INTERNSHIPS…. The exciting world of the work forces, for some a make or break to the Capital, to other a chance to put five years third level education and two degrees to some use. Oh wait… One small catch in the fine print….

It’s unpaid work experience…So when do we get to remove the “L” plates?

The unsatisfying and dreaded words every third level student must hear from a respective employer. Yes, we are willing to take you on, we are willing to use the skills that you have studied long and hard to achieve, but just read the fine print on your contract.

Ah yes, the fine print they speak of, is the painstaking clause in the Irish job market which makes Irish graduates so valuable to some very lucrative industries. They now have the ability not to pay for skilled graduates.

The fact is that while companies are willing to take eager young Irish graduates, many potential employers have the power to dangle a prospective job in front of eager emerging University graduates.

They also have the power not to pay a wage, even though many young interns are putting in 35 plus hours a week.

So who do we blame? The Celtic Tiger, Government officials, or perhaps Corporate Ireland.

So here we are, approaching the end of the M.A in Journalism in NUIG. We have spent months perfecting a palpable set of new and fresh journalistic approaches.

Having invested almost €10,000 euro furthering one's education, to become that shining star in an ever increasing sea of undergraduate degrees, it raises the question about investing the money in a master’s degree programme.  Is the more viable option simply to board the generation emigration train? And get as far away from this economic depression the Emerald Isle has been stuck in.

Wasn’t the whole point of a master’s degree so we would gain employment quicker and get paid for the privilege? Yeah that’s what I thought too. Sadly not!

The post Celtic Tiger fall out continues and for those who were labelled the ‘Celtic tiger cubs’. They now are those who are truly suffering from a previous generation’s mistakes. 

Was it really our fault we were born into a country that was flourishing in every capacity? No, is the answer.

We may have been riding high on the sails of the generation that was too busy sweeping the countrys discrepancies under the rug, but it was their discrepancies not ours. So why are we still suffering?

Internships are indeed a great step in the door so to speak, especially in a competitive industry such as journalism, but the high level of skills achieved in particular a master’s level of education warrant some sort of wage.

Choosing to be a journalist is not just a career choice but more of a life choice. For the past number of months I have become an even larger than life news junkie. Having downloaded every Newspaper App out there, I began to question if I was indeed about to morph into a walking talking newspaper, but sadly this hasn’t happened just yet.

Instead I am a walking talking poster child for post Celtic Tiger Ireland. This ‘Celtic Tiger Cub’ is about to complete five years education in two leading Irish Universities. Like so many of my colleagues before me, I am about to become the ‘newbie’, the ‘novice’ in other words the dreaded ‘I’-Intern.

While truly exciting to become an intern, I feel a little hard done by the fact that I will be working a nine to five if not more in a job, but the sad aspect is that the dreaded ‘I’ in essence could easily be called ‘volunteer’.

The Job Bridge scheme offers those on the live register a chance to return to employment through internships with FÁS where employers pay €50 per week towards the social welfare payment.  This is great in theory, but what about us?

It raises the question though why any of us are paying phenomenal fees to Irish Universities to further our education to still have to compete with the sea of undergraduate degrees and now those on the live register.

For now this MAJ student is about to embark on real life. Let’s hope paid internships catch on for those who are invested in not just an education, but investing in Ireland by trying not to become part of the infamous generation emigration.