Mamamia was not my first unpaid internship. And it will not be my last.
I am writing this today to tell you about the amazing benefits that come with internships. Because, while I have been an intern twice (and hopefully will be an intern many more times in the future) I have never been in a position to hire unpaid interns. This is important because I cannot possibly be accused of defending internships as a weak excuse for free labour.
Internships are anything but that. In fact, we should be praising from the rooftops, every company and business that allocates time and resources to training, guiding and nurturing young industry professionals.
Watch Mia Freedman explain how the Mamamia internship program works and why you should work for free. (Post continues after video.)
I started interning fresh out of high school; before I had even hit the uni books, I was up and at it looking for an internship. I wanted to get out there, start doing things, meeting people, learning about my industry. These are just some of the innumerable benefits that come with being an intern; it’s almost like someone giving you a chance to rehearse for the real world.
Through the internships I have done, I have met my idols. My career heroes. The women I looked up to before I was a woman myself. These women have been everything I hoped they would be; not only did they value the work I did, but they welcomed my input and feedback into the business and the internship itself. Was I enjoying myself? What did I want to get out of it? Was I achieving everything I wanted to achieve? The answers were yes, to breathe your air and yes; the guidance, feedback and encouragement from the professionals I have encountered has been invaluable.