Projects, Unpaid Internships

The Internship Grind: An unpaid act one year later

In this episode Clement speaks to the infamous tent-living intern of Geneva, David Leo Hyde, and his partner Nathalie Berger.

A couple of our writers took on this topic at the time:

  1. Sleeping rough in Geneva – a good overview and hot-take on the story by Alex Odlum.
  2. 4 ways unpaid internships undermine the UN – an anonymous break down of how an (unpaid) UN intern sees the wider problems of unpaid internships in the UN.

So what came from this big tent stunt? The UN hasn’t changed its way just yet. But David’s time in the tent became a rallying call to help organise interns and pro-pay activists get attention from the media.

Looking forward to checking out their documentary on the unpaid internship issue!

As always, help support the Internship Grind by contributing to Clement’s Generosity crowdfunding campaign. You can also check out his blog here.

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Uncategorized

The Internship Grind: Better Know An Intern #3

We love the Better Know An Intern series here at Development Intern. One of the main reasons to start this site was to build a platform for other interns so they wouldn’t be anonymous, interchangeable, part-timers.

Clement’s short interview profiles have reminded us how good it is to hear from a wide range of people (like our contributors). Do you ever feel like telling your story or giving your opinion on something in the industry? Then please join our writers’ group and pitch me your ideas!

In this Better Know an Intern, we get to better know Jolan Remcsak. He talks about coming from France/La Réunion, the need for more sleep as an intern, and how impending doom is the greatest challenge the United Nations faces today.

As always, help support the Internship Grind by contributing to Clement’s Generosity crowdfunding campaign. You can also check out his blog here.

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Commentary, Experiences

Dear Backpackers

I have spent the last couple of weeks in Colombia. I went there partly to celebrate graduating, partly to visit a friend and partly just to go somewhere new. Side note: Colombia is great! Go visit.

Colombian cities are pretty good at viewpoints

A photo posted by Rowan Emslie (@rdemslie) on

One of the reasons I became interested in international development (of which there are many) was my desire to go overseas and to see new things. It’s a selfish reason. I know that there are a bunch of problems with volunteering or working overseas. The majority of development work should be carried out by people from the place being ‘developed’ – that just makes sense. But when you’re laying out your career aspirations, it’s useful to be honest.

I would like a career that takes me to new places and challenges my worldview, I want to go see the world. I dread the idea of finding myself living where I grew up. (I also want to be able to do creative work, to contribute to something meaningful and to be able to live comfortably while doing it. I’ll probably have to choose between these, but that’s a task for another day). And so, these factors all considered, international development seems like a good fit – it’s got ‘international’ right there in the name!

Now, some people might argue that I could discover new places just by visiting them. I could go on package tours or plan long backpacking trips. I have always heard this referred to as “going travelling”. And, I’ll be honest, the thought of it brings me out in a rash.

When I lived and worked in Kampala my friends and I would see backpackers in a bar and groan. They were always dressed like they were about to hike over a mountain when they were, in fact, simply having a few beers in a nice bar in a large, cosmopolitan city. Leave your safari boots at the hostel. And then they’d be overenthusiastic about every ‘authentic’ detail – whoa, man, is that a genuine calabash? – while simultaneously only hanging out with other backpackers.

Not every experience is life-changing. Having a couple of drinks in a bar is pretty similar no matter where you are. Try talking to some of the ‘authentic’ Ugandans all around you. This phenomenon was such a recurring one that we joked about starting lookatthisfuckingbackpacker.tumblr.com*.

Santa Marta is both a tourist destination and a working port, with all the grit that comes with that.

A photo posted by Rowan Emslie (@rdemslie) on

In Santa Marta the other week I overheard a group of white people discussing which yoga retreat/hiking weekend was going to be the most rewarding, “spiritually speaking”. They were the only other white people in the restaurant. You’re making us all look bad! Yes, of course arepas are gluten free! Stop asking!

Irritating hipster parallels aside, backpacker culture can (inadvertently) stir up nastier waters. In Kampala, I always knew that I could turn up to a film premiere, fancy part or fashion event looking pretty much however I wanted. I could have been out partying for several days, dressed in a raggedy t-shirt, jeans and dirty flip flops and still get let into the VIP section. If my Ugandan friend came looking like that it’s likely that they would get barred at the door. Mzungu privilege. It’s an easy trap to fall into.

