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Re: A terrific Yahoo article about unpaid jobs and abuse in the biz

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Mark Suszko
Re: A terrific Yahoo article about unpaid jobs and abuse in the biz
on Apr 11, 2010 at 6:09:34 pm

I work for state government in Illinois, and the high schoolers apply thru the IGIP, the Illinois Governmental Internship Program. They can apply thru their high school guidance counselor's office. We don't see applicants or take applications directly, not until they've first gone thru all the hoops of the State Board of Ed and our HR department. They have to already have a B average or better, they will take a semester off from school in their senior year for the program but continue to do school work while in the program and if they come down to the capitol city they will also be living with volunteer house parents, working office hours and classes Monday thru Thursday and going home on 3-day weekends. They can apply to work in ANY state agency, not just ours, so if they are on a science/medicine career track, they could go intern with EPA or Public Health, if they like engineering or aviation they can intern with IDOT, criminal justice, state police, Attorney General, or corrections, finance, treasurer, etc.

They don't get paid but they do get academic credit.

When they work for us, we encourage them to create some portfolio work so they leave with some kind of demo reel. We teach them camerawork, lighting, editing, and anything else they are interested in, but they have to take an active, participatory role; otherwise, if they sit back and never push, never take initiative, they only get grunt and office work and not much of a recommendation letter. Some of our past high school interns have gone on to become Fullbright scholars, to work at Fox TV Chicago, DC comics, and I hear one is on staff at The Daily Show now. I don't know much more: They never call or write back, (sniff).

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