Toronto fashion mag looking for unpaid intern to design the front cover

Taking exploitation to a whole new level

Fashion Weekly cover

Are you ready for the opportunity of a lifetime? A Toronto-based fashion magazine is looking for a designer who, right off the bat, would be tasked with laying out the magazine’s front page as well as full-page features. Wowza!

They just want you to use your own computer and software, work from home, meet strict deadlines — oh, and not expect any money for all your efforts.

A Kijiji job listing posted on Tuesday casts this nightmare scenario as a chance to build valuable experience and rub shoulders with people in the publishing industry, presumably to get a real job down the road. Fashion Weekly, which is rather confusingly a monthly print magazine, says it’s looking for “a dynamic magazine layout designer” but wants to make sure applicants know that “THIS IS AN UNPAID INTERNSHIP.”

Getting interns to do the job of full-time employees is unfortunately nothing new in the media world, but Fashion Weekly’s offer comes with an astounding level of responsibility. This isn’t some auxiliary function like fetching lattés, but designing the front page of the magazine.

The gig is supposedly offered for class credit, but it would be pretty unusual to do that through a Kijiji ad and not in coordination with the college or university. Oh, and if you’re not currently enrolled but still want to provide some slave labour, Fashion Weekly seems willing to look the other way, even though that might be illegal under Ontario labour law.

This is why unpaid internships are immoral. They not only take advantage of young people trying to break into the industry and privilege rich kids who can afford not to get paid, but when big media firms do this shady stuff, then smaller, less scrupulous outlets go even further with the exploitation.

The Kijiji ad seems to be copied and pasted from a previous posting given the Dec. 13 deadline, so maybe they’re having a hard time filling the position, hard as that may be to fathom. But the real kicker is the condescending line suggesting that if you think you’re too good for an unpaid internship, then you must be a loser since you’re obviously still job hunting.

“If you feel that an unpaid internship is not for you, then you must have enough experience, networking skills and an excellent body of work to be hired by any company.”

Dicks!

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The full text of the ad and a screenshot are appended below. This post will be updated if the magazine responds to a request for comment.

Magazine Lay Out Designer! Build Your Fashion Portfolio

Please check out Fashion Weekly Magazine at www.fashweekly.com

We are looking for a dynamic magazine layout designer who would be responsible for designing the cover and full page layouts of our monthly issues!

Must have their own programs to work with
Must be able to take direction and work from home or free lance
Must be able to meet deadlines
MUST BE LOOKING TO BUILD PORTFOLIO AS THIS IN AN UNPAID INTERNSHIP FOR THE FIRST FEW MONTHS

Please submit samples of your work or an online portfolio link so we can determine if you are the right candidate for us.

Many jump to the position as it offers a lot of responsibility and leads you in building your portfolio with quality work. It is for college/university credit or for you the build your book however still permits you to have another job etc.

If you feel that an unpaid internship is not for you, then you must have enough experience, networking skills and an excellent body of work to be hired by any company. THIS UNPAID INTERNSHIP CAN HELP YOU BUILD ALL THE SKILLS AND WORK YOU NEED

We offer many networking opportunities, a chance to build a fantastic book, push your creative limits, leave the list of contacts, perks and gifts and most of all learn in a healthy, fun environment !

Please submit by Dec 13th 2013 to be considered. Email us!

Fashion Weekly magazine job posting