Internship Subsidy Program
The Magazine Association of BC has received funding to March 2020 from the Canada Periodical Fund for our internship subsidy program. Because of this, we can receive applications for internships throughout the year, though earlier is better, especially for internships starting in the spring.
All interested member magazines are asked to submit an application as soon as they identify an internship opportunity, after familiarizing themselves with the process and the requirements (below).
We will then contact you within a few days to let you know whether your application is accepted and what subsidy we can offer you. If you would like to hire an intern soon, we recommend you apply right away to confirm subsidy funds are still available.
If you have questions, please email Sylvia Skene, Internship Coordinator and Executive Director, or call her at 604-688-1175.
- Are based on whether a magazine has 6 or more, 3-6, or less than 3 employees and contract staff.
- Can be up to 60%-80%, depending on above and the funds available, to a maximum of $4,500/internship.
- Be MagsBC members in good standing and dues paid for the duration of the internship.
- Have both a supervisor and a mentor in place for the intern.
- Not apply for more than 2 internships per year.
- Submit a job posting, a 1-2 paragraph expression of interest and part 1 of the internship details form. Submissions will be considered on merit and must meet all criteria below.
- Be at least 20 hours/week (averaged out) for 16-22 weeks, not counting holiday breaks. The 20 or more hours can be shared between 2 magazines that jointly apply. Weeks where the student works less than 10 hours are not included in the total week count.
- Provide meaningful opportunities for a student or recent graduate to practice what they’ve learned.
- Pay at least minimum wage (currently $12.65/hour) or an $800/month honorarium for very small magazines.
- Compensate the intern for additional benefits if they fit the criteria for employee status.
- Be post-secondary students or have graduated within the last 3 years.
- Be able to commit to the total internship period.
- Not have been hired under this program before.
The internship coordinator must:
- Communicate with each supervisor and intern and take action in a timely fashion.
- Make sure all criteria for a successful internship have been met.
- Monitor hours worked during internship, and notify supervisor if their intern is falling behind.
- Arrange for a worksite visit with each intern and their supervisor midway through the placement.
- Provide an expert consultant for the intern promptly after discussing with the intern and host.
- Arrange for payment of subsidies after all criteria have been met and surveys have been received.
- MagsBC Membership: All magazines must be full (voting) members of the Magazine Association of BC in good standing, i.e. no outstanding dues, for the full duration of the internship.
- Supervisor: All magazines must assign a primary supervisor to the intern who is not expected to be absent from work for any significant length of time during the internship.
- Mentor: All magazines must provide a mentor for the intern. The mentor must not be the primary supervisor, although s/he can be backup for the supervisor.
The mentor’s primary role is to give advice and guidance to the intern on her or his career, not her or his work. The mentor does not have to be an employee of the publication, but must be willing to donate a half-hour a week or an hour every other week for the duration of the internship to meet with the intern, whether in person or via phone or Skype.
Jane as mentor meets with the intern Beatrice every couple of weeks for a lunch-hour mentoring session. Each session focuses on a particular aspect of Bea’s career: critiquing her LinkedIn profile and resume, a discussion about the local magazine industry and its challenges, people in the industry that Bea might want to work for, the kinds of work Bea might be suited to, role-playing an interview, suggestions by Jane on areas Bea might want to learn about to shore up her current skills and knowledge, and tips on time and project management.
- Limit on Internships: A magazine may apply for a maximum of 2 internship subsidies in any given calendar year.
- Students/Recent Graduates: Interns must be enrolled in or recent graduates of journalism, publishing, professional writing, electronic publishing, communications, design, business, marketing, advertising or a comparable program at an accredited post‐secondary institution. Interns may be accepted up to three (3) years after graduation.
- Time Commitment: Interns must be available for a continuous period for the internship, not including the holiday season. However, a short gap is acceptable if the intern has a previously booked commitment of 1 week or less, and can arrange with the magazine to extend the internship to make up those lost hours.
Before he had applied for an internship, Amit had booked a flight to visit his parents in early December after exams.
His potential supervisor Sofia is keen to hire Amit so she checks the start and end dates of the internship and the visit and discusses the work schedule with him.
Sofia has determined that Amit can work a few extra hours in other weeks and extend the internship end-date without significant impact on the staff, and therefore can still meet the requirements of the internship subsidy.
Sofia hires him and notes the gap in his work hours log so she can keep track of his hours to make sure he gets in the minimum number of hours and weeks required, as well as notifying the internship coordinator of the gap and the new end date.
- No Repeaters: Interns must not have been hired under this project before.
- Hourly Wage: We strongly encourage participating members to nurture new talent by paying at least minimum wage, which in British Columbia is currently $12.65/hour.
- Honorarium: Instead of an hourly wage, very small magazines may also pay their intern an honorarium of at least $190 per week or $800 per month for the full term of the internship.
All interns must be paid promptly for their work on at least a monthly basis.
