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First Job Worst Job

ye olde unpaid social media internship

ye olde unpaid social media internship

As you madly scramble to apply for jobs this summer, Bwog brings you the story of the extremely shitty first unpaid “internship” of a bright-eyed freshperson who wasn’t on work-study. Read it and remember that even if you land a super lame job, it’s not the end of the world.

So there I was, newly arrived in the big city, land of opportunities. Every pamphlet, speech by a dean, or phone call to my parents reminded me to make the most of the resources available to me at Barnard. It was time to get that sweet New York City internship that all the kids in the glossy fliers had. So I logged into Nacelink and searched for a job.

One problem. I was fresh out of high school, and while I had job experience, it was nothing like what the postings wanted. Expert knowledge of Microsoft Excel? Experience in a deadline-driven environment? Would they accept “carefully planned schedule to maximize time spent watching Gilmore Girls?”  So I aimed low: the unpaid social media internship working for the alumna who started her own company. Yes. I was the person who took that obvious dead-end of a job. It was unpaid, but super low commitment and would look great on my resume, right?

At first it was nice. I got to know an alumna, and visit an upper-middle class family’s digs in New York City. But a few weeks later, morale was running low in the office, which was actually just my bed, because I worked like 2 hours a week from home. The company was pretty obviously unsuccessful, and since I was neither getting paid nor learning anything, it seemed like a waste of time. All it had brought me was the anxiety of sending emails to people I didn’t know. Had I ruined my chances of ever getting a better job? Would my life be the classic horror story of the under-employed humanities major?

Inevitably, her company floundered and the job devolved into me babysitting her kids, which I was really happy about because it paid great and I got to watch T.V. And damn right I put it down on my resume (and eventually got a paying internship). It wasn’t what those damn kids with their perfect skin in the glossy pre-frosh fliers promised, but it wasn’t so bad, either.

So I guess the moral of this story is that even if the summer job you end up is unbelievably pathetic, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to the life of a free-wheeling hobo (which is unfortunate because that sounds kind of awesome). At the very least, your lame first job will leave you with a semi-interesting story.

me via wikimedia

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