Internship Hell

I want to thank those who emailed me privately and sending along encouraging words in the struggle to find an internship for next year. And a special thanks to Scott Wells who gave me a new phrase to describe internships….the vortex of doom.

That said, it’s still mostly hell for the two UU students out here who are looking for internships. And the bane of our existence is the two-year part-time internship. Those aren’t doing us any favors. We have to live, and $400/month just ain’t gonna cut it. Not all of us have partners or are independently wealthy.

I get it….really I do. Internships cost money. And for some churches, money is a hard thing to come by. I also know that it’s required that I do a parish internship if I ever want to be fellowshipped. So somethings got to give here people. I just don’t know what yet.


4 thoughts on “Internship Hell

  1. I’m sure it won’t help to hear that the legal market sucks, but it totally does. I’m working for a judge for free this summer.


  2. It is an absurd situation. An internship is mandated. But there’s no funding. Congregations are urged to offer internships. But there’s no funding. Oh, and the congregations are told–urged, nagged–to provide a reasonable stipend so that the internship is vaguely not abusive. But they rarely are.

    I get it. Asking a typical UU congregation to find an extra $20k in their budget for an intern… was a big challenge even before the economy imploded. $20k could provide a part-time office manager or DRE (or… a full-time intern). Or we can do it for free (so we can at least do it–it’s obligatory), or very cheap (because that’s all that the congregation can afford).

    It’s a grand idea–and not an unreasonable one. What’s unreasonable is the implementation. It’s abusive *and* classist. But then, the whole process is classist, at this point in time.

    I’m sorry, Kim, I don’t have any suggestion other than shaking down every congregation that might be a viable site and brainstorming possible funding (or additional funding). I’ll be taking the latter path; my not yet signed on paper internship supervisor and I have talked about seeking grants around growth (etc), which is fortunately something I’m interested in and want to do…. And she’s been a supervisor before, and understands that permitting it to happen (free/dirt cheap) is not good for the congregation either.

    So while I could probably manage it, financially, I’m in the situation where I know that doing it on reality’s terms (cheap/free) is bad for me, and bad for the congregation. But it’s mandatory, and unfunded….

    Like so much, the system seems to be designed around the realities of a large congregation, where the funding could be managed. But not all of them seem to do internships, and there aren’t enough of them anyway.

    (CC, working free for the summer sucks–but working free for 9-10 months is a whole different kettle of fish.)

  3. Sadly the UU internship market is never great. I know I will be spending several years recovering economically from my internship year.

    Keep plugging at it. Something may come your way. It seems more people end up making their own non-standard internships than actually serve posted regular internships.

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