Discussing unpaid internships on BBC Radio 5 Live

Elizabeth line roundel TfL Josh Burrell

This week I was reached out to by the BBC after tweeting a little bit about some of the paid and unpaid internships I have done over the years. I was jumping in on the conversation on the hashtag #PayInterns on Twitter.

Believe it or not, there was one summer where I did four internships in London and three of them were entirely paid for out of my own pocket. That’s including travel, lunches and any other expenses like buying professional workwear and contributing to my Mum who let me stay and raid the cupboards all summer-long. It was also pretty daunting being sent to mini warzones to cover the London riots.

After graduating, I did two great paid internships but applied for well over 100 jobs between working at the Olympics and starting the first proper graduate job. Along the way, I also declined many more unpaid opportunities so I felt fairly qualified to speak on the subject. It wasn’t my first time doing radio stuff after previously winning competitions as a kid on Choice FM (now Capital Xtra) and recording radio packages at University, including one on minimum alcohol pricing in 2011 which is back in the news right now.

It was at around 11pm on a Monday night so not quite prime time but you can listen below so you don’t have to skip through or worry about it expiring from iPlayer.

One thing I will say is that hard work always pays off as my second paid internship on TfL’s great Stuart Ross BAME internship has helped me get to where I am today as a Press Officer.

BBC Radio 5 Live logo - Phil Williams

If you are looking at taking an internship you can read more about my experiences on the TfL internship here.

~ J ~


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Interview with Phil Williams took place on Tuesday 24 October 2017 at around 11.05pm. Credit to the BBC.

1 Comment

  1. Ben J
    October 27, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    Really interesting mate. Companies just want to weed out the uncommitted but lose the ones who just financially can’t do it. I love that you corrected him when he said the law change was going to make uni courses difficult. Very bold, but get the facts right! It really put me off how much unpaid work we were expected to do to get any kind of career in journalism and it somewhat dampens your enthusiasm when you’re working for nothing for an extended period of time.

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