Today’s featured intern is Sophie Shaw.
Sophie is an aspiring sports presenter and has been networking in the industry since she was 15 years old. She has just finished a summer internship at Cricket Australia and has also interned at Melbourne metro newspaper, The Herald Sun and CrocMedia.
Sophie Shaw, 22, studying a Bachelor of Sports Journalism at Latrobe University. Graduating mid 2014.
TV sports reporter/presenter. Always remember watching Christi Malthouse as a boundary rider for the AFL and that’s what kicked off my desire to be a sports journalist on television.
You’ve just finished a summer internship at Cricket Australia – tell us about it.
Prior to commencing my work with Cricket Australia I had to do some serious homework. I really had no idea about cricket other than some basic rules so that was my first challenge: preparing. I printed off profiles off all the current Australian contracted cricketers and studied their history and form. I then did the same with the opposing Test teams (West Indies & Sri Lanka).
It was throughout my time at CA that I developing an in-depth knowledge of the Sheffield Shield & Big Bash competitions along with the women’s teams.
My daily jobs would begin with monitoring all of CA’s social media sites, updating these social pages and the official CA website with news and relevant content, providing live scores and updates throughout Test matches, Sheffield Shield, Big Bash, Ryobi Cup and Women’s World Cup competitions, writing articles and creating photo galleries for website, and assisting with events/marketing/PR.
I worked with camera crews on match days to film segments for CATV (CA youtube channel) and I also had to work with a team to develop and implement effective social media strategies and identify opportunities for growth. I also learnt to use photo and video editing tools as well as having complete control over the CA website. Everything that had to be added or changed on the website had to go through me.
Tell us about your previous internship experiences at CrocMedia and the Herald Sun.
My roles at CrocMedia and in the AFL department at the Herald Sun were actually quite similar. I was with CrocMedia for one day a week for most of the 2012 AFL season and I spent four weeks full-time working with the Herald Sun in February 2012.
At both of these internships I was sent out to AFL press conferences. For CrocMedia, I had to record the interviews and then edit what I believed to be the best parts of the presser for distribution. At the Herald Sun, I was sent to the pressers to find a story. At the start I found myself getting pushed to the back of the back and being too nervous to open my mouth but the end I was claiming my position up the front and demanding some answers. It would make the story that I would have to file within 20 minutes much easier to write when I knew what I was looking for.
At my time with the Herald Sun, I was also given the opportunity to attend AFL matches with high profile journalists and sit in the press box where I would watch how they went about planning and then writing their match reviews. Their stories would need to be filed within minute of the game finishing so it was very interesting to see how they do it. I once spent a night in at the MCG in the press box with Emma Quayle (from The Age) where I was her shadow for the night. The match was going one way right up until the last quarter, and it was amazing to see how Emma so calmly started all over again.
You’ve interned with some big media organisations – take us through your application process.
What I have found is that each opportunity I have been given has always led me to another, so I’m lucky that I started when I was 15 years old. You’ve got to be so determined and willing to put yourself out there. It is so hard to make it in this industry and nothing is going to come easily so I’ve never ever been afraid to ask for help. Although you may feel like you’re ‘annoying’ by continually ringing or emailing people but you’d be surprised how many people or organisations admire your desire for hard work.
I will always begin internship applications with an email, and then a follow up phone call if I haven’t heard back from them. I will always send the email with my updated media CV attached and a cover letter in the same document. My cover letter explains what I am currently doing at uni and what my career goals are. In the actual body of the email, I write a very brief description of what I do and what I’m after and I always explain that I’d be happy to have even one day of work experience if given the opportunity. Then I inform them that my CV is attached and the rest is up to them.
What is the most important thing that you learnt while interning that you didn’t learn from the classroom?
I think my internships and placements have really given me the confidence required to work in the media field. Absolutely nothing is better that on the job experience. I was never taught at uni how to hold my head high, walk into an AFL club with 15 male journalists and interupt the likes of Mark Robinson & Julian de Stoop to make sure Chris Judd answered my question in a press conference. Or how to tactically pick your spot and hold strong as other journalists try to push their way to the front.
