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.

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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.

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My Interning Life Event

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My Interning Life is holding an event!

The event is all about connecting and networking with other interns and professionals from the media industry.

Come along and share your experiences and advice – we’d love to meet you!

When: 15th April 2013 6:30pm – 9pm

Where: The Honey Bar 345 Clarendon St South Melbourne, Melbourne.

(Cnr Park St & Clarendon) Street parking is available after 6pm.

please RSVP to secure your attendance

*A small door entry prize will be up for grabs for one lucky intern*
 
Follow the MIL team on Twitter and Instagram: @myinterninglife
Editor Aubrey: @aubreyhamlett 
Contributors: Remi @remikins & Isobel @isobelloschiavo
 

Hope to see you all there!

x MIL Aubrey, Remi & Isobel


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! 


No Ordinary Intern: Premiership Glory

Eight months ago I made a promise to one of Melbourne Storm’s inaugural players and former captain, Robbie Kearns.

The promise was to barrack for Melbourne Storm this season and follow their journey.

Looks like I made good on that promise and, every time I see Robbie in the Storm offices he always greets me with a beaming smile and a ‘hello, how are you?’

Today, after six months of interning and learning about a team and sport that was virtually unknown to me, I celebrate the 2012 NRL Premiership win with Melbourne Storm.

Sadly, I wasn’t in Sydney to witness the win, but I was at home, glued to my TV and laptop as I begun the live chat from 3pm and didn’t stop until about 8:30pm.

When my boss said to me via skype that I was a ‘Premiership Intern’ I realized just how proud I was to be a small part of the 2012 season.

I want to thank Dan, Sarah, Frank, Robbie and the rest of the team for being so friendly and helpful during my internship. I’ve learnt a lot about digital media and about a sport that I would have otherwise only read about in the papers.

Today I pay respect to a team that was stripped of two premierships due to a salary cap scandal, only to reclaim redemption and glory, two years later. A team that is only 15 years young, yet so experienced and celebrated during its short time in the NRL competition.

Melbourne Storm are resilient, strong and dedicated. Lead by coach Craig Bellamy and his staff who will celebrate equally with players tonight.

2012 has not been no ordinary year. The proudest moment I have witnessed during my time with Storm was watching Mahe Fonua become the first Victorian-born player to play for Melbourne Storm. As a Victorian and sports fan this makes me incredibly proud. It’s taken 15 years but better late than never, right?

I really don’t know what will happen after today. I’m only certain that I’ve got four weeks left of university and then I embark on my own journey into a full time career.

I’ll never forget the year that I interned for team that was ‘No Ordinary Team’ who became the 2012 NRL Premiers.


My Interning Life: Aubrey Hamlett

Hi Everyone!

How time flies – I can remember reading about the ABC Cadetship at this same time last year. I hope that all the journalism graduates of 2012 apply for the position.

I won’t be applying for the cadetship. “But you are majoring in JOURNALISM! WHY NOT?!”

Yep that’s correct but it doesn’t mean that I want to be a hard news journalist on the beat somewhere in regional Australia working for the ABC. Don’t get me wrong, working at the ABC is a huge deal but I always saw myself working for a glossy magazine.

Many people ask me why I major in journalism. Well it’s simple. I’m doing a Bachelor of  Media Studies and we had to pick one major out of three steams; journalism, video and television or radio. I knew I didn’t want to do radio, and knew that journalism was the most logical option.

However I initially began a video and television major, but that stream was all about making your own short films or docos. Not the making the news, current affairs type programs. So I switched to journalism.

A lot of people also ask me what I want to do when I grow up. Well, that’s not so simple. I’m a piscean, I tend to change my mind – a lot.

Last year when I started this blog I was featuring a lot of graduates and tried to picture how it would feel to only have a few weeks to go with my university degree.

Well I’m now in that position and it’s week seven at my university which means I only have six weeks left. It’s a bit of a scary thought to be actually finishing my university degree after it’s taken so long to get here. I don’t mean that it’s taken me three years, I have been at La Trobe since mid 2008. So I think I’m ready to get my degree, I’m just scared of the unknown that is 2013.

A year ago I wouldn’t have imagined that I’d have been a paid PR Account Manager, gone to Cosmopolitan magazine, interned with Universal Music Australia (and turned down comp Lady Gaga tickets) and I certainly wouldn’t have imagined that I’d be going into September hoping that Melbourne Storm make it into the NRL Grand Final.

2012 started off well and then became a bit rocky in the middle and now, it’s all better again. I’ve definitely had a stressful winter trying to juggle interning, paid work and organizing my sister’s Hen’s Night. Oh and trying to catch up with friends and family.

I’ve enjoyed my time at Melbourne Storm immensely. I’m now in charge of the live chat via our website on Game Days, something I thought I would never get to do. I barely knew anything about rugby league six months ago, and now I know a lot more. My boss, Dan, is actually leading the way in the digital media area. He utilizes every social media possible, I’m definitely learning from the best.

The best thing that I have done this year was send Dan an email on the fly asking for a position. I think that I’ve finally found something that I enjoy and realistically picture myself doing. I’ve had to give up on a teenage dream (cue Katy Perry singing in my head) of being a features writer for Cosmo and working in the magazine industry.

I am still interested in PR but I am leaning towards a career in communcations/ digtial/ media type roles within the sports industry.

I wouldn’t have come to this decision without 18 months straight of interning. It’s crucial to get out there and experience the real world and see what the work place is really like.

An internship or work experience is essential for students wanting to score a full time job in the industry once they’ve graduated. The experiences you have will make your application stand out to a prospective employer than a student with none at all.

So here’s my advice if you’re a budding journalist, writer, radio producer, filmmaker, PR spin doctor…or whatever you damned well want to be because its your life and, you are entitled to change your mind a few times!

1. Create a blog and regularly post on it and use this as your own online profile. Get published (online magazine upstart edited by LTU students is a great start), get on Twitter – it will be your best networking tool to connect with your chosen industry.

2. Be Pro-active. Find an internship or work experience before your final year at university. Keep knocking on that door until somebody says yes, even if it means going to a regional newspaper or radio station. You’ll thank yourself in the end, make contacts in the industry and ultimately decide if its what you want a career in.

While I’d be perfectly happy to be an intern for a little while longer, I do want to start my full time (paid!) career. I’ve had varied experiences and hopefully this will help me stand out when I apply for jobs.

So here it is folks, my goal for 2013 is to get a job working in the media department of a sports organization. I know that this won’t be an easy task and it may take me a while.

I was recently told that once I’ve put in the ground work, serendipity helps everything fall into place.

So let’s pray for some serendipity.

Wish me luck x MIL x


My Interning Life: Game Day

I reguarly attend Melbourne Storm Game Days when I can. I really enjoy working at Game Days because I get to see how Melbourne storm on the field and off the field operates.

One of my tasks during the game is to take photos of the live action for facebook half time and full time posts. Melbourne Storm were playing against Wests Tigers last week in round 14 and this photo I took of winger Matt Duffie in the second half was so fitting. Storm were down, tired and defending well but they had just had a penalty against them and Matt was shaking his head. This photo comes to life for me when I look at it – I can see Matt’s emotions, his heavy breathing and the crowd reeling.

Melbourne Storm lost to the Wests Tigers 6-10.