EFFIE BATEMAN | BRISBANE |CONTACT
In news that has shocked no one, it’s reported that the 100 hour placement policy required by universities was spearheaded by marketing agencies.
Masquerading under the guise of ‘work experience’, a number of agencies and publishing houses have taken to hiring interns in lieu of actual employees.
Boutique agencies are reportedly the most likely to take advantage of the industry placement, and are rumoured to have an ongoing rotation of peppy communications students who don’t know any better.
“I was really excited to start my internship,” says third year marketing student, Sophie, “I thought I’d learn a lot about the industry and maybe get some practical experience.”
Sophie says that on her first day in the studio, she was greeted by several other interns who quickly helped her set up and get started. She reports that she had no idea where the manager was, and couldn’t work out if the agency actually had any employees.
“It was really weird, I thought I’d have someone there to guide me and teach me things I hadn’t learned at uni. But it honestly just felt like another group assignment.”
The agencies longest standing intern, Chelsea, had proudly put herself in charge of the other interns and was responsible for managing clients and writing up briefs.
In her youthful ignorance, Chelsea didn’t have the life experience to know she was being exploited.
“I’m hoping they’ll hire me,” says Chelsea, unaware that hundreds of interns before had hoped the same thing, “I think if I keep working really hard they definitely won’t want to lose me.”
Unfortunately the increasing number of intern mills aren’t only affecting bright eyed students, but those seeking full time work as well.
“I can’t get work anywhere”, reveals a communications professional named Tom, “nobody wants to pay someone to write when they can get students to do it for free.”
“I suppose I could always sign up to one of those freelance writing sites,” says Tom, “and make $30 for a ten page e-book.”
Dispite these findings, many interns are still happy to work for free and even forego lunch breaks in fear of the boss miraculously showing up.
However, Sophie has reportedly remained optimistic and states that interns have it a lot better these days.
“At least I’m not being asked to make coffee,” she laughs, as she finishes off a complicated marketing plan for a multi-million dollar client, “now that would be really exploiting us.”