My first press conference was outside North Melbourne Football Club and as head coach Brad Scott walked out to get in position, I casually headed towards him with the other journo’s around me. It wasn’t until I was literally blocked out by people standing directly infront of me, or having microphones held infront of my face so I could no longer see anything, that I realised I need to claim by spot in order to be good at these. You’re not going to be seen or heard standing at the back of the pack.
The pressure of deadlines is also something you learn that no book or teacher can. When you need to ‘break’ news and you’re in a situation where there may be up to five to 10 other news outlets there wanting to do the same you have to be accurate and quick.
And lastly, networking. No one can teach you how important networking within the media acutally is. Branching out, meeting people, introducing yourself and getting your name out there is something you have to do.
What’s next for you?
I’ve been continually dedicating my time to interning since a young age so honestly I’m taking my foot off the pedal for the time being after my four months at Cricket Australia over summer and going into my final year of uni. I’m lucky that I have built my resume to what it is today so I’m happy with it for now. In saying that, I have volunteered to write casually for the VFL when needed and am currently looking into the Wallabies v Lions Tour in June this year.
I’d love to be able to gain some on camera experience somewhere enabling me to create a showreel for future job opportunities. This type of work is extremely hard to find but I’m determined to do so.
Sophie shares her advice
I think I’ve mentioned it 10 times already but you have to network. Don’t be afraid to contact people or ask for help. Showing you have the passion and dedication is the best trait you can have to begin with and then doing something to make sure they remember you.
I always say what Emma Quayle told me when I asked her this exact question, “know your stuff.”
There would be nothing worse than being given the opportunity to intern and then having no idea about the sport or what is going on. Research and be prepared to learn and don’t think you’re already an expert. You might love footy and have followed it since you were four years old but be prepared to learn to accept criticism.
You can follow Sophie on Twitter.
Today’s profiled intern is aspiring sports journalist, Jonathan Demos.
He is the current match reporter for The Box Hill Hawks (VFL) and intern/match reporter for Melbourne Storm (RLC). Jonathan applied for his position at the Hawks after seeing it re-tweeted on My Interning Life.
Jonathan shares his advice on My Interning Life
Jonathan Demos 21, in my final semester studying a Bachelor of Journalism at La Trobe University.
My dream job would have to be any sort of role, whether it be in journalism or digital media, which would allow me to gain an opportunity to go and cover an international sporting event. I think getting a chance to go and cover an event like the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics would be unbelievable.
You love sport – what’s your all time favourite sport?
I would probably have to say AFL. Footy would have to be what I am most passionate about, especially when I was growing up. However now, I’m interested in most sports.
With the Box Hill internship, I actually saw it re-tweeted by the My Interning Life account on Twitter. From there, after reading about the role I applied, had an interview with the General Manager for Box Hill and was then lucky enough to be offered a role match reporting for Box Hill.
With Melbourne Storm it was a little different. Over summer I emailed a few places, Storm being one, my resume just saying I was interested in gaining some work experience. To be honest I didn’t think much of it would come of it. A month later I received a phone call from Storm’s Digital Media Manager asking if I would be interested in match reporting for their website. Since then I have also been fortunate enough to spend some time mid-week in the offices at Storm.
It all has been a fantastic opportunity. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some great people through my experiences and have learnt heaps from them.
Explain what you do on a weekly basis at the Hawks and Storm
For Box Hill, apart from the match preview I write during the week, my other tasks are all on game day. I report on the match for Box Hill and Hawthorn’s websites and interview the coach after the game. As well as this I update Box Hill’s Facebook and Twitter with scores and generally just what is going on.
At Storm when I spend a day there mid-week I usually a few weekly articles for the website, for example a wrap of each NRL round. Other than that, during the week it really depends what is happening in that particular week. Usually there will be a press conference or video to shoot I can help out with and report on. On game days, basically it’s pretty similar to Box Hill. I just report on the match and then go to the press conference following the match to see what the coaches say (links are to Jonathan’s match reports).
How have you juggled your internships, university and having a social life?
It has actually worked out okay. Uni holidays have taken up a fair chunk of the middle of the season. Also, in the VFL, each team has four byes in the season and with the NRL each team has three byes. So there have not been too many weekends where I’ve had to cover two matches.
Do you think one or two internships is enough? Will you do more? Why/ why not?
