Friday, January 13, 2006

Intern Hell

Internships are a fact of life for college students in every field, but they're a different sort of beast in the entertainment industry. Competition is so fierce that aspiring filmmakers will work for free to get a foothold. Contrary to the insistence of some of my superiors, learning the finer points of coffee brewing did not teach me how to be a better filmmaker. But anytime I felt the urge to complain, I glanced at the stacks of résumés piled around the office and realized that there were legions of would-be baristas just itching to take my place.


Anonymous said...

Internships are just a method for the elites of the country to maintain themselves. Try to get a job at the NY Times or Washington Post without being an unpaid intern.

The only people who can afford to be unpaid interns are the children of the rich.

An economist has also been studying 20 something women in NYC and found that a large number of them are still being supported by their parents. Once again, a way for the elite and rich to maintain themselves.

Anya said...

Yes, that's a very good point.
Some people I know are working on a project about it: SNAPPAC (, which will provide stipends for low-income students who might otherwise be unable to do political work over the summer to spend it working on progressive congressional campaigns.

Anonymous said...

If no one was willing to take unpaid internships there wouldn't be any. The problem rests as much with the potential interns that see working for free as something that might have a large future payoff as it does with the intern employers who are simply respoding to an oversupply of cheap labor.