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Interns, volunteers, and working for free

Three Ways to End Your Internship on a Positive Note

If you’re wrapping up an internship wondering where the summer went, you’re not alone. It’s hard to believe the end is in sight but as per this piece on U.S. News & World Report, there are a few things to keep in mind to end it on a high note.

1. End with the beginning in mind. Did you accomplish your original goals? The piece points out by reminding yourself of your higher purpose, you’ll stay on track during your last days of the internship. Read more

Lesson 101 in Freelancing: Set Your Rates & Sign Contracts Before Beginning Work

Every now and then we need a reminder to not sell ourselves short.

As pointed out in a piece in The Washington Post Magazine, a reader submitted a query indicating he or she wrote two promotional booklets for a retirement facility, the same one where the reader actually lives. When the bill was a submitted, the facility director pushed back. She said, “We can’t pay you for this.”

“The term ‘freelance’ originally referred to mercenary soldiers: ‘free’ meaning unaffiliated, and ‘lance’ referring to their pointy weapons,” explained Karla L. Miller.

The work columnist added, “Apparently your facility’s director has reinterpreted it as someone you can stick it to without paying.”

Her advice per the piece? “Do no unpaid work. Never start a project without a contract spelling out payment, deadlines and milestones, for your protection and the client’s. Without a contract, the client may well assume you’re volunteering — which is why plumbers, paperhangers and other professionals have you sign something up front.” Read more

Two Former Conde Nast Interns File Lawsuit for Unpaid Wages

Right on the heels of an internship victory over Fox Searchlight, we heard of another lawsuit filed by interns.

A class action suit was filed on behalf of two Conde Nast interns alleging the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York labor laws. The suit argues the interns must be paid minimum wage since they worked for the employer and performed productive work even when they learned a new skill and professionally benefitted from the internship.

We received a release from law firm Outten & Golden LLP which represents the plaintiffs. It indicated Lauren Ballinger worked at W Magazine. In the accessories and fine jewelry departments, she packed and unpacked accessories and jewelry in addition to running errands and completing insurance forms. Read more

Teen Mom Creator on How to Get a Job at MTV

Lauren Dolgen, creator of MTV’s popular 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom franchises, first got her foot in the door at the network as an intern. With 16 years at MTV and several hit shows under her belt, the head of West Coast reality and EVP of series development spoke with Mediabistro about how others can break into the biz.

“I actually was an MTV intern, like, a gazillion years ago, but it really sparked my interest in television, really sparked my interest in MTV in general,” she said. “I also think that production assistant work and getting in on the production side is a really great experience, and I think that it has helped me, as well, in my career. Especially on the development side, knowing production a bit really does help, because when you are asking your producers for things, you recognize what you’re really asking for and will help strategize to get those things and accomplish them.”

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Lauren Dolgen, EVP of MTV’s Series Development?

Sherry Yuan

Judge Favors Two Unpaid Fox Interns in Labor Lawsuit

Interns – 1, Fox Searchlight – 0

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a federal judge granted a victory to interns as it relates to their lawsuit against Fox Searchlight.

Okay, here are the details: Alex Footman and Eric Glatt were two interns who filed the lawsuit in late 2011. Per the piece, they worked on Black Swan and indicated Fox Searchlight’s unpaid internship program violated minimum wage. Plus, they claimed it violated overtime laws. Read more

Five Ways to Rock That Summer Internship

It’s that time of year again! And if you’re a summer intern, there are several ways to rock it so you’re doing much more than just fetching coffee.

After all, why not make the most out of the workplace experience in order to learn, grow and ultimately beef up your resume?

Greg Giangrande, HR executive in the media, offered some tips in today’s New York Post:

1. Take your assignments seriously. Be committed! Even if you’re given work to keep you busy, don’t take it lightly. He advised, “So take it like a pro, and act like you were born to file, answer phones and make copies in order to earn rewards with more meaningful assignments.” Read more

Interns at the Weather Channel Work in Twitter-Powered Tornado

As an intern, maybe you fetched your share of coffee for colleagues but this story is quite unusual…

Our friends at AOL Jobs mentioned the Weather Channel interns are involved with a simulated tornado on camera as part of “Tornado Week.” No worries though, the @TornadoWeek Twitter feed indicated, “No interns were harmed in the making of this in office tornado.”

Aspiring employees take turns sitting in an office with electric fans. Get this — as they get more and more tweets, the tornado becomes stronger and stronger. They’re still doing their work at their desks, huddled in hoodies and continue with a business as usual mindset.

Survey Indicates Internships Pave Way for Grads to Land Jobs

Sure, the market is challenging right now to land a job but what if you’re a current college student or recent graduate with limited work experience on your resume?

Pssst. Here’s a hint: Internships.

According to an Internships.com survey conducted last week, 69% of companies polled have offered full-time jobs to their interns in 2012.

Essentially an internship serves as a “new interview” as the critical selection step for both students and employers.

Read more

This Just In…NBC News Will Start Paying College Interns

Good news! Starting this spring, NBC News will begin paying its interns!

According to the Maynard Institute, a “well-placed source at the network” has revealed the big news. Details are unclear because the number of available internships and actual salary amounts haven’t been determined.

Perhaps other news outlets will begin paying their interns as well?

Keep in mind, according to the piece, ABC News and CNN pay their interns and CBS News and Fox News create arrangements for the college/university to provide course credit. Read more

Does This Video Make You Want To Intern At TheStreet.com?

In what has to be the weirdest intern recruitment video ever*, TheStreet reporters talk about….everything besides why you might want to intern here. The tongue-firmly-in-cheek video has reporters talking about how their interns from last year “can’t be working” (“actually, they’re interning at Bloomberg now,” says another), points out that the Wall Street bull statue’s “bollocks are bigger than its brain,” and then shows viewers how close TheStreet’s offices are to Zucotti Park, where “thousands of jobless kids just like yourselves rose up against the greedy investment banks. The same greedy investment banks that keep business journalists like us employed.”

*Ok not really. This video aired at the 2012 Financial Follies, a sort of White House Correspondents Dinner for New York financial journalists. On the other hand, it’s all about interns, and can’t help but leave some sort of impression in interns’ brains. Do you find the jokes funny? Does the vid make you more or less likely to want to intern at TheStreet?

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