Internships are the first step into the world of work for a new generation of graduates. For employers, short term professional immersion has long been an excellent opportunity to benefit from a cheap (often free) and enthusiastic helping hand. In Brussels, perhaps more than elsewhere, the competition between overqualified young graduates is intense. For those who aspire to build a career here, nowadays an internship is an integral part of their career plan. At the time of the 'Stagiaires Therapy, the crisis goes, the interns stay' debate, cafebabel.com Brussels met up with a number of the interns and ex-interns of the European capital. Between enthusiatic and ambitious, and exploited and weary, the interns present represented the full range of conditions that interns face in the eurosphere.
The most important thing is to have a chance to learn
Nearly everyone around the table has at least one internship under their belt. In the current economic climate, the duration spent between starting your first internship and finishing your last has lengthened, and many of this generation of graduates wait almost two years before getting a first salaried job. Of course, everyone agrees that aside from the matter of compensation, the most important thing is to have a chance to learn. But in reality, we've lost count of the number of interns we've met with a master's degree who are stuck making coffee or photocopying.