- Hours Per Week: Internships must be for at least 4 hours/day or 20 hours/week, averaged out.
Note: MagsBC understands that for various reasons this number may vary a little week-to-week, depending on circumstances, but we cannot provide subsidies to internships with an overall average of less than 20 hours per week. Therefore, we strongly encourage magazine staff to arrange with the intern to make up any shortfall in hours promptly.
In the past, we have requested that interns create and share their own hourly log sheet with the internship coordinator. However, if it works better for the supervisor to fill out and share the intern’s timesheet with the internship coordinator, this is also acceptable.
- Shared Internships: If magazines feel they do not have enough meaningful work or funding to support a half-time internship by themselves, two magazines may jointly apply for a shared internship, with the intern working a total of 20 hours per week for the magazines for the duration of the internship. Interested magazines must co-submit a single application and a combined job posting for the shared internship, and must have a designated supervisor at each magazine, as well as at least one mentor, in order to be considered.
- Length of Internship: Magazines must provide an internship of 16-22 weeks. Holiday weeks, or any weeks for which less than 10 hours is worked, are not counted.
A 22-week internship started September 10/18 and thus spans the holiday season. The magazine shuts down for 2 weeks between December 20/18 and January 2/19, except for minimal maintenance work, so the internship end date should be February 22/19.
- Employee or Contractor? Some, possibly most, interns may be considered employees by law. Please read the criteria below carefully and discuss this with a bookkeeper, accountant or human resources professional to determine whether your intern is an employee or a contractor:
If your intern is an employee, they should be paid for statutory holiday hours they would have worked if they fall within her/his internship period, and those hours recorded as part of their 20 hours minimum per week.
See the general holiday calculator here to find out what to pay your intern: http://wages.esdc.gc.ca/OLSCT-OCLNT/index.aspx
BC holidays are listed here with other details: http://www.statutoryholidays.com/bc.php
Appropriate deductions and remittances from your intern’s pay should also be discussed with your bookkeeper or accountant to make sure neither you nor your intern are running afoul of tax laws.
MagsBC offers an up to 80% subsidy based on the size of the magazine, to a maximum of $4,500.
The following are typical examples of subsidies for different sizes of magazines:
|Size of Magazine /|
Subsidy / Wage
|Small (3 or less FTEs / up to 80% subsidy)||Medium (3+-6 FTES / up to 70%)||Large (more than 6 FTES / up to 60%)|
|$190/week honorarium for a 16-week internship||Up to $3040||n/a||n/a|
|$12.65/hr, 20 hours/week for an 18-week internship||Up to $3643||Up to $3188||Up to $2732|
|$14/hr – 22 hours/week for a 20-week internship||Up to $4500 (maximum subsidy)||Up to $4312||Up to $3696|
Benefits and wages above the maximum offered by the coordinator cannot be subsidized unless the coordinator approves an extension to the internship and there is room in the budget.
You can figure out the size of your magazine by using FTEs or “Full-Time Equivalents”.
This does not mean counting up the full-time staff you have and submitting this number, but counting up all the work everyone does for the magazine, whether part-time, full-time or contract, and dividing it by the hours per week your magazine considers to be full time, whether 40, 35 or some other number. This will give you your FTEs. Example:
Parlance magazine has:
- 1 full-time employee at 40 hrs/week (1 FTE)
- 3 part-time employees with hours totaling 60 hours a week (60/40 = 1.5 FTEs), and
- 3 contractors with hours totaling 30 hours a week (30/40 = 0.75 FTE).
Added together, they make 3.25 FTEs, so Parlance is a medium-sized magazine for the purposes of the subsidy.
If you’re not sure, please contact the internship coordinator.
We want to make sure that each internship is of value to both the host and the intern. Therefore if any part is not satisfactory, MagsBC reserves the right to deny approval of an application, reserve or deny all or part of a subsidy, review an internship, recommend dismissal of an intern, or reassign an intern to another magazine at its discretion.
See below for details on steps.
1. Apply: To apply for a subsidy, a magazine must submit:
- A one‐ to two-paragraph expression of interest
- A completed section 1 of the internship form
- A detailed internship job description following the example of the job description below and including all specifics such as start and end dates, pay, etc.
Please submit the above to Sylvia Skene firstname.lastname@example.org for approval.
We recommend submitting the application as soon as possible to allow for enough time to recruit a great intern and in order to access funding before it runs out.
We cannot emphasize this enough: positions must include a variety of activities that go beyond rote administrative tasks, data entry or office work and builds skills for future magazine employees, such as a combination of the following:
- Writing, editing, shadow editing, proofing, interviewing, story development coaching, and/or reviewing submissions
- Answering reader questions and comments
- Managing web content, blogging, tweeting, and/or posting
- Coordinating or assisting with events and event planning
- Attending and participating in editorial, layout and/or art direction meetings
- Assisting with and/or participating in photo shoots and contests
- Assisting with advertising copy and/or reader surveys
- Assisting with a crowdfunding campaign
- Shadowing advertising/sales representatives
Decisions are dependent on available funding. If the internship coordinator receives more applications that meet the requirements than s/he can approve for funding, a lottery process will be used to identify the applications that will be funded as well as any past interns’ ratings of their internship with that magazine.
