When is enough, Enough?

Reading football club are offering nearly a years internship to a Performance Analysis or Sports Science postgraduate with the offering of no payment and no expenses. They must ‘have access to their own car’ and ‘work unsociable hours’, as well as have ‘previous experience of working in professional/semi-pro football’; the latter suggesting that they might have already worked for free, going by other premier league club ‘offers’ and granted experience in general. www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/22125015

Three years of study and experience is just not enough. I feel like our choice to study has committed us to shackles; a Graduate sentence must be completed before we are released, whilst those in power of our fate shout “Must do better”. Mr Selfridge, lets call him, dangles a carrot from a string as we pant excitedly to start what we thought was our final capture and struggle for breath, money and sanity, near the eventual finish.

An internship on a CV seems almost compulsory these days to accompany a degree, like a cracker without cheese; on it’s own, Mr Selfridge takes one look and asks “what the hell am I supposed to do with just that?”, not even willing to try it’s herby and adventurous garnish. So when you do complete an internship, the two together should satisfy even the fussiest of appetites, you would hope.

Supposedly Entry and Graduate level jobs and sometimes the more accurately titled ‘Trainee’, specify a minimum of years work experience; either that’s a long internship or it’s a good few. Six months satisfies the eye better than three months, but does that apply for the process, what the candidate did and what they learnt?

During my three months as Production Assistant in London, I volunteered my time on weekends and on one occasion just before Christmas, for over fourteen hours, without any breakfast or dinner break. At the end of the performance I agreed to go back in a taxi to the company’s residence and unload it all. I spent my evenings in the run up to this Christmas performance making a programme to sell. I also wrote back to young people when they wrote to me, uncertain if they should audition because of their experience and ability, with absolute encouragement that they should, making sure that care and enthusiasm was received in each email.

Completing the internship was a process that I also gave my all to achieve. Living in Somerset and without a rich family, I lugged myself and my suitcase around, staying with all the friends and relations I knew. I slept on four different beds, one floor and a beanbag in my cousins self-named Junk Room, accomplished a fear for the tube, for the capital and for surviving on my own; is what I really want to write on my application.

Nearly a couple of months have passed and I still don’t feel my degree accompaniments are appealing enough, due to one interview for another internship (but paid) and one, in Luton, which I decided I couldn’t do, due to a two days a week contract and no guarantee for other financial support right away. I have been applying for other internships, but when can you guarantee enough is enough?

To a Mr Selfridge out there, please I ask you, think with your heart and not your belly, be a little adventurous and ask us about the process we took to get where we are so far.