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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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: The Intern Food Review

If you don’t get paid, work all the time and you live in an incredibly expensive city how are you supposed to eat?

Clement Nocos takes us through his routine. He spends 12 hours a day out of the house and eats out in New York while he does his UN internship. He has something like $8 a day to do this. How?

Clement has some good tips so listen to him, especially if you’re in New York.

This episode gave me flashbacks to spending my last 5000 Ugandan Shillings on an order of chips-chaps at Chicken Tonight. My card had been blocked and nobody was paying me, cash or otherwise, but I splurged it all in one go anyway. It was a surprisingly liberating evening and, thankfully, Natwest sorted out my card the next day. At other times I also relied on the largesse of friends – Kampala crew, you know who you are – to keep me fed.

As for my two cents, I would advise staying at home a bit more and cooking a whole lot. Learn to cook big batch pasta sauces/stews using cheap cuts of meat, roast whole chickens and keep using the meat throughout the week, make rice/noodle and veggie stir frys like Mee Goreng. This saves A LOT of money (and impresses dates).

Cook up several portions worth on weekends and portion it out throughout the week. Also, figure out a way to cook whatever ingredients are very cheap where you are. When I was living in Nairobi last year I learned how to make a delicious Szechuan green bean dish because I could buy a kilo of the things for next to nothing. Googling recipes is pretty damn cheap.

As ever, please support Clement and/or check out his other podcasts.

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Experiences, Projects, Unpaid Internships

The Internship Grind: Episode 3

And here’s Episode 3 straight from New York to you (via my reposting activities in Berlin).

What is the Fair Internship Initiative? I talk to interns about their thoughts on the FII and what the initiative may need to do get results.

As always, support The Internship Grind on Generosity (www.generosity.com/education-fundr…p-blog-podcast/) and you can learn more about the Fair Internship Initiative at fairinternshipinitiative.wordpress.com/

Check out the other episodes here.

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Experiences, Projects, Unpaid Internships

The Internship Grind: Episode 2

A couple of weeks back* we shared Clement Nocos’s first UN internship podcast (check it out here).

Happily, there is now a follow-up available and the 3rd episode should also be coming your way later this week. Take a listen.

Remember, he needs dollars to keep interning. Share this around or donate to ensure he can eat and all that good stuff.


*Sorry for the delays – the last semester of graduate school did not allow for a lot of blogging. Watch this space for more episodes of Clement’s podcast and a review of the MPP programme at the Hertie School of Governance.

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Experiences, Projects, Unpaid Internships

The Internship Grind: Fear and Loathing in New York

Good friend of Development Intern, Clement Nocos, is interning at the UN in New York.

He’s going to blog and podcast about his experience to help raise money to fund his unpaid internship. Here’s his first podcast and a little description:

“I talk a bit more about the reasons why I’m taking on this unpaid UN internship and how I got it. I also speak with a friend and former-UN intern about life during and after the internship.

Support The Internship Grind on Generosity/Indiegogo: www.generosity.com/education-fundr…p-blog-podcast/

Help him out if you can!


 

Read more on unpaid UN internships here and here.

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Commentary, Experiences, Learning

Advocacy, The EU & NGOs

The Brussels we are often presented with is a rather depressing image; a dystopian bureaucracy riddled with over-paid civil servants and wasteful spending. It is a Daily Mail-esqe atrocity within the miserable “non-country” of Belgium. Just the other day, the far-right French politician Marianne LePen predicted that, like its Eastern counterpart, the EU would unravel very quickly akin to the Soviet Union’s collapse twenty years ago.

One of my jobs in the EU-lobby office of Oxfam only strengthens this impending sense of failure. As I browse the inbox of the office’s ‘general’ account, I am constantly reminded of the great evil we are committing by working with “the €U”. Anonymous emails flood in complaining that “they are appalled their money is supporting Brussels fat-cats” and that they don’t want to “support those rotten institutions”; that they are “misled” as to where the money is going.

In August I co-wrote a blogpost highlighting a very similar idea about the salaries of charity bosses. I said that the 21st Century NGO is far different from how the public perceives it and that it would be more helpful to look at charities such as Oxfam and ActionAid as ‘non-for-profit businesses’. Like any business, you have to work with governments to get the policies which will most suit your goals and ambitions.

For anyone who is concerned with real development, the European Union epitomizes what a regional organisation can achieve. The EU-28 is, by far, the largest donor of international aid, a leader in climate change action and a peace broker in war-torn areas such as the OPT and Somalia. If you take away the public face of in-fighting and often confusing decision-making processes, you find a Europe Union which is increasingly happy with this ‘soft power’ touch.

As a media and communications intern with little knowledge of the EU before joining a month ago, my education has been swift and eye opening. The on-going biofuels battle bears witness to this. The EU has the incredible power to limit how much of the environmentally damaging, land-rights violating fuel comes into the market. If biofuels are diverting so much food from the poorest in the world, it is the NGO’s responsibility to work hard to ensure that policy-makers place the lowest possible cap on them, ergo putting a halt to entirely preventable poverty.

To claim that NGO’s are misleading the public is misguided and to make the accusation that they are propping up the EU is ignorant at best.

Policy causes poverty, but if done well it can also alleviate it.

NGOs budgets are limited and by circumventing the causes of poverty, they are able to save both money – and lives – now and in the future. If NGOs didn’t have a presence in such an important arena, as well as others including Geneva, New York and Washington D.C, we would, in fact, be letting down those we endeavour to empower.

As an intern, you are able to experience the invisible face of development. NGOs work hard to highlight the work they do on the ground as well as the campaigns they support. In Brussels, you will see very little of that; we do not directly hold demonstrations neither do we send activists to the developing world. Rather we strive to give the EU the ‘positive’ face that is often ignored by the European press.

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