Does nobody really care for Egypt’s interns?


A satirical new TV campaign released by an Egyptian bank for Ramadan has indirectly shed light on an issue plaguing interns across the country, accurately summarized by the advertisement’s slogan: “Nobody cares about you but us”.

The ads, running under a minute, showcase new trainee Abdel Raouf being treated as if he were useless, with no desk or assignments, unable to even socialize with his coworkers.

Upon asking for a desk from his boss, Raouf is told to “Grab a chair and put it in front of the printer.”


Egypt Independent grew curious to find out if the circumstances shown in these ads actually reflected reality for internships in Egypt.

Naira Emad, a senior accounting student, remarks that it was “Actually a bad experience.”

“I was training as an accountant at one of Egypt’s most well-known banks. I’d only learnt preliminary information there, and all I was asked to do each day was arrange the files inside the store and photocopy some documents. That was my entire job,” she said.

While Emad did have a desk, whenever the bank was busy with clients sales employees would impose their authority, “Sometimes, when there was a client and no empty chairs, they used to let them wait at my desk until one of the employees met them,” Emad said.

Emad was not provided with a salary during her time there.

Teaching assistant Nada Mohammed recounts two experiences she had as an intern. The first one had her going to office everyday just to sit and do nothing. Having received no assignments, Mohammed felt like they saw her as someone useless due to her lack of experience.

“The other experience was totally different. I was overwhelmed by tasks, and in the beginning I thought this was a good thing, until I realized that the management was exploiting me, especially after my colleagues just made me do their jobs. All of this was unpaid,” Mohammed said.

Journalist Samar Ahmed said she received several internships, all of which were unpaid. She recalls having to bring her heavy laptop to office every day, since her boss told her that unless she brought one with her she couldn’t be guaranteed a spot to work there.

“When they know you are a new intern, you’ll be their scapegoat. They’ll make you work 24 hours with no money and sometimes won’t even add your name to the story you’ve written claiming that  since you’re a trainee they can’t give you this right,” she said.

On the other hand, Nada Deyaa, an editor, said she didn’t have any negative experiences as a trainee: “It never happened to me honestly, I was never treated even close to the way that’s being spotlighted [in the advertisements].”


Related Articles

Back to top button