Could My Blog Use an Intern?

Post by Vyque White of Fasshonaburu

 

A few days ago I got an unexpected email in my inbox! It was from a local fashion student (yes, we have them in DC too!) asking to be an intern for my own blog. I kinda stared dumbly at the screen, not fully comprehending the concept. I’ve previously written on keeping your blog from taking over your life, and noted how you could get contributors and guest posts to help. But it simply never occurred to me: intern!

 

I don’t have any personal experience in this department, so I reached out to Indiana of Adored Austin, who mentioned having an intern when I met her. “I do have an intern but she's my life intern, not really an Adored Austin intern. I view her more as a personal assistant instead of a blog intern. I do a fair amount of public appearances in Austin (shop visits, coordinating runway shows, talks, etc) so she helps me more on that side of things. She was a HUGE help during the Texas Style Council Conference, SXSW, and StyleX as I was booked pretty much non-stop. She kept me organized, made sure I was in the right place at the right time, took copious notes for me (ranging from whom I met to what were some of the good sound bites in my talks). Her name is Rachel. She's awesome.”

 

Wow, sounds amazing! But having an intern isn’t all free labor fun times. Indiana spoke about a previous intern she had, who was in college and seemed a bit… disinterested: “Can you go with me to a runway show this weekend?” “Can't. Have a frat party.” “Can you help me shoot video at a store opening on Saturday morning?” Her response, “Can't… weekends are, like, my only time off from school…”

 

It's not always easy to manage someone, especially when they’re young and lack work experience. Jessica Conatser, Content Director of Coveted Media, gave me some advice on qualities you should look for when looking for the perfect intern. “Number one things are passion, motivation, strong work ethic, sense of urgency and willingness to learn. You want an intern who is extremely excited about what your daily job entails.”

 

It’s not easy finding a great intern, but once you do your work isn’t over yet! An internship is a learning experience, a chance for someone to test out a career they may be interested in. Jessica said it perfectly when she told me, “When you take on an intern, I believe it is important to act as a mentor in order to cultivate said interns growth as a professional. It is important to build up their tasks and keep them within close proximity to you or a colleague so that they have the opportunity to observe how the working world works.” That’s a lot of responsibility, so make sure you’re up for it!

 

If you are ready to take on an intern, there’s so much they can do to help you out. Everything from moderating comments to managing the copious press releases that flood your inbox to writing their own posts! It can be a huge weight off your shoulders and someone just starting out can get some valuable experience. So… anyone want to apply to be an intern at Fasshonaburu?

 

*Disclaimer: make sure to read the SBA's 6 Steps for Setting Up an Internship Program to ensure you are legally hiring interns.

 

image by esra dandin

 


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9 Responses

  1. lisa

    This is such an interesting topic! Ages ago someone took the brave step of emailing me and offering to be my intern. But I’ve become so used to seeing my blog as a one-woman operation that it’s hard to envision where an intern might take over some responsibilities and where my workload begins. I ended up declining her offer in the end.

    Reply
  2. Madeleine Gallay

    Very touchy subject because there has to be value for each. Many industries use interns as unpaid staff without the other part of the equation .. the mentoring and taking a LOT of time to work with the intern.

    There should be an agreement and understanding of both duties and amount of mentoring.

    I’m in Hollywood and while it’s certainly a way into the business, there are so many people taking advantage of this.

    A friend is working toward a masters in psychology and is required to do twenty unpaid hours a week counseling for one year without any pay. Not pretty but sanctioned by schools.

    In this economy it’s a good way for someone fresh out of school or reentering the job world to hone skills and load a resume with real world practice.

    A good arrangement when it’s fair .. much is owed to the intern in my opinion.

    Reply
  3. stylefyles

    I agree with @Madeleine’s comments. And, I think the article does a good job of addressing it as well: it’s so important for the “employer” to be conscientious in how they treat their intern. It’s definitely important to make sure the person laboring for free is getting something back: experience, knowledge, etc; and that the agreement between the two parties is clearly laid out from the get-go. In the end, if executed fairly, it could be a very beneficial partnership for both parties.

    Reply
  4. Linda

    Thanks for including the link at the end which explains the legal side of things. Having an intern really doesn’t help at all if you want to do it legally. If you want someone to help you run your blog, you need to pay them. If someone is unpaid, they can’t do anything that benefits you in any way. Of course there are tons of companies that break that law, but that is the law.

    From the page you linked: “the basic principle behind a legal unpaid internship is simple – unpaid interns cannot do any work that contributes to a company’s operations. This includes any tasks that help you run your business, like documenting inventory, filing papers, answering emails, etc.”

    Reply
  5. Vogue & Vintage

    Ok so did we get the same email! I am a DC blogger and I got an email last week as well from a local design student. I was flattered but pondered the same questions “do I need a intern” I even went so far as to write down the task if any they would do . I remember being an intern myself and the last thing I wanted to do was waste this girl’s time! It should be a learning experience, and do I have anything to teach her. I feel like I am still learning as well!

    Thanks for the write up! I’m still torn on if I need a intern though! lol

    xoxo,
    Vogue & Vintage

    Reply
  6. World Man About Town

    I have often thought of accepting an intern, but I guess rules need to be very clear from the beginning and accept someone who shares the same editorial perspectives.

    Reply
  7. Pearl Westwood

    I too have had emails from potential interns, but to be fair I really couldn’t think of anything for them to do. I pretty much do things by myself, maybe in the future, I could sure do with help setting up my vintage shop when it expands. One thing I do have to say is, if and when I do have an intern they will be paid I really do not agree with anyone working for free.

    Reply
  8. eyeliah

    An intern would be fabulous, I love to teach what I know to others and it would help me to be more productive as well.

    Reply