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.
It sounds strange to most people, but there are people out there who are seriously into their politics. I count myself as one of them. I cannot fail to be intrigued by the gladiatorial battles of the British political system. From the latest parliamentary skirmishes over the dispatch box to the clashes in the committee rooms over the fine points of legislation, I am hooked.
It's common knowledge that the current jobs market is competitive to say the least, with youth unemployment on the rise. The controversy surrounding unpaid internships then is illustrative of the dilemma many graduates face, stuck between a rock and a hard place where the need to earn money is in conflict with the need to gain experience in their field of interest.
I never expected to rely on my Jobcentre, but their conditions for my independent efforts penalised my attempts to help myself. So, tough luck if you believe in making your own opportunities. Local jobs in Ipswich were non-existent or beyond my skill set: boiler repair and work with vulnerable people.