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PROBE & QUERY || UNPAID INTERNSHIP TALK [1]

I am a huge fan of The Man Repeller site and Leandra Medine, author and founder. 

Today, Amelia Diamond released a piece on unpaid internships over on The Man Repeller that I really enjoyed. It was insightful, thought-provoking...and really disappointing because I found out that W Mag will not be an option for me next summer. WTF




Post on Man Repeller:

"Condé Nast announced last week that they were officially discontinuing their internship program. “The end of the program comes after the publisher was sued this summer by two former interns who claimed they were paid below the minimum wage during internships at W and The New Yorker,” wrote WWD...." 
(continue reading here)


My comment:


I try to give money no respect, but I do believe it affords certain comforts and access. Personally, I think it is a bit unfair to offer no compensation at all to those who intern- whether it's a paycheck, stipend, or boarding coverage. It limits the access of many people (although there are other avenues to receiving money for unpaid internships), and in a way, it's almost devaluing for both parties. Obviously by not being paid, you feel as if you are at the mercy of the corporation. But also, if you (the corporation) value the choice you've made for me to fulfill duties as an intern, I mean you obviously chose me out of a sea (or few) candidates, didn't I have to pass some qualifications? Doesn't that then make me some form of an asset and not just a desperate needy intern?
Again, money is neither here nor there for me. I could care less. I understand I need it to live a certain life of comfort, but it in no way is my main motivator or de-motivator. That is a choice I have made no matter how thirsty my bank account may get. Until I reach a certain level of success, I can't really be a prostitute of my talents. In the early walk of our career, we must give, give give in order to receive #bible.
So I get it, tenacity. That's important. And it often sets the real apart from the fake, real quick. It's important, but I don't believe money is wholly tied to that in the way these corporations may believe.

I commented with my two sense on the whole ordeal, but decided I had more to say, so...
Here goes...



Dear Condé Nast,


I can be your quiet girl in the corner with her head turns at the mercy of your call...whisper...glance.

"Coffee Run!" says employee on the left. "Skinny Vanilla Latte or Dirty Chai?" I'll yell back, with a head snap quicker than lightening.

I'll do it. I'll be there. I can be all you need and I won't say a word.

"Hold your umbrella?" Anytime! "Need me to block the sun too?" 

"I want to be your bitch."

One day when I'm walking with Anna Wintour, I'll be thankful. She'll be my best friend, and Grace will be the mother I never had- a fashionable one (sorry Mom). I've always thought I had a British accent deep down... You know, my great-grandpa is from Wales, "think we're family?!"

Just say the word Anna. Sorry! -Mrs. Wintour. 


Say the word Edward Enninful. I know they were discriminatory against you that one time at Paris Fashion Week but I'll make sure you never sit second row again! 

Say the word André Leon Talley. 


Say the Word Alexandra Shulman. 


Say the word Nina Garcia! 


SAY THE WORD CONDÉ NAST! 


Just let me be great, let me be...you. 


Eagerly, Your future intern




On the real -Grace Coddington could totally be my honorary god-mother. And Edward, it really was messed up that they didn't let you sit with your friends. Straight discrimination.  


Hopefully this was seen as what it was- a joke. What? I can poke fun sometimes. I'm sure some college student somewhere is reading this with genuine thoughts as expressed above. SMH. The desperation is real. Students are hungry to work for the biggest name in publication they can, and I can't say I blame them.  
I'm not super bummed that Condé Nast has decided to end their partnerships and internship programs with students. With the strenuous climb to work with a publication like Marie Claire, Vogue, Style, or WWD, under even bigger umbrellas of companies such as Condé Nast or Hearst, the gap was only going to get bigger. What I really hope is that this brings forth more partnerships amongst individual publications and schools or student communities. The fashion industry is so hard to navigate, and whether or not, you discover the creme de la creme amongst a fridge of spoiled milk or just happen to have a really committed student get on your radar (somehow), are they still not an asset? Trust your judgement publications. Why are magazines are so afraid of opening up the floodgates? Just get a good stopper. Those who weren't build to make it- won't make it, no matter how deep their pockets run. Set an even playing field so that the die hards can have some sort of access. Right now, the segregation just seems to shut more people out than provide opportunities. And if that's your goal, well, we have more problems than just aged milk. However...I do love cheese #fact.
source

--kim

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