Tuesday, August 18, 2009

If only everyone loved interns as much as the media does

Somehow I ended up in the New York Times. I tweeted the article about unpaid interns on Saturday and received gobs of support from the NY intern crew. Then on Monday the article made its way through the COLABORATORY circle-- funny how Twitter dies on Sundays.

To my surprise, I woke up to a facebook message from Peter Doocy of FOX news requesting an interview for a segment on “young people in the recession”. Despite my facebook name being “Paige” and my photo being a Photoshop hack job of my face pasted on body that is clearly not mine, Doocy still found me.

I’m not sure if normal people care about interns, but the media sure seems to.

The media loves to talk about how college graduates can’t get jobs and have to sleep on floors, but what they’ve failed to pick up on is the power of the underground intern network, a force that I don’t think even we interns have taken advantage of.

For example, I was only able to come to New York because a fellow University of Oregon Ad Kid, agreed to join forces with me and share a room. I receive emails and texts with possible job leads from fellow grads in New York, Texas and Oregon. And my POKE peeps are more than eager to drop names of agency folks I should chat with. My roommate and I have even let other interns crash in our room while visiting the city for job interviews.

And I’m just one little intern with a tiny contact circle; there are millions more of us out there. What if we could ban together? Interns secret insiders; we know when agencies are hiring, when Creative Directors are in bad moods, and an insight to agency culture.

You might think it’s odd that interns are eager to help other interns when we are all competing for the same jobs. But the way I see it, the more people I know with jobs, the more likely I am to hear about new ones.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

8 Weeks at POKE, and this is what I've learned.

I thought I was past unpaid internships. I felt as if I’d been there, done that, and it was so four years ago. Now I find myself in New York City, sharing a room and working for free, well, more so for food (POKE pays for my lunch).

While being here, I’ve felt like a child of poverty, but discovering an ad agency that doesn’t make me feel like an evil marketing android when I walk in the door is inherently valuable. I’ve also learned that I love the small agency vibe, multitasking and that I can survive in New York.

The thing I enjoy most about the POKE peeps is that they all have side projects. Whether it’s a novel they wrote, a new application for Twitter, or something like Kideo Player, they’re all using their talents to make things that improve peoples’ lives. The best part is that they do it for fun, not to make money.

While my internship may not lead directly to a paid position at POKE, it has most definitely opened the doors to other opportunities. In the current job market, unpaid internships could be a blessing in disguise. They force us to find work we believe in and to absorb as much as possible. After all, you’d have to be crazy to show up to some place you despise everyday just to sit there and look busy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Homeless stuffed animals, fireflies and airline tickets with a perm in NYC

I can’t help but keep comparing New York to Oregon. Here are my three main takeaways today.

1.NYC stuffed animals don’t get much love.
I’ve found dozens of plush creatures chillin’ next to dumpsters. Why don’t city kids love teddy bears? Or is it like the Velveteen Rabbit and these toys are disease-ridden vessels that must be destroyed, perhaps bedbug infested?

2.Crazy things happen in New York.
Fireflies and busted open fire hydrants on hot days are real. I have always believed in fireflies, but it wasn’t until I saw them light up a park with their little green glowy bottoms that understood how amazing they are. And yes, I really did find this cracked fire hydrant today.

3. NYC stores believe in multitasking.
For example, this “Unisex hair salon” offers perms, coloring and airline tickets? And the place next door is a shoe repair/locksmith that sells microwaves. Down the street you’ll also find a bar/flower shop. Flower shop by day, bar by night. Maybe there just isn’t enough land here for shops to be dedicated to selling one type of goods.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

More Gold on the Subway

I was super lucky today and found two sparkly treasures on the subway.
1. A rat skeleton.
2.The dumbest shoes in the world. Tell me, what function do open toed boots serve? Maybe great for sweaty toes and cold ankles?

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm learning so much in N.Y.

I’ve heard this phrase several times before: “His head is too far up his ass to see you.” But it wasn’t until a few days ago, that I realized how much that really means.

Sure, this phrase means that Head-Up-His-Ass-Guy can’t see you because he’s too busy looking at himself. But, what I realize now that if someone has his head up his butt AND he can see you, it means you’re probably a piece of his poop.

Thank goodness these people can’t see me. I don’t want to be poo.

As seen on the L

A large portion of my days are spent riding the subway, finding puddles of vomit on the subway and getting lost on the subway. And every so often I find a gem on the subway.

Today’s find was this guy lugging around a massive cat post. I watched Cat Man haul the post upstairs, downstairs and through two train transfers (I promise I wasn’t following him, we just happened to be going to same way).

The bottom line: This guy loves his cat. He probably even has multiple cats. I mean, come on, it was a really big cat post.

I wanted to snatch a picture of the girl sitting next to him wearing a giant cat face t-shirt but decided I had already spent my creepy, stranger photographing token today.