Yesterday I learned that my friend Shaun, a writer, writing teacher, editor, and director of a small independent press, is looking for a (paid!) intern. I tweeted out the information and then tweeted that I really wished I could take the position — but alas, it’s not to be. Shaun and his small independent press are located in London.
Being my friend for something like (hold on – doing the math) 25 years or so, Shaun (or his current intern – who can tell!) tweeted back “we wish we could be your intern!” Which, you know, was very nice and all, and I certainly wouldn’t mind an intern, or at least a personal assistant, BUT — but it occurred to me that Shaun probably didn’t realize how dead serious I was.
I would love to be his intern — well, maybe not his intern, as we’d never get anything done for all the talking, TV watching, and chocolate-covered-almonds-consuming we’d be doing (you see, we also used to be roommates, because once upon a time I needed a wee bit of saving and Shaun saved me) (I seem to be digressing a lot. I’ll stop that now) — but I would actually love to work 10-15 hours a week at a small, independent press.
And this got me thinking: I’d love to intern just about anywhere, really. As long as you paid me enough to buy my supper and I got to learn something I’d never done before. I recognize that this would likely come bundled with a lot of envelope-stuffing and coffee-purchasing, but I can do that. Who cares about doing that? My masters degree hasn’t gotten in the way of running off photocopies when volunteering for my kids’ teachers — at least in my imaginary internship, I’d be getting paid!
In fact, two or three years ago I even tried to intern at WBEZ (the Chicago NPR affiliate). I got as far as a wildly successful interview, was told to expect a call about meeting the producer and — nothing. Silence. I followed up, I did everything one must, and all I ever got back was silence, and to this day, I kind of have a hard time listening to the show in question, because really, now — at least call me back, right? I really wanted that gig. Really, really, really.
But if I’m not going to learn how to produce a story for radio, I can think of a lot of internships/apprenticeships I’d like to try. I’d love to work alongside a carpenter, or at the aforementioned independent press, or maybe as a roadie, with a small film crew, on an archaeological dig, or for a handy-man (or, you know, -woman. No sexism). Florists, too — ooh! And hot air balloon rentals! That would be cool.
As long as I’d be learning new stuff, would be paid a little something, and would still have time to do some writing, I think any of those options would be just grand.
It just can’t be in London.