In the plush London offices of a renowned publishing company, aspiring journalist Amalia Illgner begins her internship with a spring in her step. But after two months of grueling work – paid at far below the U.K.’s National Minimum Wage – she begins to wonder if this opportunity really is everything it’s cracked up to be.
Born in Colombia to a German father and a Trinidadian mother, Illgner grew up in Sydney, Australia. An aspiring writer, she began her career in the United Kingdom, creating copy for a company that organized bachelor and bachelorette parties. But after more than half-a-decade in that industry, she decided to make the move to journalism.
However, journalism is a competitive industry, so Illgner decided that an internship would be a good way to get started. And unsurprisingly, she was far from the first job hunter to reach a similar conclusion. In fact, according to recent research, as many as 70,000 people are currently serving as interns in the U.K. alone.