Anna Wintour, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue is offering you the opportunity of a lifetime! Just being near her will make you chic.
Chic, perhaps. Out of pocket, most certainly. For this “opportunity of a lifetime” (read: one week’s work experience at Vogue) will set you back at least the current bid of $12,000 (£7,850).
Now in this instance, and in the unnerving number of instances that have preceded it, the winning bid will be donated to charity. In the current climate it seems unlikely that a mainstream media organisation in the UK would have the temerity to simply charge outright for an internship. But, as this article in the Times revealed in February, should it happen, there will be those willing to pay:
[C]ompanies have sprung up offering UK students the chance to hone their skills by paying for an overseas placement in their chosen profession. Clea Guy-Allen, a London journalism student, paid to work on a newspaper in India last summer. “I paid £3,000. My parents helped out but I used savings. The whole experience was good. I was in India for three months and did learn a lot, but not necessarily from working on the paper.”
How much longer will this practice remain too ethically unsound? With unpaid, full-time internships of three to six months eagerly undertaken by the great recently-graduated, will the media industry slip past that particular point on an already slippery slope?