5 ways to nail your internship

5 ways to nail your internship by Gabrielle Tozer

1.     Pinpoint your drive: why do you want to work in the media? Knowing this will help you to stay focused and hardworking during your internship, especially during those times when it feels like an impossible industry to crack (which is a lot – but if you work hard then it pays off, I promise.)

2.     Take initiative: don’t wait to be asked to do something during your internship. Offer help. Write something and show them. Ask what the journalists need assistance with and get involved – even if it means transcribing, photo-copying or coffee runs. You never know who’ll you meet along the way.

3.     Work hard – damn hard: this one should be obvious. If you’re bludging on Twitter/Facebook during your internship then forget about scoring any paid work later on – and yes, everyone probably saw you slacking off. The beauty of open-plan offices, eh? Knuckle down and work during your internship, after all you won’t build an impressive writing portfolio watching YouTube videos of kittens climbing into boxes.

4.     Follow up: maintain a relationship with your internship coordinator by checking in after your internship wraps up, thanking them for assistance and asking about further opportunities. Stay on their radar. Just be careful not to cross over to the borderline stalker category (daily emails or phone calls, anyone?). Send one email, and, if you haven’t heard in a week, wait – yes, trust me on that – then send a short, polite follow-up.

5.     Reflect on the good (and the bad) – then learn from it: what lessons did you learn during your internship? Sometimes the worst experiences still provide great lessons (maybe you’ve learn what not to do later in your career?). Write it all down and put it into practice at your next internship or, fingers crossed, job! Good luck.

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Gabrielle Tozer (née McMillan) is a Sydney-based magazine senior features writer and soon-to-be YA author. Her debut novel hits shelves and kindles in February 2014. When Gabrielle’s not working fulltime, she’s writing the sequel (and weeping over her laptop).
 
Visit www.gabrielletozer.com and www.facebook.com/hellogabrielletozer for more information on her magazine work and books, and to engage with other writers. Gabrielle’s currently cheating on her manuscript with Twitter, so come say hello via www.twitter.com/gabrielletozer.
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