I don't want to be exploited

The author of PR Today and University of Westminster's visiting professor of PR gives it to you straight

Trevor Morris: gives it to you straight
Trevor Morris: gives it to you straight

I’m looking at an internship. I’ve heard lots of stories about unpaid work and menial duties. What’s fair? I don’t want to be exploited, but nor do I want to seem like a prima donna.

In my view, not paying an intern is exploitation, but asking them to do menial tasks isn’t. If you are going to be working for anything more than a week you should be paid at least the minimum wage. Organisations like the PRCA are rightly very clear on this.

However, in return for that money you should, at least initially, be prepared to do the photocopying and make media lists and the coffee. Someone has to, and almost everyone in the office will have had to when they star­ted.

You can’t expect to swan around like a director after three weeks. But nor should your employer expect you just to do the dross jobs. Businesses aren’t charities and interns aren’t slaves.

Got a problem? Contact Trevor at agonyuncle@haymarket.com

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