Allison Barlow

Research Project

Unpaid Internships in Communications & Creative Industries


Hello, my name is Allison Barlow, and I am a fourth year Professional Communications student at Toronto Metropolitan University! Upon graduation, I plan to work in corporate marketing & communications, with the hopes of exploring provincial government communications in the future! 

I decided to research this topic specifically because as a student in the creative industries, I have seen the employment opportunities presented in our industry, versus other industries. In most cases, it is far less likely to hear of a STEM major working unpaid, so I was intrigued to understand why this is considered the norm in the creative industries, and what the impact is on the industry as a whole.

Research Summary

This research presents an analysis of the impact of unpaid internships in Canada. It describes the social and economic implications on industries, entry-level employment, and the challenges faced by students, especially from minority groups. The lack of protection and oversight from government regulations, the disparities across various industries, and the impact on students’ economic backgrounds are highlighted. It utilizes critical discourse analysis to understand the correlation between unpaid internships and students’ economic status, aiming to bridge the gap in understanding the experiences of students and the sustainability of unpaid internships. The report emphasizes the need for further research to shed light on the unseen impact on minority groups and the overall social and economic sustainability of unpaid internships in Canada.

Research Poster

Lightning Talk

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