Internships are the black hole of our generation -there’s no way to escape from them once you step in. E&M wants to know more about your internship experiences, but you’ll have to follow some rules: during a 3-month period, send us six postcards, in which you share the highlights of the last two weeks at work. Tell us what it is like to be an intern in Europe! Send you postcards to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A. is 23 years old and has interned in some of the biggest international organisations and media outlets around the world. Sometimes she wonders if by the time they got their first real contracts, her youth idols had gone through as many experiences as she has by now. And the answer is probably not.
Just like A.’s beloved Bob Dylan would say, “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” But for better or for worse?
On the one hand, “the best is the feeling of having nearly as many responsibilities as permanent staff do, and to have them when you are only a student or a recent grad,” A. says. “But at the same time, the worst is the feeling of being used to replace a real worker.” It’s ironic how students can get more rewarding positions as interns than at entry level jobs too!
For A., one of the keys to making the times change for better is to find the right balance in the responsibilities and to protect young workers. “Nobody wants to be used as a permanent staff without the benefits of permanent staff, but nobody wants to be looked down on and spend the day making coffee either.”
As someone who has travelled the world, A. thinks that the European characteristic of this global trend is the lack of jobs conceived for young people in the old continent. “It’s sad to think that every company and the market itself want to mould you, instead of allowing your novelty to bring some fresh air.”
Teaser photo: Stamp from the Netherlands. Public domain.