The lady is no tramp

I read with interest Carol Sarler’s piece on work experience (“Mix the ladies with the tramps”, 12 August).

I
have just graduated with a degree in journalism and have been on a
number of work experience placements. For example, since the age of 16
I have been to various departments on the Telegraph, as well as Tatler,
my local newspaper – the Southern Daily Echo – the BBC, The Independent
and the Spectator.

All of these I undertook with no payment. I
had to make sacrifices, go without other things. I am not a “rich kid”,
but journalism is my passion. I have sacrificed paid work, holidays,
going out and did not indulge in a heavy student lifestyle.

Yes,
my parents have helped when they can, but the reality is that if it is
something you really want to do then you go without other things.

The
industry has changed. The days when you started out as the tea-boy or
girl and worked your way up no longer exist. Competition is now fierce.

So
please don’t start thinking that just because I am on work experience,
or that I have a degree, I don’t know the basics of journalism. I have
spent the last three years studying it and the last five in work
experience to show my commitment, not that I can work without pay!

In essence, I am “the tramp” disguised as “a lady”.

P.S. Anyone got any work experience going!

Katy Taylor-Richards graduate, London College of Communication

Editor’s note: A production error meant
the final line of Carol Sarler’s piece was missing last week. It should
have read: “If they wish to maintain the quality that resulted, it is
for them now to reverse the trend; to ask themselves whether they
really want this constant flow of interns, later to be fast-tracked to
real jobs, in favour of the proven and often greater skills of the
regional lad, ripe and ready for a move to the nationals, but
impertinent enough to need – yes, need – a wage.”

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