My Interning Life has moved

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Aubrey’s Australian Hockey League Wrap

Hi everyone,

I know it’s been a while – I’m currently in the process of updating My Interning Life and making it a fully fledged website.

This blog post originally appeared on Bowling Maiden’s Over a blog dedicated to Australian women working in sport edited by Michelle Cooling. 

Hockey Victoria hosted the Under 13 Boys National Championship and the Men’s Australian Hockey League at the State Netball Hockey Centre (SNHC) in Melbourne from September 27 until October 5.

As Communications Coordinator it was my job to handle all of Hockey Victoria’s social media platforms, website and keep the hockey community up to date with the events we were hosting. I had a number of tasks given to me by Hockey Australia and to give me a hand I also sought out an intern to help me during the tournaments.

I tried to seek out media opportunities for the competition and the Victorian Vikings (AHL), however, ran into a lot of roadblocks. The main and most obvious one was the fact the competition ran at a similar time frame to the AFL Finals series. Of course, in Melbourne, AFL is always priority number one. I received many emails from media outlets that read, ‘Thank you but we’re just in AFL mode right now.’ It frustrated me that I couldn’t get any additional major media coverage and focused my attention on more local publications such as Leader Newspapers, which worked quite well.

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I’ve been employed at Hockey Victoria since July and it’s been a really different experience. I haven’t worked at state level before after having experiences working at Melbourne Storm (intern), Netball Australia (maternity contract) and very briefly at the Essendon Football Club (intern).

The amount of hockey events in our calendar is insane. Hockey doesn’t appear to have an ‘off season.’ Or at least nobody told hockey that it needs a break.

I’d survived junior and senior winter grand finals but I knew that the joint tournaments of the U13s and AHL would be a whole other beast. As well as the events we hosted there were eight other national events on at the same time around Australia. I knew that I’d really have to be on top of everything, not just the events we were hosting.

During the tournament I was mainly stationed in the media box overlooking one of our pitches at the SNHC with my intern, Sean Munaweera. I would cover the U13s and Sean would do the AHL.

Our days went relatively quickly as everything was broken up into 30 to 35 minute halves. I’d arrive half an hour before the first U13 game at 8.30am then the match would start at 9am, half-time at 9.35am, full-time at 10.20am and then to go downstairs and collect the match report and so on.

The AHL would be timed to start half an hour after the U13s matches got underway. I’d then write my U13 match reports and send the release to hockey communications and events contacts. I was also updating Hockey Victoria’s social media platforms and website throughout the day with results and photos.

The AHL was a bit different as we only had an hour after the conclusion of the last match to file and send the media release out. As the Victorian Vikings (AHL) usually played the last match of the day, Sean and I would head down to the bench at half-time and report from there.

I’d venture around the pitch taking photos, instagraming videos and updating Twitter. Sean would also conduct post match interviews with some of our Vikings players. We’d then head back into the office and send out the media release, update the website and social media.

I’d get home at about 8pm and would be in bed by about 9.30pm ready for the next day’s competition. I know I sound like a grandma but if I didn’t put myself to bed I would’ve passed out on the couch from being so tired.

During the eight days of competition (two rest days), I worked out that I had watched roughly 48 hockey matches. That’s at least double the amount of AFL matches that I’ve ever been to. It’s fair to say, I’m all hockey-ed-out.

But it doesn’t actually stop there as my CEO signed me up for the International Super Series Hockey 9s in Perth at the beginning of my employment. I leave for Perth next Tuesday and will spend six days over there. I’m looking forward to having a bit of a break even though I’ll be working as media centre manager for the event.

I’ll be working with Hockey Australia staff as well as other communications and events employees from other hockey states. It’ll be a good experience to work with new people and at an international event. I’m extremely lucky to have been put up for it.

As I mentioned before, hockey is a different beast compared to most sports in Australia. I think I actually feel more for our athletes purely because of their intense schedule. They  will have been involved with winter competitions, AHL and the upcoming International Super Series, Oceania Cup, World League and Junior World Cup – all before December 15.

Classroom vs industry: top 5 things you cannot be taught at university

When I began working at Hockey Victoria in July, my CEO told me how he encourages his employees to get out the office and meet with contacts.

internshipSo that is exactly what I’ve been doing for the past month or so. I’ve been around town meeting with exisiting and new contacts within the media industry, picking their brain about their job and getting their advice. This has been overall a good and a bad thing. It’s been great getting out of the office and meeting with like minded people, but it’s been overwhelming when I think about how these contacts have a team and resources behind them.

At Hockey Victoria there is no team. I am the team. ‘There is no I in team’ but in this case…I am the team.

Which brings me to a coffee catch-up that I had with a new media industry contact. It was a meeting that made me reflect on several things on the drive back to work, one was how I really needed to stop doubting myself and to give everything I had to this job. Another crucial point that was brought up in our conversation made me reflect on what the classroom doesn’t teach you.

University doesn’t teach you how to have a thick skin, how to handle an angry client or stakeholder, how to react when a sports person tells you to f*** off in the changerooms, or what to say to a family who are grieving the loss of a loved one during a death knock.

