For a while now I have been surrendering myself to the lowly realms of unpaid internships. Now, as much as people argue the case for abolishing what is essentially free labour, the concept of the free fashion (or near enough any creative or media related) skivvy isn't going anywhere. Unfair? Perhaps. But the idea and "reasoning" for many outlets and companies, particularly the larger and more competitive, behind the concept of the unpaid internship is that this is a way for you to demonstrate your passion and undying enthusiasm for the product, brand or trade so to speak. So here I am, once again offering myself up the media Gods for mundane jobs and non existent wages all in the name of proving my worth.
Well... in theory.
In sum, I have been hankering after a newspaper to add to my CV list of media conquests having already now experienced working life in glossy, PR and online. Therefore, I'm pretty pleased to be writing this post from The Guardian HQ. A paper founded in 1821 and known for its impressive international multimedia presence, surely this is the place to be tested; to be put through my paces so I can acquire the skills and experience necessary to succeed within this hilariously cut-throat industry and impress my future employers? I don't hold much hope other than on paper. The name in itself may well impress but as to whether I'm learning anything that goes beyond my own common sense is somewhat doubtful. However, that is not to say I'm not enjoying myself and by environment alone I can cement my ambitions on this being the career for me.
Yesterday, my first day, involved two tasks. My first task involved the weekend papers, a keen eye and a pair of scissors. Nothing life changing but a required task I had no objection in undertaking. For the afternoon's festivities, I locked myself in a messy cupboard, whacked on a combination of Bruce Springsteen's greatest hits and mundane pop and got on with bagging and addressing marvelously expensive things. And then putting them on my head. Day over.
Today? Even less productive thus far with the agenda including 15 minutes sorting post and 10 minutes flicking through and filing some look books. Then "just go on the computer for a bit" which, in layman's terms, equates to 2 and half hours. This is not out of the ordinary for many but for me, I've never experienced such a laid back attitude especially in comparison to my last placement at Fashion156 where, in those long and intense hours, I was trained up to a high level in all things essential. In hindsight, I very much did a job without getting any wages. A little mean perhaps but then again, I took something away from it and left in the knowledge that I was "a perfect representative for the company". My role was fashion assistant and writer, not intern, and to this day I still receive enquiries, lookbooks and CVs from people I previously connected with.
As hellish as that internship was at (most) times, it was a "no pain, no gain" situation. Here, there is definitely no pain but my prospects of gain seem minimal.
However, after I've eaten my salmon ands couscous (I can at least act the part) I'm going to force this place into giving me work if only to save myself the £178 worth of clothing sitting in my online basket. Research, perhaps? A few more returns, even? G'wan - this labour is free afterall.
Until I'm made to do something...