Interns Wanted for Documentary

There is a call for interns for a documentary a la Michael Moore on a Craigslist's California help wanted ad. It notes that:

1. The internships are not paid, demand 20 hours a week for a minimum of two months, and require writing for the documentary and a blog.

2. The film isn't fully funded, but when it is the internships might be paid ones.

3. The subject matter is mind programming, with the message of taking back your mind to create your dream lives.

4. "Will look great on your resume and help you break into the industry."

Is this an internship you should pursue? The job market is getting more and more packed with internships. You have to be discerning. So, here are some of the factors you must consider when choosing to become an intern:

  • Money. Paid always trumps unpaid. Also a bird in the hand trumps hundreds in the bush. Not fully funded is a red flag. Fully funded is worth investigating, including requesting documentation of the funding sources.
  • The deal. Are the requirements rational or do they reflect someone's passion or dream, which might not help you achieve yours? For example, 20 hours a week for at least two months represent quite a demand. Is there enough in this for you?
  • Common sense. Promises stated in the ad about what you will get out of an unpaid internship could set off alarms. If the project is so worthwhile to your career, shouldn't that be quite obvious to you? The payoff of an internship with David Letterman or at the White House would be immediately clear. No one would have to promise anything.
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