Charles Lechner of Organizing 2.0 does a great sendup of the Beltway’s non-profit-intern-industrial complex:
Wanted: New Media Summer Intern
Our prestigious liberal organization is well connected in the high flying advocacy and lobbying world. If you spend time with us you will come to understand precisely how the DC swamp connecting money, politicians and influence actually works, and how liberal organizations like ours fit neatly into that world through our connections to funders and organizations representing special interests.
Our preference is for a college graduate from an Ivy League college confident they belong in the world of the power elite and with parents who can pay $800/month rent for two months, so you can be working for free with us instead of getting a real, but far lower status job. While officially we frown on nepotism, any family affiliations you might have to movement VIP’s will definitely be taken into account. That said, our goal is to make you work very hard, for free, on the kinds of tasks that require little training. Furthermore, as someone we say goodbye to at the end of the summer, we are unlikely to invest very much in your training. There are books in the self-help section at Amazon that will teach you to make the most of it with a positive mental attitude. You should probably read one of them now.
Our premise is that the right parentally-subsidized internship, with the right sorts of important organizations like ours can ensure your professional success in ways that paid work cannot. Our willingness to use your free labor represents our commitment to a growing and valued underclass of future superstars. No joke!
Applicants should understand that interns are fungible, that working for us for free is a privilege, that job descriptions are suggestions at best, and that any resentment you feel in the future is a product of youthful idealism and inability to see the ‘big picture.’ You see, we do important things.
To apply, please find a way to meet me at the right sort of DC happy hour and strike up a conversation that holds my interest for at least thirty seconds. Being physically attractive and well-dressed is a plus. We welcome applicants from any background that will change the shocking lack of diversity in our office.
Director of Intern Acquisition