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Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Some workers are well past the age of helping out for college credit accept internships"

Recent Article In Daily news quotes Intern Over 40

"The key thing is to articulate what you hope to gain in terms of learning something new, and why you want to do it on the job as opposed to in the classroom," :

For decades, interns have flocked here from everywhere - toiling for little or nothing - and harboring dreams about big-time careers in fashion, real estate, media, publishing, etc., etc.

Yet the typically classic early-20-something New York intern isn't so typical anymore.

While the city still has more than its share of ambitious young adults, these days they're competing with older, laid-off professionals trying to snag the same gigs to acquire new skills as they struggle to reenter the tattered job market.

Beki Gibney, 28, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, had already logged more than five years in television, including stints as a producer at PBS in Rochester and a Lower East Side visual effects company, where she worked until February.

Frustrated with the lack of employment prospects, she decided she had to shift strategy.

In May, she answered a Craigslist ad for an internship at Revel In, a documentary production house in Dumbo, Brooklyn, where the only initial payback was free lunch every day and all the coffee she could drink.

While she jumped at the chance to learn how to make biographical documentaries, Gibney - who was recently hired as a part-timer - admits she was self-conscious at first.

"There were definitely days when it hurt my pride and I'd get a little depressed about the fact that I was once making a good living with paid vacations," she said.

"Gradually, though, it all balanced out. They went out of their way to make me feel like I wasn't just a peon and I learned an incredible amount because I felt like I was getting a free education from them at the same time."

Click here to read part 2 of this article

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