At the moment I am doing some ‘work experience’ at a post production house, originally intended to help me break into the media industry. Unpaid internships like this are absolutely essential in most industries now, with some people working unpaid for up to a year or two just for the chance to be considered for an entry-level job. (A good book on the subject, if you’re interested, is Intern Nation). So I understand that this is part of ‘paying my dues’, and I have been lucky enough to sit in on a voiceover session with a big Hollywood director, but the very concept of making tea and coffee for and cleaning up after rude egomaniacs all day without earning any money just puts me in a bit of a bad mood. I can’t say that I’m really learning anything, other than how many sugars each client takes and whether they prefer sushi or salad for lunch. I really respect recording engineers and mixers, but I think the route that you have to take to get to their jobs is a little sycophantic and very superficial. I think the learning process should be more like an apprenticeship – you have an interview, and maybe take an exam to test you theoretical knowledge, then you’re hired (and actually paid) as a trainee. Then make tea or coffee for your trainer, as much as they like, because at least you would still be learning things in the process.