Content writing internships are a complete and absolute scam. You don’t need them. You don’t need the experience or the certificate. Allow me to elaborate.
What an Internship Meant:
Traditionally, major companies would take up interns. They would teach them skills and prepare them. They would make them ‘Made Men’. These internships meant something. The letterheads were proof the person had gone through the trial of fire and come out unscathed.
Also, content writing isn’t a profession anyway that needs an internship system. Journalism, yes. Because in media houses junior reporters learn the ropes of covering their beat on an everyday basis – trust me on this one, I worked in two, not one. If you have a college education, you don’t need a team leader teaching you the bricks and nails of content writing.
The world of lawyers needs interns as well. Experienced, war-weary lawyers have a battery of junior lawyers working under them, learning what they have learnt a lifetime ago. The world of medicine requires doctors, accountancy is ripe for internships, but content writing, hell, NO.
All the other professions I mentioned are a matter of life and death and an inexperienced resource means a great loss. An inexperienced accountant can sink a whole company, not being able to battle government rules and regulations. An inexperienced lawyer can be the cause of grave injustice, not knowing how to outfox their opponent. I don’t need to tell how why an experienced medicine man is necessary. But nobody, nobody loses anything if a sentence posted by you isn’t in the active voice, or two. (you see what was done by me there?) You will only know it when an email sent by the client about this goofus will be read by you.
The ads on Facebook that we see advertising internships are not worth the amount of data that went into uploading that ad. Most of them don’t even offer a stipend – all they promise is a ‘letter of recommendation.’ A quick review of these companies that offer internships will tell you that they require recommendations from others for getting business. Why they think their recommendations mean anything is beyond my comprehension.
Learning to Work, Not Working to Learn:
You see, working itself is a learning experience. You get into the business. If you have the required skills, your clients will teach you, guide you, and you can still charge full price. One of my clients actually guided me through the entire process of creating invoices, mailing them, keeping a record of the articles on an Excel sheet. Hell, that particular client sent me a cheat-sheet that had the code to multiple D2*B3. Another client recently (very, criminally) recently introduced me to the online invoice system. I come from the old school and always thought these things cost a bomb. No, they don’t. Do it right and they are even available for free.
Interact, Interact, Interact:
You learn a lot more than an internship by interacting with peers. I remember, a couple of years ago, one of the persons I used to outsource work revealed to me how cheap a pre-paid connection is in India, as compared to a post-paid connection. Also, I have absolutely no reason to have a post-paid connection, as long as I have some other document to show the ownership of my residence and proof of residence.
I recently set up Indian Horror Club, a passion project. Aniruddha Pathak, The person who set up the site for me made me realize how cheap it is to set up a starter website and keep it going until it becomes commercially feasible. Before that, I used to spend around 5000 rupees per year on projects that fell by the wayside within three months. Now, that amount has come down to 1500 rupees per year.
So, you see. I got all this information in just six months. And I never signed up for an internship program.