You Can’t Intern With Us – Condé Nast Ends It’s Internship Program
Condé Nast has made a decision that will affect every single person who wants to break into the fashion industry, especially editorially. Anybody who has ever received advice pertaining to making a career in the fashion industry has probably heard ‘You need to get an internship,’ a thousand, if not a thousand and one, times. According to WWD (Women’s Wear Daily), Condé Nast will be discontinuing its internship program starting in 2014 (not affecting current interns).
Condé Nast houses some of the biggest names in fashion magazines including Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, Lucky, Teen Vogue and GQ and the trade publication WWD. Many of the people who have obtained coveted jobs at these magazines have started by interning; further explaining why this decision made Condé Nast is a devastating blow to anyone who desires a career in fashion publishing.
The decision to end the internship program came shortly after Condé Nast was sued by two former interns at the New Yorker and W. The complaint by said “ they were paid less than $1 an hour for working up to 14-hour days,” reports the International Business Times. In New York, the headquarters of Condé Nast, an intern has to be paid or doing the internship for college credit, if not, the company will be violating New York State worker laws and could be fined or shut down.
A lot of people are upset – not with the company, but with the two interns who sued and are now seen as “responsible” for the end of Condé Nast’s internship program especially by former interns and people within the industry.
The reason they are being blamed is because the internships are supposed to be about the experience and proving yourself and building relationships so that the intern can network effectively to put them in a position for wonderful job opportunities. There are also some school and internships that offer scholarships and allow interns to pay for their time at the internship.
It is considered a privilege to work at the prestigious Condé Nast company or any media source under their name.
There are also people on the other side of this fight who are advocates for paid internships. Their argument: school credit isn’t free, interns should be paid for the work that they do and unpaid internships create unfair class lines.
When doing an internship for school credit, you have to pay the school for those credits, pay your way to New York, pay for a place to stay and do light coursework regarding said internship thus creating class lines because people who might be talented but do not have the funds to pay for these expense and are consequently unable to take the internship because of financial reasons.
Advocates for paid internships also believe if the interns are working then they should be paid a fair wage. “They’ve been caught out behaving badly, so they’re having a tantrum. Today Condé Nast threw their toys out of the pram,” said Mikey Franklin, Fair Pay Campaign founder.
People who are still hoping for access into this industry without having an internship at their magazine of choice are hoping that Condé Nast will use this decision to open more entry-level paid positions that will, in turn, open more jobs. However, that will still cut out a large portion of interns who may not be experienced enough to receive these entry-level jobs.
What do you think about Condé Nast ending their internship program?
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