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A better way of saying intern?
Old 25th June 2009
  #31
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I was called a "Utility", because I worked in all or most depts. of production and post depending on who was more pressed at the moment. I was paid (quite minimally). Years ago the term "intern" implied someone who was working for free, and who was as much an observer of the goings on as a participant: in other words a person who would not affect the efficiency of the enterprise if they didn't show up that day. They were not a substitute for a real professional in any category or job, they were an addition. That seems to have changed. When my son was job hunting recently I was introduced to the term "paid internship", which was code for a really low-paying job w/o bennies, but a job nonetheless in which one was expected to show up every day and do specified work that was not part of someone else's brief. In this case, I think a better term is "Utility" or "Production Assistant" since they are doing work that helps their employer, and may or may not ever have a chance to be an old-fashioned "intern" or observer of people working in higher categories. My impression from these job listings is that they were very NOT about the career development or mentoring of the employee, and very much about getting cheap labor.

Philip Perkins
Old 25th June 2009
  #32
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If you were hired as an intern, put intern as anyone calling to check your reference may not like the fact that you gave yourself a different title than you were hired for.

Do, however detail what your responsibilities and accomplishments were as well as giving the names and phone numbers (with their permission) of any references from the internship.
Old 26th June 2009
  #33
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pbell's Avatar
 

Also keep in mind that if a studio manager sees that you already worked as an intern somewhere, they may be more willing to hire you seeing that you've survived doing that.

And to second everyone else detail what you did. If you scrubbed floors and such, say "you always ensured that the studio was clean and presentable for clients as well as picked up/delivered food (or whatever) in a timely manner". You can always beef up what you did and make it look a little more flashy than it really was.

My understanding is that a lot of places want to know that you can take direction and get things like what sandwich they ordered right, before they trust you with editing or handling mics etc.

A few more off my cents
Old 26th June 2009
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVoss View Post
Where I come from, apprentices make 29 dollars an hour.

I would not put apprentice unless you've actually apprenticed with someone.

I agree with Georgia. If you were an intern, you should put INTERN, with pride. It's an accomplishment, and if you've done it to the best of your ability, it's one you should be proud of.

Brett
Where can I be an intern?!?! (chuckle)

Yeah, "intern" it up. If whomever is reading your resume doesn't understand and respect that...
And not to open the can of worms, but if you were paid or not for your duties... what jobs/tasks are you able to PERFORM.



-J
Old 26th June 2009
  #35
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfriah View Post
Where can I be an intern?!?! (chuckle)

Yeah, "intern" it up. If whomever is reading your resume doesn't understand and respect that...
And not to open the can of worms, but if you were paid or not for your duties... what jobs/tasks are you able to PERFORM.
-J
Interns are not paid that much. Apprentices are. Check local 700 wages. My point was that there is a difference between the title of apprentice and intern.
Old 26th June 2009
  #36
Gear Guru
 
charles maynes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BVoss View Post
Where I come from, apprentices make 29 dollars an hour.

I would not put apprentice unless you've actually apprenticed with someone.

I agree with Georgia. If you were an intern, you should put INTERN, with pride. It's an accomplishment, and if you've done it to the best of your ability, it's one you should be proud of.

Brett
Are you hiring?- I can start immediately....
Old 27th June 2009
  #37
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Eric L's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dumb-Ask View Post
That's right, whoever does not pay their interns is braking the law and just exploiting people This is also illegal in the UK, if you hear about a company that does this, you should report it.
From the US Dept of Labor:
A common question asked by employers is whether the employer must pay an intern for his/her work. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has developed six criteria for identifying a learner/trainee who may be unpaid. The criteria are:
1)The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school.
2)The training is for the benefit of the student.
3)The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.
4)The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the training may actually impede the operations.
5)The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
6)The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.
All six factors do not have to be present for an individual to be considered a trainee, however the experience must ultimately look more like a training/learning experience than a job. If the position does not meet trainee criteria, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay employees at least minimum wage for all hours of work performed.


We have a non-paid three month internship that may or may not lead to a staff position, depending on the intern. After that, if everyone likes each other, they are offered an assistant position which pays $12 per hour for the next year. After that, if they are still around, we have pretty much determined their strengths and they can either stay a full time assistant or enter our freelance pool making industry standard freelance rates. We do not keep any full time staff other than assistants.

