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.
It’s been five months since my last post and it’s because I’ve been dreading writing about my journey since finishing university.
I 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.
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.
Last 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.
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!
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.
I finally scored myself an internship at a sports organization. I have been following up a couple of clubs in rugby union and in the AFL since mid last year. After learning about the experiences that Luke, Ashleigh, Aimme and Anne had in the AFL as interns, I really wanted to experience the inner workings of a sports organization myself.
At uni this semester I am undertaking an internship subject where we are required to do 120 hours worth of unpaid work experience. I already intern at Milk PR and, I will be doing a weeks worth of work experience at Cosmopolitan Magazine in April. It seems that these were not enough for me. I wanted to do more interning.
Late on a Sunday afternoon I was doing some homework for my internship subject and was writing down organizations I’d like to work for. Melbourne Storm was on my list.
I had met Social Media Manager Daniel Pinne at a photo shoot for Milk PR and Heartkids. Daniel was actually following me on twitter so we swapped contact details. I decided on a whim to send Daniel a quick email asking if he was still looking for interns. He replied the next day and we set up a phone interview.
I emerged from my home study after my conversation with Daniel and announced to my Dad, “Guess who is Melbourne Storm’s newest intern?” and he gave me a hi-5 and we discussed the challenge that lay ahead of me.
I’m not going to lie. I know little about NRL and about Melbourne Storm. A year ago rugby was not even in my vocabulary. How much things can change in a year.
Because of a university assignment I fell in love with rugby union and the Melbourne Rebels. Now because of my determination to find some work experience at a sports organization, I find myself working for the other rugby code – rugby league – and Melbourne Storm.
A year ago I also knew nothing about public relations and I look at how far I have come. I have recently finished up the PR for Sexpo Sydney with my boss Shereen. I set up several radio interviews for the international Sexpo talent such as Ron Jeremy, sent countless emails to the media locking in press, kept a WIP file of all my progress and wrote up media schedules for talent. I couldn’t have imagined doing these tasks by myself a year ago.
Yesterday I went to my first NRL game, Melbourne Storm v Sydney Roosters. Storm crushed the Roosters 44-4. I felt lucky to have experienced the game from such an incredible view, up high in the press box. Billy Slater is an absolute freak, I would almost compare him to Geelong’s Steve Johnson because of their abilities to read the play and score the un-scoreable.
My tasks during the match were to keep an eye on the Storm’s twitter feed, take photos of the match for a half time facebook post. At half time, I updated Storm’s facebook page with the photo I had taken and updated the page again at full time. Daniel told me that he was aiming for the days overal facebook ‘likes’ to be around 5,000. The page received well over that.
Storm’s official twitter page was going nuts. After the game I was in charge of asking fans a couple of questions to keep the conversation going and kept using the hashtag ‘#purplepride’. When I asked who was the best player on ground yesterday, many fans replied with one to three players but noted the entire team worked collectively for the 40-point roasting.
Embarking on this new adventure at Melbourne Storm does make me nervous. I know I am capable of doing the work and learning everything I can from Daniel and the team. I would also hope that I bring a different perspective to my internship and some new ideas.
I realize how much of a chance Daniel is taking on me and I hope I can fullfil his expectations.
I also know that I’m not doing this internship without any fellow student support. Another LTU student Jonathan Demos will be blogging for Storm this season (Jonathan is also the match reporter for the Box Hill Hawks). Past featured intern Dion Bennett will also blog for the Storm on the odd occasion.
If I can give a piece of advice to interns and students reading this wondering how I did it all…my advice is to be proactive. You have to at some point stop talking about what you’re going to do and just simply do it.
Start that blog, create your own twitter account, write articles, get published and send out your resume to organizations asking about internships. Get your foot in the door in the media industry any way you can.
I honestly thought I wouldn’t have a chance this year after my attempts at finding a sports internship were looking slim. As one door closes, another door opens and, I suppose sometimes it’s a little bit of luck and being at the right place at the right time.
It is also your determination and belief in yourself to just send one more email and ask. Who knows you might eventually get a ‘yes’ like I did.You can follow Melbourne Storm and my new boss Daniel Pinne on twitter. You can also read yesterday’s Melbourne Storm match report written by Dion.