As foreigners, we should be making the extra effort not to behave like we’re trekking into the wilderness to experience the exotic delights of the new world. We’re in someone else’s city, their home. Dress and act appropriately. Of course, expat development workers are guilty of disregarding this advice too but, in my experience, they’re less likely to than backpackers. Why? Maybe because they work with and know people from the country they’re visiting. Maybe because they are hanging around long enough to notice people reacting negatively to their behaviour.

In the wake of the recent Brexit vote and the rise of xenophobia all over the Western world I actually think more people should spend extended periods of their lives living overseas. But living and travelling are hugely different. I propose the three month rule: three months in one place is enough time to get to grips with it. You’ll know your way around, you’ll have figured out where some of the better bars/restaurants/clubs are and, most importantly, you can actually form friendships that will distort your Facebook bubble and open your world up a little more.

After (at the very least) three months, you’ll have a genuine glimpse of how life somewhere else looks, really looks. Working overseas is a great way of doing that. If I learnt anything from Colombia it’s that while I genuinely do love travelling oversea, I greatly prefer living there.

Now to get back to reality and start churning out job applications.


*Still very happy to get this going if anyone is interested.

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Projects, Unpaid Internships

The Internship Grind: Intern Nation

This episode sees Clement interviewing Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy. 

This definitely looks worth checking out. Perlin asks:

How have internships become almost as important as a college degree? Why are prestigious internships routinely being auctioned off for thousands of dollars?
Why does Disney World in Orlando employ up to 8,000 interns through its College Program every year?

Good questions. Especially for those us looking to go into an industry that more or less requires unpaid internships as a right of passage this way in seems like an inevitable fact of life. But you know what? It’s pretty new.

Remember, if you want to keep The Internship Grind going, please contribute to my crowdfunding campaign by donating or sharing it with your social networks. You can see what it’s all about over at igg.me/at/vUrRUldFoEA

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Experiences, Projects, Unpaid Internships

The Internship Grind: Better Know An Intern Pt. 2

In this Better Know An Intern episode Clement speaks to Anke Van de Velde about her internship experience, wanting to go to space, Criminal Minds, and human rights.

For past episodes, the blog, and more info visit theinternshipgrind.com/

// Are you currently a UN intern and want something a little bit better than the WhatsApp chat or the Facebook group to get all the internship information you need to know? Sign up for the new UN Interns Association at unia.ga/

As always, help support the Internship Grind by contributing to Clement’s Generosity crowdfunding campaign:igg.me/at/vUrRUldFoEA

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Experiences, Projects, Unpaid Internships

The Internship Grind: Better Know An Intern Pt. 1

Clement is, if nothing else, a generous guy.

Rather than bang on and on about himself, he’s decided to let some of his peers have their say. (A bit like how this website is a platform for development interns, not just a way of stroking my ego).

I’m trying something a little bit new for the podcast. I’m kind of over sharing my own internship experience so I’m going to start doing this thing where I sit down and chat with other interns about their own internship experiences. This is the first in a series of “Better Know an Intern” episodes.

As always, help support the Internship Grind by contributing to my Generosity crowdfunding campaign:igg.me/at/vUrRUldFoEA

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Experiences, Projects, Unpaid Internships

The Internship Grind: Tennis Court Oath

On June 23, 2016, the UN Interns Association was launched as a way to bring unpaid UN interns in New York City together to institutionalize a community.

I speak with UN interns Bolu Oyewale and Anke Van de Welde about what UNIA is all about and to other interns about why they think we need a UN Interns Association. I also spoke to Jolan Remcsak, another UN intern at the centre of organizing this organization, about the UNIA Executive, what it’s for, and how choosing the leadership for this executive will take place.

If you would like to run to become a part of the executive, please register at uninternsassociation.ga/ and tell interns more about yourself and why you want to get involved.

As always, help support the Internship Grind by contributing to my Generosity crowdfunding campaign:igg.me/at/vUrRUldFoEA

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