How do you learn the most crucial parts of your career and your day-to-day tasks? Industry experience teaches you these things. Internships get you out of the classroom and into the real world.

I’d love to know what you think are the top five things that you cannot be taught at university.

Alison is studying a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communication) at Deakin University. Alison tweeted me her top five things that she believes cannot be taught in a university classrom, and I agree wholeheartedly with this list.

1. What happens when the plan/theory you’ve learned just doesn’t work due to something unplanned.

2. How simple day-to-day operations go.

3. Working as part of a team is NOT the same as a group assignment.

4. Dealing with difficult or aloof clients/suppliers/journalists. People management and negotiating skills.

5. Media follow up, making contact with journalists, cold calling and phone manner.

What do you think? Do you agree with Alison’s top five things you cannot be taught at university?

If you’ve got a different top five to Alison, please comment below, Tweet MIL or me and/or tell us on Facebook. I’d love to hear the things that you learnt while interning that you simply cannot learn at university.

Confessions of an intern

Check out the August issue of Girlfriend magazine to read the article, ‘Confessions of an intern’ which includes the interview Claire Starkey conducted with me.

Read part one and part two.


My Interning Life: No longer the intern

Hi everyone,

aubrey gradJust a small update on what I’ve been doing over the past couple of months. I graduated with a Bachelor of Media Studies (Journalism) in May and have recently begun a new adventure at yet another Aussie sport organisation.

In March I began working as communications coordinator at Netball Australia covering a maternity vacancy. It’s been a different transition from intern to full time employee, however I’ve immensely enjoyed my time there. Sadly my contract ended at Netball Australia at the end of June.

When I reflect on the projects I’ve worked on over the past few months, I’m really proud of how I’ve helped rejuvinate Netball Australia and Australian Diamonds various social media platforms. It has been tough at times creating content during the ‘off season’ (the Diamonds only go on tour for about one month of the year) but I’ve worked with what I was given and my job was made easier as the ANZ Championship was in full swing during my contract.

I always was aware of my ‘deadline’ during my time at Netball Australia was coming to a close as each week passed by, however a spanner was thrown into the works about six weeks before my contract was up. The person whom I was replacing had announced their resignation and was moving on. This meant their job as digital communications manager was now up for grabs.

But life as always has other plans.


My ex-university lecturer from my sport journalism class gave me a call one day asking about my job at Netball Australia and how I was going. I told him about my time there and how there was now a vacancy but they were looking for someone with more experience. My lecturer said, ‘well, let’s get you out of there’ and proceeded to tell me about an opportunity at Hockey Victoria. My lecturer told me how he was only putting me up for this job as communcations coordinator because I had always stayed on line with where I wanted to go in my career.

To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement. I knew that a lot of my classmates were relying on this particular lecturer to get them jobs in the sports industry because of their connections. I’m so greatful that I was the sole person who was recommended for the job.

After a few emails with the CEO from Hockey Victoria, Ben Hartung, I ended up being interviewed by him and two other employees. Or should I say ‘chat’ as Ben wanted it to be more of a chat about me and my experiences to see if I was the right person for the job.

I was offered the job a few days later and Ben asked me to discuss it with my boss, Karen Phelan, as I was still applying for the job at Netball Australia. My chat with my Karen was one that helped me decided where I would go. Karen was completely honest with me and said the person who had resigned was having second thoughts and she had given them until Friday to change their mind. I only had until Wednesday to tell Hockey Victoria my decision but I knew hockey was the best position for me.


So it is with much delight (and some nerves) that I will be commencing a new role as communications coordinator at Hockey Victoria in July.

I’ll also be making some steps towards changing My Interning Life into a fully fledged website with the help of Mildred & Duck.

If you’d like to share your intern journey please give us a shoutout on Twitter or Facebook

My Interning Life Event: Thank you


The inagurual My Interning Life Event was a success and exceeded my expectations. I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who attended, interns and industry pros, and I hope you met some new people and expanded your network.

I tried my best to work the room and speak to everyone at the event so I hope you all said hello and was able to put a face/voice behind the blog that you all love (I hope).

We ended up giving away two prizes on the night, the first prize was a double pass to the movies and the second prize was Business Chic blogger and author, Cheryl Lin’s new book, The Little Black Dress Project. You can purchase your own copy of Cheryl’s book here.


I would also like to thank Remi and Isobel for being fabulous Event Coordinators and for literally getting bums on seats. I would also like to give a small thank you to our photographer for the night, journalist Matthew Dixon who is currently teaching a first year journalism class at La Trobe University.

Finally we couldn’t have put this event on without the help of Steve at The Honey Bar.

Here are some photos from the night, you can check out the full album on our Facebook page.





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My Interning Life: I intern, therefore I am?

It’s been five months since my last post and it’s because I’ve been dreading writing about my journey since finishing university.

superpitI finished my Bachelor’s degree at the end of October, hopped on a plane to Western Australia and my boyfriend came home (for good) after he resigned from his position at the Kalgoorlie Miner as a journalist.