That’s a good question. I guess it is always good to get more than one perspective on something. Having said that it probably really depends on how much you are getting out of the internship. I guess there is probably not a lot of point in doing four or five internships just for the sake of having on your resume if your not enjoying it and learning.
Is Twitter a useful tool for media students like yourself – how has it helped you?
Apart from seeing the Box Hill internship as I wrote above, there probably haven’t really been too many other cases where it has specifically helped me. But it’s definitely a good tool to see what people in the media and journalism industry are writing and thinking about.
Jonathan gives his advice
You can follow Jonathan on Twitter and read his match reports for the Box Hill Hawks and Melbourne Storm.
If you get a chance to gain any experience then take it. The worst thing that could happen is that you find that you actually don’t like something – and that’s probably not such a bad thing.
Asking questions and trying to learn as much as you can once you are doing an internship would probably be the biggest thing. Most people will only be too happy to help.
Anne has interned for the ABC, Botanic Gardens, Tour Down Under and A-League club, Adelaide United while at university. However her first preference for work experience in the media industry was the Adelaide Crows Communications and Media department.
“I’ve been a Crows supporter since I was a kid and have been interested in writing about football since I was in high school. Working for an AFL club one day is something that I’ve always entertained so the choice was easy,” says Anne.
Anne has also been blogging for the Crows Blog Squad for the past four years, where she writes about her experiences and thoughts on each game. Working for her favourite AFL footy club has been a dream come true.
After doing a one-week stint at the footy club, Anne says the footy club made her feel welcome and never just like an intern. On her first day at the club, Anne watched the Crows players train and was then asked to work on some things for the club’s website.
Later in the morning Anne was invited to watch Jared Petrenko’s press conference. Anne says her most embarrassing moment came after her lunch break when she couldn’t get back into the Crows Westpac Centre. Just as Anne was about to panic, Crows player Richard Douglas came to save the day and opened the door for her.
“He opened the door before I could chirp back, “Thanks Dougie!” and I raced out thinking I could get used to Richard Douglas opening doors for me,” says Anne.
During her time at the footy club Anne was also asked to write articles such as “Crows in the SANFL” and “Crows in the media round 22.” Anne interviewed two Crows players and wrote articles about them.
She also worked on match summaries for the Cover It Live coverage of the Club Champion award. Anne also worked on a match day where she observed the Communications and Media managers and the things they did before and after the games.
After her several work experiences, Anne feels that her time at the Adelaide Crows footy club has made choose the path of working for an AFL club. Ideally, Anne would like to work in the communications department of a sports club or organization.
“I’ve always been torn as to whether I’d rather be in journalism or communications but by completing my placement my preference is a lot clearer,” says Anne.
She also says that her internships and work experiences have helped her become a more confident person not only in herself but also in her abilities. Anne has been searching for a job within the AFL, she recently applied for the Collingwood Football Club Digital Content Producer but missed out.
In the meantime, Anne is a match day media volunteer for Adelaide United. Her primary role is to handle the club’s twitter content before, during and after games.
My Interning Life wishes Anne all the best in her hunt for her dream job.
“Go for it. You may feel out of your depth and a little scared at first but it really is worth putting yourself out there and confronting your fears. It really is the best opportunity to learn about the industry you’re interested in and also gives you the chance to decide what you really want to do in the future.”
Hi everyone, thanks for reading another post on ‘My Interning Life.’ This week I’m just going to update you all on what I’ve been doing and sharing some news that I have.
In October, I went along to the Heart/Def Leppard concert because our client, Kristian Attard was playing the bass for Heart. My boss, Shereen loved the concert and we both had a great time. I helped out by getting publicity for Kristian and some airplay on radio stations.
I’ve just finished university for year and have immediately started working 2-3 days a week at Milk Kiddle Langmaid (aka Milkk PR). Shereen said that November is her busiest month and she needed me to help her out more than just one day per week. So there goes my holidays – just kidding. I was planning to catch up on some sleep and be a bit of a couch potato, but it seems life has other plans for me.
As Cliff Bingham said to me on twitter, “The perils of moving on up in the world. Couch potatoes rarely realise their dreams.”
