Jack Lucas 22, is an aspiring PR professional who has recently moved from regional Queensland to Melbourne to pursue his dream job of working in the sports industry. Jack is currently on the job hunt and MIL wishes him all the best in his job search.
My Interning Life by Jack Lucas
I’m Jack Lucas, and I graduated from Griffith University on the Gold Coast with a Bachelor of Communications in 2012. During my final year I undertook an internship with the iSelect Gold Coast Titans (NRL) in second semester. It certainly made my last semester a busy one but very rewarding at the same time.
We had a choice of where to do a Public Relations internship through a list Griffith provided or source our own independently, at the time I didn’t even know if their would be a PR related position at the Titans or if they took on any interns at all so I shot through a quick email to Titans reception and was put in touch with Organisational Development Manager Paul Crane.
I had an interview with Paul and Media Manager Adam Gardini who I’d be working with during my internship. The interview was a pretty casual meeting and it certainly helped that I’m a mad rugby league fan, it’s important to put across your personality alongside your knowledge and skills, I put myself out there and was given the spot over another applicant because both Paul and Adam thought I’d be able to establish a better back and forth rapport with the players than him.
I went in to Titans HQ two or three days a week during my internship and my duties were whatever Adam needed me to do. His phone is ringing non stop so there was a fair bit to do however we quickly established a weekly routine of core jobs to be done by me. They included inviting media to team announcement press conferences, releasing team lists online through the official website and social media channels, media releases and media calls for “captains runs” and promotional events, a team history story against upcoming opponents and any story you could put together from quotes after press conferences, I’ve put a couple of links at the bottom for examples. Basically everything I had previously studied in PR was put into a practical situation.
In real world situations you’ll learn things you can rarely learn in a lecture hall. We had a few dramas to deal with including player’s behavior, a CEO changeover, media reporting financial difficulties and inaugural recruit and captain Scotty Prince defecting to another club. I got a valuable experience in how to handle the media in situations like these, I remember a journalist giving a poor write up on a new recruit for 2013, the story painted him in a pretty poor light and rubbed the Titans the wrong way. It’s difficult because on the Gold Coast we were competing with two other major sporting codes in the A-League and the AFL so you want as much coverage as possible but obviously you want positive coverage. So we still invited the particular journalist to the next media call but restricted photo opportunities for the publication, it was a little trick I’ll definitely remember in future employment.
I was pretty lucky in my internship, I basically got a taste of my dream job in the industry I want to further my career in. If I was to give any advice to first time interns, it would be don’t be afraid to ask for an opportunity, the worst someone can tell you is no. I’ve recently relocated to Melbourne to find full time employment in the sports field and have found the going tough but it hasn’t deterred me from approaching businesses and organisations, if you’re afraid or embarrassed of rejection, you’ll really limit your opportunities. The pay off is definitely worth it to see your name next on a published piece.
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.”