Must Read: Intern Magazine


Every now and then something special comes along that puts a twinkle in our eyes and a fire under our butts. That is to say, we feel inspired and ready to make, do and achieve great things. Intern Magazine is one of those special creations. An independent publication causing a stir within the creative industries and beyond, Intern is for, by and about fantastic work and its moral, monetary and intellectual value.

Providing a prudent and clever look at contemporary culture and the those that stoke, fuel and motivate it, the magazine was founded on the simple and fundamental belief that young people are the future. According to founder and editor Alec Dudson, ‘Our current culture makes young people pretty uncertain of their own value in the workplace, often they assume that unpaid work is the next step after graduating. We believe that while they have yet to reach their full potential, their work certainly does have value. By introducing a variety of perspectives, we want young people to be a little better equipped to make smart decisions about their careers.’

If we set aside the brilliant aesthetics for just a moment, for us, Intern is a must read for one reason. The publication, a sleek and beautifully designed package of fresh ideas and unique projects, presents a fair, frank and balanced view of the creative industries and the world of work. By drawing on the experiences and points of view of a variety of people, from employers to interns themselves from around the world, the magazine succeeds in presenting a balanced and compelling discourse on a relatively controversial set of themes.

intern magazine
Alec Dudson founded Intern Magazine in 2013 in order to build a platform of his own. Acutely aware of how employers, publishers and large companies continue to ‘mug young people off’, the magazine is essentially an online and printed space for emerging writers, photographers, artists, illustrators and designers to showcase their talent, see it acknowledged and feel rewarded at the sense of it being worthy and having value. Intern performs the wildly new and exciting act of paying every one its young contributors, a concept that many of you may be unfamiliar with but one that the magazine is proud of, and rightly so. Intern proves that magazines can pay their contributors, and that the choice not to, is just that, a choice.

Alec not only runs the magazine but also pops up all over talking about internships, the world of work and independent publishing. An Associate Lecturer at Leeds College of Art and one of our own fantastic speakers at November’s YOUNG GOLD TALKS event at Google Campus, Shoreditch, Alec fights the good fight and shares the story of Intern’s brilliant projects and editorials all over the world.

Now on its fourth issue, Alec has collaborated with a great deal of talented creatives, though does have one or two pieces he’ll never forget working on. He says, ‘One of my favourite features is ‘Limbo’, a brilliant photo essay from Luisa Martelo, which tells the story of a generation of Portuguese graduates who live with their parents due their difficulty in finding work based on their qualifications. The images are powerful, thought provoking and beautifully composed.

In our new issue, there’s a brilliant piece by Eric Beard which weighs up the benefits of working for a big brand in a creative role, and running your own creative operation. On the one hand, projects that you work on can be seen by a worldwide audience, however your ownership of the work is limited. Under your own steam, you pour everything into a project and seeing it be received well can sometimes give greater satisfaction despite the smaller reach. Choosing what path to take in your career can be really tough, but that choice should be empowering, not daunting.’

intern magazine

Intern Magazine is based in Manchester but available to buy and enjoy wherever you are. You’ll find it in a range of stockists around the UK, most of them places we dearly love, or online in the Intern shop. The most recent issue covers anything from fashion to illustration and documents career paths through the likes of Milan, Copenhagen, New York and more. So, if indie publishing, scintillating images and well-wrought and truthful stories coupled with a healthy dose of debate are your thing, best get yourself an issue and a sweary cotton tote bag to carry it in too. We wear ours with pride.


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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth