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Since my new page ‘Paid Internships’, I’ve been thinking a lot about how individuals can afford placements when they’re not paid. At present, it seems as though the industry offers very little in terms of paid work, but I’ve established a few top tips below, which are ways to ensure that you can afford an unpaid placement.
1) Choose Your Placement Wisely
It’s true that a lot of publishing placements are unpaid. However, don’t forget that companies do offer contributions towards travel expenses, and sometimes lunch. If you are lucky, some internships will pay for both travel and lunch (within reasonable limits). Fewer placements offer no reimbursements towards travel or lunch whatsoever. These placements I would be tempted to avoid as it will probably end up costing you a lot of money.
2) Flexible Placements
There is always that catch 22 of placements that ask for experience and you don’t have any experience. To get around this, if you’re writer, start working for your local University newspaper or a smaller establishment where you have the flexibility to work from home. This is beneficial as you’ll have flexible hours and you’ll gain the work experience you need, and it shouldn’t cost you anything.
3) Create Savings and Budget
If you’re still a student, put some money aside each week from your student loan, you’ll need the savings. Although companies will pay towards your travel and sometimes lunch, you will still need to pay for this all in advance and provide the company with receipts later. Therefore, it’s good to budget early on. Many publishing placements are within the London area, so find out how much a travel card will cost you per day and how much you’ll spend on lunch. Do your calculations and find out how much money you’ll need in your savings for a two week placement.
4) Part Time Work
If the above is proving difficult, there is always the option of getting a part time job at the weekend. This will work whether you’re a student or a recent graduate, and hopefully this income will help you to afford an unpaid placement.
5) Temporary Administration Pool – Conde Nast
Conde Nast offers work in their ‘Temporary Administration Pool’ so if you’re a recent graduate out of work, you can gain admin work with them. You never know, it could open up other opportunities for you. To find out more go to: http://digital.condenastinternational.com/uk/pub-page.contact.htm. Currently, I don’t know any other publishing firms that offer the equivalent.