Confessions of an Intern

Joseph Munnelly 

With the new budget sounding like another round in the ring with Bane, things aren’t looking so rosy. Every week it seems hundreds of us are leaving, friends are separated forced to go elsewhere and across the country dole queues lengthen as unemployment kicks at any ambition we may have had.

It’s tough it out there, for families who have already felt the burn since the sh*t first hit the fan, but for young people, for recent graduates, getting up on our own feet is a real struggle. A year or two ago, I was out there with the thousands as we took the city centre to take a stand on the brain drain and the burden that was thrown upon us. We had our promises shamefully broken, fees were raised forcing those already struggling to jeopardise their study and those who were in need of assistance were ignored.

Now I float in what seems like shark infested waters, as a recent graduate I know how daunting the job market can be. Most people are familiar with the dreaded: ‘must have 2+ years experience’ which leaves the majority by the way side and it seemed everywhere I looked; ‘experience’ had been a brick wall which hindered me from landing a job. Frustratingly after each rejection, one thought always thrashed about in my head - How can I get the experience when people won’t hire me!?

I know I am not alone, my tale is not unique. By now hundreds of my CVs have been dotted across the city and still I got no reply from anyone ... until I did an internship with publishing Ireland. With the state the country is in the only way, from my experience, to get your foot in the door is to be willing to work for nothing. I know working for free seems insane but you are not working to earn nothing. What you gain is the experience the employer is looking for. I worked for 6 months as an intern for the Dublin Book Festival, I met new and friendly people, different authors and publishers, I got to blog and write and create new ideas for competitions, events and promotions and most importantly I got a taste of what it was like in the industry. As I was there offering my free time, I made the most of my experience there, I pestered them with many questions and learnt the tricks of the trade, all with a bit of banter and fun along the way. I was kept busy, at times I was given tedious tasks but it kept me on my toes and opened doors for job interviews giving me the knowhow and the ammunition to answer the interview questions.


It’s a piece of advice to you from me. If you’re a student especially get involved in what you love, go for what you have a passion for and decide to give your liver a breather and instead of that messy mystery tour, choose to put your future in your hands and get some experience under your belt. It will stand to you and if I could go back and meet myself two or three years ago – I couldn’t yell at myself enough to have gotten an internship sooner. Although it all seems doom and gloom for now, life works in mysterious ways perhaps Australia turns out to be the best leap you’ve ever taken, keep positive and focus only on the things you can control. It may not work for everybody, but an internship can open a lot of doors ... it’s something to think about at least.



Shane Johnston
Article written by
Editor for CollegeTimes, UCD graduate and music lover. [email protected]

You may also like

Facebook messenger