Please make sure your submission meets these initial application requirements, or it cannot proceed to the next step.
2. Receive Funding Notification: The internship coordinator will notify each successful applicant that their job description and other information meet the criteria for the internship subsidy and how much funding is available for that position. As we wish to fund as many internships as possible, the funding offered may not be the maximum subsidy, but we’ll do our best to make it close.
3. Accept Subsidy Offer (or not): It is up to each magazine to notify the coordinator promptly whether they are still interested in hosting an intern based on the subsidy amount offered and the job description they provided. It is also at this time that a magazine may ask for an advance on their subsidy.
After your application is accepted, we will shift into high gear. Next steps:
4. Hire An Intern: Once agreed to, each magazine must recruit and hire an intern on its own. The coordinator will provide a list of potential job and student sites to hosts to assist them in posting the position and finding the best person for the job.
5. Do The Paperwork: Once the intern is hired, the primary supervisor and the intern jointly complete, sign and submit section 2 on the internship form along with the intern’s resume and a link to her/his timesheet to the internship coordinator by one week after the internship start date.
6. Talk About Training: Within a month after the internship start date, the intern and supervisor discuss the intern’s professional development needs, and the supervisor then sends section 3 of the internship form with this information and any suggested expert consultants to the coordinator.
7. Submit Timesheets Monthly (or share on Google and update at least monthly): The intern must keep timesheets to record hours worked during the internship and share them with her/his supervisor and the internship coordinator via Dropbox or Google at the start of her/his internship. The supervisor may take on this task instead if it works better.
8. Meet With The Expert Consultant: The internship coordinator will assign a suitable consultant and send the intern his/her contact information and area of expertise, in order for them to arrange to meet or call, either for 2 one-hour sessions or one 2-hour session at $75/hour.
Again, there has been some confusion about the role of the expert consultant. Unlike the supervisor, who is generally concerned with the intern’s day-to-day work, and the mentor, who is focused on developing and encouraging the intern in their career, the expert consultant is brought in when the supervisor or mentor do not have the needed expertise in a specific area or they just don’t have the time.
A design student needs help with one of her main tasks, which is making the magazine’s website more visually appealing and adding photos and graphics in various areas. Her supervisor isn’t comfortable teaching more advanced html coding or image manipulation, so a website consultant is hired by the internship coordinator to help the intern.
A publishing student needs an orientation to page layout and design in order to assist with the next issue, and the supervisor usually contracts this work out, so the graphic designer who does this work for the magazine is recommended and hired to teach the intern the basics.
9. Meet With The Internship Coordinator: The internship coordinator will arrange to visit each worksite one-third to one-half way through the internship to meet with the intern and supervisor, and if possible the mentor as well, to discuss how the internship is going, what work has been done (samples are always nice) and what is planned for the rest of the internship.
Supervisors are encouraged to give their interns challenging tasks and projects, even if it means taking on some of the more basic jobs themselves, to make sure the interns have a meaningful, enjoyable and useful internship experience.
10. Fill Out Intern and Host Surveys: After the end of each internship, the coordinator will send links to feedback surveys, one for the intern, the other for supervisors and mentors to fill out after the internship has ended. These surveys must be completed by the intern and the supervisor, and preferably the mentor as well, before the subsidy payment can be issued.
11. Fill Out the Final Paperwork: Within a week of the end of the internship, the following must be completed and provided to the internship coordinator in order to receive the agreed-upon subsidy:
- A complete record of weeks and hours worked by the intern, which must average out to 20+ hours per week and match the weeks declared on the details form, not including gap weeks.
- An invoice stating the following:
- Name of intern
- Number of hours & weeks worked
- Hourly rate
- Total paid to intern
- The magazine’s dollar contribution to this total (e.g. if MagsBC contributed 60% of the intern’s salary, the magazine would calculate its contribution as 40% plus any additional benefits they paid the intern)
- MagsBC’s percentage based on the amount the intern was paid, up to the amount originally offered or the percentage eligible for, whichever is less.
12. Get the Subsidy Cheque(s): MagsBC will provide payment for its portion of the internship to the publication after the above is completed. Payments cannot be made directly to the intern.
Subsidy amounts are dependent on the number of internships MagsBC has funded, the final claim amounts, and the maximums allowable for the size of each magazine.
Although every effort will be made to pay invoices fully and promptly, some magazines may have to settle for partial payments until the next allotment comes from CPF, typically 1-2 months after submission of the year-end report, or our operating grant for the year comes through.
We would have created an orientation for new hosts, but the University of Pennsylvania and Michael True of Messiah College did a terrific one already. There are a few typos, and it is US-based, but the content is gold. View it here.