By Stephanie Hume.
The life of an intern involves a journey of highs and at times many lows. At some stage you will feel lost, feel like you have a lack of direction, and go through periods of doubting yourself and your career path. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative to have a positive and supportive network to help you navigate through the difficult times.
As an intern, I personally have required the support of friends and family to help me with putting together applications, prepping for interviews, overcoming anxiety in new work environments, dealing with rejection, and even harder decisions, like letting go of an opportunity for another one. As strong as I know we all are, a supportive network makes us even stronger.
However, what makes us stronger again is a positive, helpful and generous peer network. There have been times when my peers, who are pursuing the same or related careers as me, have been given opportunities when I have not. It’s natural to be envious. However, I learnt early on in my intern journey to remain supportive and celebrate their wins as much as my own. Through this commitment I have developed stronger and more beneficial connections with friends and new ones. I have a tight group of friends that make me an even stronger individual, that are genuinely happy for me and have my back at any moment. The world of PR, journalism, media, advertising and marketing are very competitive, however, I believe this is exactly the reason to band together as a team and help each other out.
Below are some tips to cultivate your own garden of nurture and support:
– Let your friend or contact know of an opportunity you saw that they might be interested in applying for.
– Cultivate some peer group love by making a habit of helping where you can and championing your friends.
– Be genuine in congratulating them and celebrate with them in their successes.
– Hold their hand or wipe away their tears when they are feeling down about how their journey is going.
– Be honest with your peers about when you are applying for an opportunity you think they may have or had in the past. The sooner the better, rather than when you’ve already started. They’ll appreciate your honesty and it will strengthen the bond of your team.
– Support others in their career navigation. Our journey is cyclical, some days we win some days we lose.
– Be gracious in your own wins, but don’t feel you have to hide your happiness or celebration of a new opportunity. If you can’t celebrate happiness with friends where can you?
– Offer to proofread job applications, cv’s or cover letters and help with mock interviews. It not only helps out your friend, but also you get the chance to see how other people approach applying for a job.
– Continue to interact with people that cannot be happy for you or who try to bring you down. They honestly are not worth the drama or energy.
– Make snide remarks or gossip about how your friend doesn’t deserve the opportunity that you didn’t get. You’re losing out on more than an internship or job, you’re potentially losing a friend who has loved and supported you.
– Let defeat get you down, keep on applying and getting in touch with places you want to intern at and one day soon you’ll have your own chance to celebrate.
What other tips would you add that have worked in the past for you?
All the best in your own journey fellow interns! x
By Stephanie Hume.
With university holidays well underway I thought it was the perfect time to offer my recommendations for holiday reads to help inspire you all for semester two or even to help you navigate through your current internship.
I love any form of advice, inspiration or pep talk, that fosters personal growth and development, so it’s not surprising I love career-based books that impart valuable wisdom, which we can all learn something from where others have failed.
Below, in no particular order, are my top five career books for intern inspiration and are well worth a read.
1. If You Have To Cry Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Didn’t Tell You – Kelly Cutrone
For any future or current PR gun, this book is your bible. Dishing out some tough love, Cutrone lends her reader insight into her career highs and lows and how she learnt to overcome the extreme lows through cultivating a commitment to living a life of truth.
She empowers budding power people and provides practical advice and tips with examples from her personal and professional life. This book cuts through the niceties and forces the reader to go after what they want in life, which I found to be very empowering.
2. Women, Work And The Art Of Savior Faire: Business Sense And Sensibility – Mireille Guiliano
From the woman that brought us, French Women Don’t Get Fat, and the former CEO of Veuve Clicquot, this book offers a laundry list of business etiquette and practical advice.
Largely female focused, offering advice on work place practice, the importance of a career mentor and how to fulfill a successful professional and personal life. I found this book to be very helpful, at times lecture-like, but did offer relevant practical career tips.
3. Lean In: Women, Work And The Will To Lead – Sheryl Sandberg
Yes the brand new feminism book, but don’t judge before reading. Highly researched and lessons for men and women. Sheryl writes a very personal account on her experiences as a person, as an employee, as a leader, as a mother and as a woman. It is eye opening and insightful as to why women are in small percentages in leadership positions around the world. However, the research throughout is astonishing and proves we still have a long way to go in personal and professional lives to reach true gender equality.
