘freelancing’, I was also able to keep getting my unemployment.

There are a total of 16 interns at the magazine, all of which are graduates. We are all in direct competition for very few jobs and it just makes me more and more worried that I will never actually get back into the work force. This is my 2nd magazine internship and I’ve interned at 2 websites and worked at 1 before. I’ve freelanced for various publications and gained numerous clips at my last job. Is this not enough experience?? I wasn’t even considered for an assistant position that got filled earlier on this week, here. I also got turned down for a freelance gig on the magazine’s website, which I thought I was a shoe-in for. Get this, I applied for an internship to work on a big project with a different department and they hired an outside rather than me! And no, she did not have more experience.

When does the struggling end?


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