People were friendly and joked around, no one snapped at colleagues or interns, everyone said 'please' and 'thank you'. I was given articles to write and each of them was published on the website, with my byline. The online editor would take time to go through each article with me, explaining what I did right and what I could improve on, as well as teaching me how to use the CMS, Google Analytics etc.
No workers should have to settle for a race to the bottom, whether it's in terms of rights, pay or working conditions. But this is exactly what is happening when our generation cries discrimination over six-month internships that pay nothing; we are expected to take this because in the long-run it will pay for itself.
The UK is a massively ageing population, and whilst I am not advocating letting grannies freeze to death, there does need to be a redistribution of money from somewhere towards providing young people with opportunities. Young people are ultimately the future drivers of an economy and we should be investing in their future, whilst attempting to diversify our economy.
I wake up at 6.15am to take the train to work (commuting from mum and dad's, the intern's lot) and most days I wake up before the alarm goes off, buzzing for a new day. This is a pretty strange feeling, I must admit, but it's bloody brilliant. So, like I said, don't take this opportunity away from me - it's my only chance to get on the career ladder.
Without internships, you can kiss goodbye to gaining critical experience; wave farewell to school credit; bid adieu to making friends, those future stars of fashion; and pretty much forget about getting your name in print. Everybody starts out as an intern; it's a rite of passage. And, the longer you can stick it out as one, the greater the chance of ultimately getting a job..
It's difficult to think of a greater embodiment of wealthy people being able to purchase advantage for their offspring and puts me in mind of an excellent Simpsons scene where Montgomery Burns attempts to buy a place at his alma mater for his son, who is so stupid that Yale set the price of entry as being 'an international airport'.
Unless your parents can feed and house you in London or the suburbs your chances of surviving as an intern are practically zero. If you are reading this in a public relations office, a fashion house or a media newsroom, look around and you'll see that the workforce in most is far from diverse. However, it does seem that there is growing momentum for change.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, especially when companies do not stretch to cover travel and/or lunch expenses for their interns. Why should free labour be any different? Upon asking a number of soon-to-be graduates about their unpaid and paid internship experience, the result whether they were worthwhile was varied.
This move by graduates to turn away from traditional offers of work is to me the real hope for my generation's future. While the amount of graduates searching for jobs still vastly outweighs the vacancies in the traditional market we need to encourage and support those willing to create their own jobs.
How charitable is the charity sector? It depends who you ask. If you are the executive of one of Britain's leading foreign aid charities you are likely to give a positive answer, but then you would be a beneficiary of this generosity of spirit. If, however, you are one of thousands of unpaid interns currently working for free for charities across the UK, you might be inclined to disagree.