More than two years after my first exploitative internship, I landed an interview for an internship with a PR agency. Even though I had vowed to never work, let alone intern in PR ever again, I was drawn to the job posting for the position online.
“A structured intern programme with dedicated training sessions provided” alongside “monthly evaluation meetings with the HR Team” were the first indicators that this internship would be ethical and valuable. At my interview, I ensured to ask questions related to what I would be learning and gaining from this experience. The agency was able to explain to me what my roles and responsibilities would be throughout the course of the internship, and from this conversation, I was able to immediately determine that this internship would be suitable for me. I was also aware that if at any point I felt that I was being exploited, there were organisations that would provide support and help for me such as UNSW careers and Interns Australia.
Since completing that internship, I have also partaken in two other intern programmes, which have been highly beneficial for my education and my future job prospects. Understanding my legal rights, knowing who to seek advice from, and having knowledge as to the key indicators of an ethical internship programme have been instrumental in gaining and completing valuable experiences.
Written by Ekala Tarei