Unpaid Internships

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
Brian
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Unpaid Internships

Postby Brian » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:31 am


Brian
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Unpaid Internships

Postby Brian » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:31 am

Every issue in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a thought-provoking question related to the writing life. In the December issue of WD, Anya Kamenetz discusses the good and the bad of the unpaid internship. Did you complete an unpaid (or low-paying) internship and, if so, was the experience worth it?

To be part of our monthly Conversation, e-mail your brief response (up to 50 words) to writersdig@fwpubs.com with "Unpaid Internships" as the subject line or post it here.

JonathanD
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RE: Unpaid Internships

Postby JonathanD » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:16 am


Yeah I completed one unpaid internship and another low-paid internship.I learned a lot, loved it. Hopefully will move on to bigger better things.I'm not certain if this thread asks for details...

details... details... got internship 1 from University... writing news releases for local newspapers and the university website

got internship 2 via University's joblink, a database of job listings - kinda like a university's monster.com

My suggestion, if your starting out of school - or are an alumni - check to see if that school has a jobline/database. Heck, maybe - if you're lucky, any university may let you in as a guest.

Brian
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RE: Unpaid Internships

Postby Brian » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:13 am

Feel free to post all the details you like. They could help other writers.

JonathanD
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RE: Unpaid Internships

Postby JonathanD » Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:05 am

There is no way I am the only one here that has had at least one internship in writing.
If so, we may want to broaden this by talking about a first writing job other than freelance.

andipandi10
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RE: Unpaid Internships

Postby andipandi10 » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:48 am

I completed a practicum (same as an internship, but less credits) for the USF Magazine a few summers ago. It was a wonderful experience. Up until then I had been freelancing for the school paper. This gave me a chance to see what it was like to work as a staff member at a publication.

I was assigned articles to write, did some editing (copywriting) and scanned photos into the computer system for the articles. I had a set schedule and new what I had to do when. It was great.

But as much as I enjoyed it, I enjoy freelancing more and working on what I want to and on my own schedule.

Andrea

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RE: Unpaid Internships

Postby Emmabrit » Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:43 pm

After pursuing my undergrad, then post-grad to become a paralegal, I spent 3 years pursuing my Dad's idea of an ideal career for me: paralegal. Fortunately, I escaped that pink-collar-ghetto--earning a lofty $27,000--by obtaining a fellowship for a master's in communication. Aside from the 15 hours of internship for academic-publishing professors, I also interned w/ the university's Office of Public Relations. Wrote articles for the weekly newsletter. Most articles focused on the fascinating places professors went while on research sabaticals. I learned some now-antiquated skills in layout and design--it was '88. I also wrote pieces for the American Red Cross and for the local organ donor association. If anything, these internships revealed how talented and underpaid writers are...and how very-average I was. I diligently tried to pursue the field, but have yet been unsuccessful. Have this nagging feeling that if I could just unlock the hidden syntactical structure/architecture of great writers, I could finally achieve my dream. :)

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RE: Unpaid Internships

Postby rawpowergirl » Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:23 am

I did two unpaid internships, and they were both worthwhile. Doing something for free makes you realize whether it's something you really want to do or not. If you are willing to work for free, you should do it for a living.

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RE: Unpaid Internships

Postby Trevor » Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:54 pm

I'm currently in high school. My school offers a community service program where you can sign up for just about any job you'd like and get credit for going to it a few hours a week. Most kids choose to help a teacher in the school, just because it's easy and most of the time the teacher doesnt have anything for them to do. I chose to intern at the local paper. Honestly, I've got to say it's been one of the best experiences of my life. I'll admit I'm not much for going out and interviewing people- God it makes me nervous- but seeing my name in the paper is well worth it. I'd recommend it to anyone who is hoping to write for a living.

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RE: Unpaid Internships

Postby rraven » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:05 am

Would having a web page where you did an awful lot of writing and responding to strange e-mails count as an unpaid internship? Becuase of my lack of finances throughout my life, all my jobs had to be paid. My parents would've had twin coronaries if I'd taken an unpaid internship. The jobs and the web page are gone now--just have a blog...

Still working on my sig

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