I now have a new career crush. Sheryl is genuine and witty, and in showing her own short comings as a person proves even being a Harvard graduate and COO of Facebook does not protect her from facing insecurities and difficulties. To get a hint of what the book is about check out her TED Talk.
I have not yet read this book, but recently watched Meg Jay’s TED Talk and was blown away. Through her experience as a psychologist she learnt that our “thirty is the new twenty” culture was making us twentysomething’s believe our twenties didn’t matter. However, Meg Jay argues the twenty’s are the defining decade of adulthood.
After watching the Ted Talk I had a mini freak out as I too had been tricked into this mantra that the twenties were a buffer decade in the lead up to our 30th birthday. This advice and insightful teachings are relevant and timely and a big wake up call, personally and professionally. I cannot wait to read this book.
I did say there was no order, however, this book has helped me through the highs and lows, mainly the lows, and is my favourite pick me up. Dr. Seuss weaves his words magically in this beautifully illustrated picture book. It’s actually a good book to re-visit as its narrative is empowering and helps show that your life will have many highs and lows and that’s natural and normal. My favourite line is:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
There is also a video that was released by Burning Man in 2011 that brings to life the creative words and wisdom.
The list could inevitably keep going. However, these are my personal picks at the moment. We’d love to hear your own recommendations to see what other books you’ve read, are reading or want to read in the future, which could be added to the list.
With a Bachelor of Professional Communication (Journalism) from RMIT, she emphasises the need to gain a wide variety of experiences before graduating and stresses the importance of maintaining relationships even after you finish your internship. She speaks with My Interning Life below:
What are the key skills that students should seek to develop before graduating, that will make them hireable in the media upon graduation?
Intern at as many places as you can (at least 2 a year – and try and keep some ongoing)
Vary the types of companies you work with- that way you can be sure to find out what you like, and what you don’t like!
Keep in touch with all the places you intern at…keep a diary with the names, emails and numbers of News Directors…and spam them with your work until they give you a shot.
Did you intern before getting into the industry? If so where?
Some of my internships that come to mind…A week with Channel Nine in Adelaide (this one week made me sure I wanted to work in TV news)
At the other end of the spectrum, a six week internship with a PR Agency that made me want to stab myself in the eyeball.
What do you think makes a good intern and an asset to the workplace?
Someone who is helpful, open minded, shows initiative, and is not a pushy know-it-all.
What are key characteristics that are necessary for a career in the media?
The ability to believe in yourself and keep going when you get knocked down time and time again…because you will.
What would be your advice to yourself when you were starting out knowing now what the industry involves?
For anyone interested in media, be prepared and open-minded about moving regional….it’s a great way to get a start, and a terrific place to make all the mistakes you definitely will.
You can follow Claire Wheaton on Twitter.
My Interning Life Event
Monday 15th April 2013
The Honey Bar 345 Clarendon St, South Melbourne.
You can catch two trams directly to the venue of the My Interning Life event. Trams no.1 and no.112 both stop directly outside The Honey Bar on the corner of Clarendon & Park streets. You can catch the 112 tram from Spencer St and the 1 tram from Melbourne Central or Flinders St. After 6pm there is also street parking and across from bar on Park St there is a small carpark available.
Hope to see you there!
Please check out this great social media event being held in Melbourne this Wednesday October 24th hosted by THE CHAT ROOM. ‘The Social Media Workshop’ is the first event by Stepback Entertainment. A list of speakers is here.
“At this half-day event we will be bringing the online offline and allowing you to interact with young tastemakers leading the way in online relations. We also have some baby boomers to interpret our GeyY speak so don’t stress if you are not overly tech savvy. This event is ideal for business owners and anyone looking at building up their own online brands.
- How the social media landscape works
- How to engage followers and create diagloues with your fans
- What to write about to build a large following and to create conversations with your followers
- What other successful social media marketers are doing to promote themselves and their businesses
- How not-for-profit’s are using social media to create conversations and evoke emotions
- How to include social media within your integrated marketing plan (combining offline and online)
- And how to use a variety of different social media platforms to contribute to your online success
You will come away from the day feeling empowered to create effective dialogues with your current and future customers.
Percentage of ticket sales all going to the ONE GIRL Organisation, for their October campaign ‘Do it in a Dress’.
For more information on the speakers please click HERE.
Order tickets now to reserve your place. (Early bird pricing finishes at the end of September)
Sponsored by RMIT University.
See you there!”
Feel free to follow creator of The Chatroom, Justine ‘JMAC’ on Twitter.