Also, out of respect to the interns, we always introduce them to our clients as "Studio Assistants" and if any future potential employer were to call to check references, we would refer to them as such. Even during their first three month period.
Old 27th June 2009
  #38
Gear Addict
 

Here in Germany, an apprentice is someone learning a profession on the job, in a very regulated fashion. The professions are explicitly defined by law, be it butcher, carpenter, or "media designer picture and sound", which is what our apprentice will be in three years time. And yes, we pay him, the wages are also regulated by law.
Old 27th June 2009
  #39
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Dumb-Ask's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric L View Post

We have a non-paid three month internship that may or may not lead to a staff position, depending on the intern. After that, if everyone likes each other, they are offered an assistant position which pays $12 per hour for the next year. After that, if they are still around, we have pretty much determined their strengths and they can either stay a full time assistant or enter our freelance pool making industry standard freelance rates. We do not keep any full time staff other than assistants.

Also, out of respect to the interns, we always introduce them to our clients as "Studio Assistants" and if any future potential employer were to call to check references, we would refer to them as such. Even during their first three month period.
This was taken from another forum in the UK

So what's the big issue?

The issue is that many Film and TV companies are breaking the law with regard to not paying young people the National Minimum Wage where it is due. They will take on someone as a "runner" or "work experience" (using the claim that it is "good for your CV" or "good experience") and then not pay them. This is illegal. Every worker (with a few minor exceptions) is entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for every hour they work. The current level of the NMW is £5.73 an hour, or £229.20 per week for a forty hour week.

If it's illegal, why do these companies do it?

Some do it because they don't know the rules (and every employer with a duty of care should) and some do it because they think they can get away with it. The 2005 TVWRAP campaign highlighted the issue of illegal unpaid work in the TV industry which encouraged a lot of companies now to abide by the law of the land. The better companies (like Granada, RDF, Tiger Aspect and Endemol) do not take on young people to do unpaid work, however there are still some companies who risk the wrath of the Inland Revenue by using young people as workers and not paying them.

But what about "work experience" or an "internship" - surely that doesn't need to be paid?

If it is just "shadowing" or the work experience is part of a course, for a full time student only, organised by the relevant academic institution and is a required part of that course (i.e the student has to do the work experience to pass) then people on work experience or internships need not be paid the NMW. The National Council for Work Experience say this:

"Government legislation in respect of the National Minimum Wage means that UK employers can no longer offer unpaid work experience, unless they are doing it as part of their course"

About work experience - The National Council for Work Experience

The problem is that most companies use the phrase "work experience" to cover a multitude of sins. Proper work experience involves training and assessment, agreed goals and a plan - it is primarily of benefit to the young person involved. "Work experience" which involves someone coming in to an organisation and doing jobs is not work experience, it is work. If it is work the person involved must be paid at least the NMW, whether it involves some residual training benefit to that person or not. Also an individual cannot voluntarily forgo the right to be paid the NMW where it is due.

But aren't these people "volunteers"?

The NMW rules re volunteers are designed to deal with the issue of clubs and charities who may have people who give their time freely and without obligation. Someone on work experience is not a volunteer if they are given tasks to carry out, set hours, set meal breaks, appear on a call sheet or are doing tasks that a paid member of staff would otherwise be doing. That is work, and that must legally be paid the NMW. As the PACT rules state (rewritten after a meeting with the DTI) "A work experience person who...is expected to obey instructions should be paid at least the national minimum wage".

The other issue is the question of how "voluntary" this work experience really is when every young person who enters the TV industry has to do it as a condition of getting paid employment. A recent survey found that almost all young people have had to do at least 3 months unpaid work before they get a paid job in the industry. That makes the "voluntary" nature somewhat suspect.

Why should I care about this?

Firstly because it is manifestly unfair that keen young people should be exploited in this way, for their labour to be used as a way of propping up the budgets of a TV production company. Of all the people on a production team, why should the youngest, weakest and probably most hard working be treated in this way?

Secondly young people who do unpaid work have to have independent means to support themselves while they are unpaid - that usually means their parents or their own savings. It often means that the less well off are thereby denied an opportunity to pursue a career in Film and Television. Fair?

Surely that's the price to pay if people want to break into a highly competitive industry?

Apart from the fact that it is illegal to use people in this way, why should young people have to give their time and effort unpaid just because lots of people want to do it? Should the basic morality of "a fair day's pay for a day's work" be compromised just because the media is a "glamorous" career?

Never did me any harm - it toughens you up - you need to be tough in the TV industry, it's good training.

Listen Grandad the world's moved on since your day - in case you hadn't heard they scrapped National Service as well. The "toughening up" argument is nonsense - there are many skills you need to be a good TV Researcher/Producer/Cameraman/Director etc; the ability to generate good ideas, tell a story, frame a shot, capture good sound, prioritise, write good dialogue, manage people, manage budgets, have vision etc etc. Being able to live on fresh air is way way down the list.

OK I'm convinced, what can I do about all these companies who are exploiting young people and breaking the law?

Tell everybody about it - let everyone know who the offenders are right here.

