How Many Internships Are Enough?

So it’s been a while since one of my Wobbling in Heels entries. I do apologise, but life, that thing I’m trying so hard to be good at, kind of got in the way. My last entry was titled Cinderella and was about what I was going to do after graduation. Well here I am, an MA graduate. No longer a student, unless I happen to win the lottery and then you might find me studying classic literature in Europe somewhere. Have I worked out the next step yet you ask? Not a chance.

Since hand in day, I’ve been hitting refresh on Gorkana’s website looking for any journalism jobs that might take on little ol’ me, and I have to say its all internship. Internship. INTERNSHIP! Now, I knew this was the case, but how can there only be internship and senior editorial positions out there. There’s no middle ground, at all. And two weeks into the job-hunt process I’m feeling a little depressed. OK, so I have had some luck. I decided to email the Creative Director of Twin Magazine and she replied! Yes, there was an actual back and forth of emails happening. Something quite unique it may appear. And now I am helping out as Editorial Coordinator at one of my favourite magazines. Although an unpaid position, I have the chance to communicate with some of the best writers, stylists and editors in the biz, from both New York and London, but I still need to earn some dollar. And that’s were it gets a little sad.

Earlier this week, on the same day I might add, I got two replies from the numerous emails I send out daily. One from one of the biggest newspapers in London, and the other, a start-up company I’d never heard of, but applied to out of sheer desperation. One, the newspaper position, is for an intern role on the fashion desk (returns at the ready) and the other is for a Senior Editor position that would involve me managing a team of two. Now does this not seem ridiculous to you? I sent the same CV out to both companies. Yes one may be a start-up magazine, but surely they wouldn’t risk giving someone who’s only worthy of an internship a senior position. It seems the only way to get anywhere here is to pimp myself out to every magazine that will take me. But how many internships is enough? When are we supposed to turn around and say “Am I not worth anything yet?” In total, I have carried out five internships at different companies, and that’s not including the jobs I do, or have done, for free. Surely five is a good enough number? Evidently not. Do I screw the dream and head back to PR? I bet they won’t even take me now, because this epidemic is not just bound to journalism. But I didn’t have to tell you that.

Everyone my age has come out of university and is expected to work for free. And what’s sad is that I don’t think ELLE’s Edited By The Interns initiative, set up to give people like me a chance to get a job, will actually make it that much easier. I have been getting responses, and I think ELLE has helped with that in a big way, but there are just not enough paid positions out there. The great thing about ELLE is that they are so tuned in to our young demographic that they know how hard it is. And they paid us, (did I ever tell you how much I love ELLE Magazine, well I do). And Company magazine also ran a similar competition that gave eight young fashion graduates a chance to edit their October issue, seems Hearst Magazines know what we want. Lucy Mangan, the columnist at Stylist last week was discussing the rising age for first time buyers, and it made me think, if we don’t get paid sometime soon, and by we I mean my generation, how in hell are we supposed to buy a house before the age of 35?