In the next few weeks, the Milkk PR office is going to be busy with Sexpo Melbourne (24th-27th November) and launching the new Beyond Hibiscus Infused Coconut Water. During Sexpo, we will also be looking after Michelle ‘Bombshell’ McGee. You know, the lady who reportedly was the other woman in Sandra Bullock’s divorce with Jesse James. Bombshell is going to be on the Kyle and Jackie O show today (Sydney breakfast show, Melbourne drive show) promoting Sexpo and discussing plenty other things.
Featured intern, Aimme Briggs has gone to Sydney with Shereen to help with Bombshell’s appearance on the Kyle and Jackie O show.
I’ve been mostly working on getting media buzz around the Beyond product, Kiddie Concepts and Slim Secrets while Aimme has been working on Sexpo. I’ll also be helping out at Sexpo and I am very excited to meet Bombshell McGee. Stay tuned for tweets and photos.
I also applied for a work experience position at Cosmopolitan magazine. After a week of not hearing any news, I got an email from Gyan saying they’d love to have me in April next year. I was thrilled to hear the news. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a teenager to work in the Cosmopolitan offices, even if it’s just work experience.
Networking is really important and I’ve found twitter and this blog to be really helpful. I had an interview for another internship and am going to follow up some contacts about internships or work experience opportunities. I love working at Milkk and will continue to do so, but I want to try and gain some more experience in different media organisations.
If ‘My Interning life’ has taught me anything, it’s to get as much experience under your belt while you’re still at university. So I hope all of my blog entries each week really motivate and inspire other students to get out there and do some work experience. Or for those who are already doing some experience, to not lose faith and read about the successful graduates who have found jobs in the industry.
I am happy to announce that Luke Mason and Ashleigh McIntosh both scored jobs in communications at AFL Clubs. Luke will be the Collingwood Football Club Digital Content Producer and Ashleigh is the new Digital Marketing Assitant at the Western Bulldogs Football Club. As may have already read, Katey Power after interning at Universal Music Australia is now a PR Account Manager at Ellis-Jones. Matthew Dixon who was on this semesters editorial team for upstart magazine has just completed his third week as a journalist at the Kalgoorlie Miner Newspaper in WA. All four students are 2011 graduates.
When I congratulated Luke about his fabulous news he asked me, “so what job are you gonna pinch in 12 months time?” I don’t know the answer to that question and a lot can happen in a year. 2012 will be an exciting year and I hope its filled with opportunities and more stories of successful interns.
Perhaps in a year’s time, I’ll be able to announce my own news of a career in the media industry and share the news of other 2012 graduates.
Best of luck to everyone, please keep on interning and never give up in your search to find work experience or that dream job.
2012 will be the year that YOU make it work!“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.” – Jim Rohn
Instead of spending her university holidays taking a break, Ashleigh McIntosh flew from Brisbane to Melbourne to complete a two-week internship with the Western Bulldogs Football Club.
“As I want for work for an AFL club it seemed ideal and I wanted to start getting my name out and building my brand in Melbourne” says Ashleigh.
Ashleigh paid for her own accommodation and navigated her way around Melbourne’s transport system to get to the footy club in West Footscray.
While at the footy club, Ashleigh helped write stories, match previews and reports for online and print media. She also helped coordinate press conferences and interviews and assisted with social media.
However, this isn’t the first internship Ashleigh has completed.
“My uncle is a journalist and always insisted that work experience is just as important if not more than a degree,” says Ashleigh.
Ashleigh has completed three internships with The Courier Mail Sports Department, two with the Brisbane Lions Football Club, The Brisbane Roar, AFL Queensland and Football Queensland. As well as helping out with Media Training for Athletes, and of course most recently, Ashleigh worked with the Western Bulldogs.
Ashleigh is enthusiastic about gaining experience in her chosen industry to say the least.
“While ten seems a bit obsessive I am certainly glad I put in the extra effort…plus internships are the fun part of [a] media degree,” says Ashleigh.
From her various internships, Ashleigh has found confidence in her writing and in herself. She also says the positive feedback she receives from her experiences have cemented her belief that she has chosen the right profession.
“I am lucky enough to know the exact type of role I want and hopefully am building the experience that I need to stand out,” says Ashleigh.