And tell BECTU. You don't need to be a member - just email Teresa at [email protected] with the words WORK EXPERIENCE ABUSE in the Subject line. BECTU are determined to stamp out this nasty practice, so please help them. Oh and join the union too - it really is the best way to start your career!

And of course you can also shop the offenders to the Inland Revenue. It's easy to do (details available through this site). You can do it anonymously and the Revenue will never reveal your name. Or, if you don't want to, PM me (click on my name) or send me an email ([email protected]) and I'll do it for you. Your anonymity is guaranteed to be sacrosant - no-one will ever know.

The Inland Revenue always want to know about the people who break this law. And when the Inland Revenue get interested in a company on an issue like this, they tend to start looking at all aspects of a company's finances - companies will soon realise it just isn't worth the risk for a few hundred quid...

Unpaid work in TV is on its way out - we've come a long way in two years, let's kill it for good.
Old 27th June 2009
  #40
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
Are you hiring?- I can start immediately....
I'm surprised people aren't begging the heck out of you to be an intern/apprentice.

And yup, I'm hiring, but you have to want to clean up a WHOLE LOT of doggie doo.
Old 28th June 2009
  #41
Gear Maniac
 
pbell's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric L View Post
From the US Dept of Labor:

1)The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school.
2)The training is for the benefit of the student.
3)The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.
4)The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the training may actually impede the operations.
5)The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
6)The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.
All six factors do not have to be present for an individual to be considered a trainee, however the experience must ultimately look more like a training/learning experience than a job. If the position does not meet trainee criteria, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay employees at least minimum wage for all hours of work performed.

I think the unfortunate thing is that some studios view interns as a free janitors. When I did my internship the only thing I learnt from the studio was the fastest route to In & Out Burger. The only real training I got was from myself in my spare time, I grabbed the gear list for all the studios and researched every piece of gear and the signal flows for all the consoles. The only time I was allowed in the studio was to clean it at the end of the day.

They had a few runners/interns/whatever you wanna call them, working there for something like 2 years without getting into a studio as an assistant to do work. Mind you those guys got paid to be a runner, but not very much.

Having said all that I'm sure there are internships that are beneficial and do actually train the interns to do a job.
Old 28th June 2009
  #42
Gear Guru
 
charles maynes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BVoss View Post
I'm surprised people aren't begging the heck out of you to be an intern/apprentice.

And yup, I'm hiring, but you have to want to clean up a WHOLE LOT of doggie doo.
I do windows too....
Old 28th June 2009
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbell View Post
I think the unfortunate thing is that some studios view interns as a free janitors. When I did my internship the only thing I learnt from the studio was the fastest route to In & Out Burger. The only real training I got was from myself in my spare time, I grabbed the gear list for all the studios and researched every piece of gear and the signal flows for all the consoles. The only time I was allowed in the studio was to clean it at the end of the day.

They had a few runners/interns/whatever you wanna call them, working there for something like 2 years without getting into a studio as an assistant to do work. Mind you those guys got paid to be a runner, but not very much.

Having said all that I'm sure there are internships that are beneficial and do actually train the interns to do a job.
I am sorry you had a bad experience.

Most times our interns are working with clients within the first week and sometimes depending on what they are doing are working with clients the first day.

In our operation...I clean the restrooms. I clean the windows and carpets and I take out the trash. I do have interns run for supplies and for lunch for clients but I also treat them to lunch at the same time.

Many of the interns that work here say it is the best "job" they have ever had.

I do get a few duds and weed them out quite quickly and the ones I do have stay with me until they graduate from college or move on. Since I have been in business I have had about 30 interns working here at various times. They do good work, they get paid well and they do a lot of learning while they are here.

I think if you go to a post house or a recording studio and or mastering studio and all you get to do is clean up and don't get a chance to sit in on sessions and maybe once in a while actually do a session then I would start looking around for somewhere else to be an intern. Most places that hire interns are GREAT and they really bring their interns along as fast as they feel comfortable doing so but I guess every once in a while you do get the company that thinks of interns as slaves or unpaid custodians and those are the place to avoid like the plague.

I know that in the future if you have interns you will remember all the bad things you had to do and you won't treat your interns the same way.

Best of luck!
Old 28th June 2009
  #44
Gear Maniac
 
pbell's Avatar
 

Thomas,

Sounds like you have a great thing going on at your studio. I was at a recording studio in LA which may explain a few things I guess. In retrospect I may not have learnt alot of practical things in the studio, but I did learn a lot about people and about myself, which to this day I still find invaluable.
Old 14th July 2009
  #45
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voicegenius's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juice Malone View Post
Without making it sound like it is a paid position? Anyone have any ideas?
"victim"... or how 'bout "nutsucker"?
Old 14th July 2009
  #46
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JCRockit's Avatar
 

professional slave to whom the minimum wage laws do not apply
Old 14th July 2009
  #47
Lives for gear
 
voicegenius's Avatar
 

Or what about Hebrew?
Old 14th July 2009
  #48
Gear Addict
 

"Patch Monkey" is one of my favorites. When I did my internship, we played a lot of Halo after hours and my username was "Coffeemaker."