We drove through the Australian desert from Kalgoorlie to Perth and had a short holiday exploring the western city.

Then it was back to reality.

The reality that I didn’t have an internship nor did I have a full time job lined up.

I thought, “Who am I if I’m not an intern?”

I’ve been an intern for almost two years now and it was daunting to think I actually had to go out in the world and find a full time job. I was scared, unsure and just hoped that my internship experiences on my resume would help me stand out from the graduate pack.

The moment I got back to Melbourne after flying back from Perth, I received an email from Adam Frier at the Melbourne Rebels. I had contacted Adam on my own accord asking if there were any positions at the Rebels and in Adam’s email he asked to meet with me the following morning for a ‘chat.’

I soon learnt that in this industry there is no such thing as a ‘chat.’

My chat with Adam at the Carlton FC cafe (Rebels share facitlities with Carlton) soon turned into a job interview and I realised that I could actually be working in a full time position sooner than I thought.

MIL trophy shotMelbourne Storm was also on hold as my former boss said he would let me know if any opportunties would arise in 2013 and luckily there was a new position at the club, a content producer role.

Unfortunately for me, that role was given to the other Storm intern, Jonathan. The role was more writing based and Jonathan was the match reporter during the 2012 season and, he was an aspiring sports journalist so it made sense to give the role to him.

I’m not going to lie, I was upset that I didn’t land the job after my internship with Storm. You can’t help but become attached to a club and a workplace when you  have been interning there for so long.

I then received an email from Adam that there had been some redundancies at the Rebels and somebody from the commercial team would be given the role I was interviewed for.

At this point I felt like a failure.

It was the new year and I had missed out on two jobs that I would’ve loved to take on. I didn’t get the fairytale like Luke or Ashleigh. In retrospect I was very naive to think that things would just work out, praying for serendipity.

I’d been in touch with another person from a sports club, who has acted as a mentor for me and he told me that I needed to “always have a Plan B.

Interning was my Plan B, however I didn’t yet have anything lined up but I decided that I would tackle the AFL. I set a goal for myself at the end of last year that I wanted to work for an AFL club within the next two years.

My mentor then sent me an email saying he had referred me on to Jonno Simpson at the AFL who was looking for a social media coordinator. Although my mentor didn’t promise me an interview, he told me to send Jonno my resume that afternoon.

I’ve had such highs and lows in the past five months and scoring an interview with the AFL has definitely been a highlight. I was unsuccessful with getting the job at the AFL and the role went to Dion.

So again I went back to my Plan B.

Before the Christmas break my mentor sent off my resume to Essendon FC. In January I sent an email to Essendon following up and one week later I was sitting in the boardroom at Windy Hill for a ‘chat.’

I met with two media employees and they asked me numerous questions about my experiences at Storm and my thoughts on social media. I met with them again a month later and the plan was for me to conduct Essendon’s social media for Family Day.

Aubrey EssendonLast Thursday I began as a media intern at Essendon FC doing some website content work for the media team. On Monday I conducted the social media for the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Essendon FC accounts for Family Day. I made a couple minor errors but overall I had a great time and it was fantastic to see so many of the red and black faithful support their club.

At this point I’m unsure of what 2013 is shaping up to be. On March 17th I would have been an intern for two years and I’ve now got to make the transition from intern to employee. I know that I’ve been fortunate enough to have been considered for a few sports jobs which is perhaps more than many. The hardest part about these past five months has been the rejection but I can honestly say that as one door closes, another door opens. The right job will turn up for me, I just have to be patient.

I’m sure I am not the only one who has gone through the job hunting process. For some of you it may have been the fairytale and for others it may still be a journey but at the end of the day this is what we signed on for. The media industry is a tough nut to crack but make sure you are always looking for the next opportunity and asking yourself what else you can do to further your skills.

Don’t sell yourself short, be proactive and believe in your knowledge and experiences because eventually it will land you your dream job and remember to always have a Plan B.

So I hope you all understand why I’ve stayed away from the blog for so long. I hope that I can continue to share my story with you all and I that help other interns along the way.

Post Edit

When I originally wrote this post last Tuesday, I didn’t have a job. I’ve just started my first week at Netball Australia as Communications Coordinator. I had previously applied for a video based job at Netball Australia/ANZ Championship and was unsuccessful but they kept my resume on file for future opportunities. Two days before I started at Essendon doing casual work, I received an email from Karen Phelan asking if I was interested in taking on a contract in a digital communications role. I met with Karen last Thursday and she immediately offered me the job.

I’m excited, nervous and over come with emotion.It’s going to be a busy and challenging few months ahead but I look forward to this next chapter in my life and the beginning of my career.

If you’re in Melbourne My Interning Life will be holding a catch-up event on Monday 15th of April at The Honey Bar from 6:30pm until 9pm. 

Interns and industry professionals are all welcome. Remi, Isobel and myself will all be attending and ready to answer any questions you may have. You can RSVP to the #MILevent on Eventbrite. Hope to see you there!