Although Ashleigh had family connections in getting her work experience started, she recommends being proactive in seeking out experience.
“Make yourself known in the media industry while still at university,” says Ashleigh.
Using social media helps Ashleigh connect with the media industry and her fellow competitors in Melbourne. It also helps showcase her online portfolio to prospective employers and be able to further network within the industry.
“Most of my competition will be Melbourne students who are equally obsessed with AFL and it is quite easy to find and communicate with them via Twitter,” says Ashleigh.
Ultimately, Ashleigh wants to work in the media department of an AFL club or as a sports journalist. From her experiences, Ashleigh has found she prefers a combined media and public relations type role.
Ashleigh says she originally wanted to work in a sports newsroom but wants to be able to write, conduct interviews and also to be involved with crisis management and building a brand.
Despite being a self-confessed “footy tragic” Ashleigh is also a girlie girl and loves being social with her friends and family.
Ashleigh has no regrets about doing so many internships, as she is a firm believer in learning on the job rather than in the classroom.
You can follow Ashleigh on Twitter and visit her online portfolio. Ashleigh has also applied for the Collingwood Football Club Digital Content Producer position. You can view her application here.
“I don’t think you could realistically get a decent job without experience. The media industry is hugely competitive. Internships are also a fun way to develop your writing and interviewing skills and get a backstage look into an industry that you are interested in,” says Ashleigh.
“Get a resume together and a portfolio (whether online or not) and send them in to any company that you would want to intern with. It is like searching for a job, it can be a bit hit and miss, but it is definitely possible to find internships.”
Morgan Stewart is an aspiring writer and passionate AFL lover. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing and Editing) at the University of Ballarat.
“Herfooty is a website and social media tool designed for women who love AFL”, says Morgan. “They keep fans up to date with scores etc via social media, and with articles and merchandise on the website.”
Although Morgan submits her articles online to Herfooty, she finds this fits in perfectly with juggling her Hotch Potch editorial duties, university studies, part time job and social life.
Morgan says that interning is crucial in building her portfolio to get a job after she graduates. “There’s no way that you can just complete your degree and expect to walk in to a job”, says Morgan.
From her internship with Herfooty, Hotch Potch and previous work experiences with the Sunbury Leader, Morgan has made useful contacts and gained invaluable industry experience.
Morgan says the more experience she has had, the more confident she has become in her writing.
Another invaluable tool that Morgan has used to gain contacts and network is Twitter. Twitter is where Morgan found out about Herfooty and contacted them via their Twitter account about writing for the website.
Without creating her Twitter account, Morgan wouldn’t have found her current internship or be in touch with the media industry. “The best thing any Journalism, Media, PR, Communications student can do [is] get a twitter account” says Morgan.
Not only is Twitter and useful tool, Morgan recommends interning and getting hands on experience in your chosen media industry. Morgan says that interning is the best way to gain experience that can open so many doors to other opportunities.
“It’s not enough to just turn up to uni, do the work and that’s it”, explains Morgan.
In an effort to gain more experience, Morgan will be completing work experience with The Ballarat Courier in October.
Ideally, Morgan wants to work in print journalism, whether it is in AFL, youth news or current affairs. However Morgan says she is also open to the idea of working in magazines and can picture herself living in Sydney working on Park St.
But ultimately, Morgan’s passion for AFL and the Collingwood Football Club is what she dreams about “I would be a very happy person if my future job involved writing and the AFL.”
Morgan is definitely on her way to turning that dream into reality.
You can follow Morgan, Herfooty and Hotch Potch on Twitter. You can also read all of Morgan’s published work on her website.
“Do it. In an industry like this, which is so difficult to crack, you only get out what you put in. Interning and work experience is such an important tool in gaining experience and contacts. And as we all know, contacts are so important. Also, don’t feel dejected and give up if you don’t get one that you apply for, it’s bound to happen in an industry with such high competition”, says Morgan.
“Just continue to apply, and apply and apply. If it’s what you love, and it’s what you want to do, don’t be afraid to work hard and put yourself out there. You’ll regret it if you don’t, and you’ll be thanking yourself for years if you do. Whatever you do, DON’T GIVE UP. Despite what anyone says, you can do it.”