Eric L's internship sounds like a fair deal, and I'm sure there are other good internships out there, but I agree that unpaid internships should be on the way out. For every good story about an unpaid internship, I've heard 20 more tales of interns being treated as runners/janitors and not learning a damn thing. Some of the worst stories I've heard come from the music world.

When I began making my way into the audio world, I refused to take an unpaid internship. I realized that I might be missing out on some good opportunities, but I had bills to pay. That's impossible with an unpaid internship that dominates every waking hour of my life. In the end I found a fantastic internship at GTN (now Ringside) in Oak Park, MI. The pay was low, of course, but legal. The knowledge gained, however, has served me incredibly well in the years since. Within a week I was given a beer and sat down in front of a console to mix a spot on an unsupervised session. The mixer sat in the client chair and kept me on track. This was the tone of the entire experience. They also fed me extremely well, which is the one thing I miss about the advertising world.

Internships have their place. Everyone should go through one when getting into this business, and it should be worn with pride as others have said. What younger people getting into this business should do is watch out for the useless internships, the companies who just want someone to get food, sweep the floor and teach them/pay them nothing. And those of us working in the business shouldn't stand for this behavior from our peers. Companies that do this are taking advantage of people, pure and simple, and I wouldn't want to do business with someone who would engage in that sort of behavior. It's one thing to trade grunt work for education, quite another to use someone's career dreams as a carrot to abuse them and give nothing in return.

For the OP, list that you were an intern and provide some detail on what you actually did on your internship. Cover the things you learned, list any projects you were able to make a meaningful contribution to, and definitely keep your prior employer in the loop about what you say so they will provide a good reference for you. You don't want to exaggerate your accomplishments, but you do want to present your experience in the best light possible. You can do this while still being honest.

And to those out there seeking internships, remember that you're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you. While you may be concerned about missing out on a great opportunity, if the gig does in fact suck you will lose out on more opportunities because you're stuck on the crap gig. Be picky and watch out for those who would take advantage of you. If audio hopefuls stop falling for this crap, the studios will stop doing it.
Old 15th July 2009
  #49
Lives for gear
 
Jfriah's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BVoss View Post
Interns are not paid that much. Apprentices are. Check local 700 wages. My point was that there is a difference between the title of apprentice and intern.
Sorry, BVoss... sound guy...can't read. Meant to say
"Where can I be an apprentice?!?!?!"

(it was also said tongue-in-cheek because if that's an apprentice's starting wage, count me in)

Plus, I'd think it a good thing if (depending what the position is called, and there is/should be some differentiation between the two I suppose) the "learner" actually got to do some audio as opposed to just run errands and watch. Learn by doing. Learn by screwing up. Learn before you turn your tracks in to a mixer sitting with clients.

-Jeff
Old 15th July 2009
  #50
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric L View Post
From the US Dept of Labor:
A common question asked by employers is whether the employer must pay an intern for his/her work. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has developed six criteria for identifying a learner/trainee who may be unpaid. The criteria are:
1)The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school.
2)The training is for the benefit of the student.
3)The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.
4)The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the training may actually impede the operations.
5)The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
6)The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.
All six factors do not have to be present for an individual to be considered a trainee, however the experience must ultimately look more like a training/learning experience than a job. If the position does not meet trainee criteria, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay employees at least minimum wage for all hours of work performed.


We have a non-paid three month internship that may or may not lead to a staff position, depending on the intern. After that, if everyone likes each other, they are offered an assistant position which pays $12 per hour for the next year. After that, if they are still around, we have pretty much determined their strengths and they can either stay a full time assistant or enter our freelance pool making industry standard freelance rates. We do not keep any full time staff other than assistants.

Also, out of respect to the interns, we always introduce them to our clients as "Studio Assistants" and if any future potential employer were to call to check references, we would refer to them as such. Even during their first three month period.
I agree with all of this, and this is how it USED to be in video production. Not any more. I forwarded this to my son who supervises several "interns" at the video production company he works for and his response to it was: "Laughable in this industry. " That said, many of their "interns" do get to move up into other underpaid exploited positions (usually as "Production Assistants" and later "Associate Producers"), which is what most of them want to happen. And they do get to do some "real" work which they seem grateful for (not just photo-copy and Starbucks).

Philip Perkins
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