Worst of the web: On the prowl for internships

The fall semester is almost over, and Jordan and I are just months away from graduation. Landing the perfect job or internship seems particularly important at this moment: If we get our paws on the right gig now we could make the big time in no time. Or at least fetch coffee for an important person.

There are lots of opportunities to choose from, but not all of them lead to the “great real-world experience!!!” they winningly promise. Here is a list of the internships and jobs you should avoid.

1. The part time sex-writing gig

I stumbled upon a little gem on Craigslist today: a kind gentleman by the name of James is offering 5 to 7 dollars to writers who can crank out “informative articles on all types of sex toys, including the benefits of using sex toys, the type of sex toys available and why sex toys are useful for solo use and in relationships too.”

5 to 7 whole dollars! And you could see your byline on an internet website! The reasons you should not do this job are fairly obvious. Besides the shitty pay, writing about sex toys might tarnish your reputation as a super-serious journalist. After this editorial debut, will people ever take your earnest book about public housing projects seriously? Probably not.

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2. The ‘Great Opportunity to Learn and Grow!’

These internship listings usually contain vague descriptions of the company’s beautifully restored offices in Chelsea: “stocked with free coffee and tea and a wonderful, creative staff!”

The listings usually continue something like this: “This internship is unpaid, but it’s not about the money! Interns will grow emotionally and intellectually as they experience the real world of fast-paced office marketing management in the exciting heart of New York City. Ideal candidates should have some experience with Microsoft Word and be a cheerful team player with a minimum 2.0 GPA.”

These offers are ubiquitous and Chelsea is a nice part of town, but let’s face it: You won’t add any skills to your already stellar command of Microsoft Office if you chain yourself to a desk to work for these eternal optimists.

3. The social media internship.

I’m still in awe of the fact that this is a real position at most companies. But there it is – you can pay your college thousands of dollars to get credit for … updating someone else’s Facebook page. Don’t do it!

4. The impossible nanny job.

Caring for an infant in a ritzy Upper East Side loft might seem easy, but some of the ma’s and pa’s looking for childcare on Craigslist are probably legally insane. These neurotic types should be avoided at all costs.

For example, a charming person by the name of Nycnanny2011 is currently trolling the site for a nurturing, college-educated person with at least two years of nanny experience AND a background in childhood development. Oh and this person must be fluent in French as well. I’m not remotely qualified for this position, but if I were, hopefully I would already be employed in a high-powered career far away from Nycnanny2011.

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5. “Organic farming and educating the local people in Kenya (Volunteer in Africa)”

I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that most of us know nothing about organic farming and nothing about Kenya and are completely unqualified to educate the local people in any way. This whole thing is problematic.

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— Arielle
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3 Comments on “Worst of the web: On the prowl for internships”

  1. Kyle says:

    Cool article! Your point is a valid and humorous one. I do, however, know some marketing and personal relations graduates that made a good amount of money running social media for large companies during college. I think it’s as ridiculous as you, but they are the ones with HIGH paying jobs now that they are graduated…. And I have to mention, in their honor, that it is more than it seems. On a similar note, I have at least one friend that is a nanny in Germany and making $$$ as well as know students that plan to run gardens as part of their future jobs. It’s a messed up world out there.

    P.S. Love the blog name

  2. plasticsblog says:

    Thanks for your comment, Kyle! You’re completely right — nannying jobs pay really well, and I know a few former social networking interns who have gotten into high-paying marketing jobs after college. But I guess I just wish there was more money out there for young educators, journalists and artists, since those are the fields that interest me most. Babysitting or doing marketing for a big company might be lucrative, but I just don’t think those are projects I would be particularly passionate about. Maybe a better title for this post would have been “Internship listings that have annoyed me.”

    — Arielle

  3. Suevonne says:

    If you wrote an article about life we’d all reach elnihtgenment.


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