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How To Get Fired From Your Unpaid Internship

13 Oct

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I’m a junior in Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. This summer, I got ‘fired’ from my unpaid editorial internship after The Atlantic published an article that I’d written.

That’s the lead. The full story is a little more complicated. I spent this summer writing for a small weekly paper with a tiny, fiercely dedicated staff, downward-spiraling circulation and five editorial interns, all unpaid. Now that print journalism is on its last legs, working for the weekly felt a little like pushing an old lady in a wheelchair. But I liked the creative and autonomous nature of the internship, which meant that I could walk into the office, write about anything that interested me and publish it on a legit site. Could I write about Nicolas Cage and Disney Princesses? Sure. Walk to a park an interview homeless guys about philosophy? You betcha.

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