Georgina Scambler is 33-years-old, she’s a wife and a mum to two children…she’s also an intern.
Today on My Interning Life aspiring journalist Georgina writes in her own words about interning, family and finally chasing your dreams.
Ultimate dream job would be an international food writer—I’d be a younger, slightly less cynical Anthony Bourdain travelling and writing about my experiences sampling the best and the strangest cuisine the world has to offer. More realistic dream job: journalist for a community newspaper. I love telling local stories, giving a voice to people and organisations that tend to be ignored by the big dailies.
I recently completed two weeks at Leader Newspapers in Preston, and absolutely loved the experience. I didn’t really know what to expect, I thought perhaps I’d be making coffees and doing the little briefs that nobody else wanted to deal with. On my second day I was in West Melbourne covering an animal rights protest at the ALP headquarters, then back in the office with my copy filed and online less than two hours later.
It was such a thrill, and reinforced for me that a news journalist is what I’m meant to be, and worth fighting for despite the industry’s bleak outlook. This week I’m starting another internship at Docklands News, which I’ll do one day a week.
I’m also a subeditor for the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s Essence magazine, and I contribute to Mum’s Lounge website.
A different kind of intern
My experience is probably quite different from the average intern. I’m older, I’ve done my entire degree remotely/online, and I am a full time mother of two small children, so that presents some unique challenges when it comes to finding time for study and interning.
As a remote student the opportunities to network and make important industry contacts have been limited, so I’ve had to look for different ways to create my own opportunities. As the mother of young children, the Australian Breastfeeding Association was a perfect place for me to volunteer and start getting real experience, and I’ve now been a subeditor for Essence magazine for the past year.
I was then fortunate to meet Nick Richardson, group news editor of Leader Newspapers, at a MediaPass Student Industry Day in March. I basically begged him for a tour of the HWT building, and from there was offered work experience. I tell all my online study buddies to take any opportunity they can to get out and meet people or get some kind of journalism experience. It’s not always easy for me to arrange babysitters and juggle commitments to attend student days or do an internship, but I know it’s what I have to do if I’m to have any chance of a career, so I make it work.
Following my dream
I remember wanting to be a journalist when I was in Grade 6, but somehow I got distracted from this dream as I finished high school. After a fairly disastrous time at university studying Science/Law, I eventually deferred, never went back, and spent the next eight years working in various jobs including customer service, property management and real estate administration.
Five of those years were spent living and working in the UK and US with my now husband. When we returned to Australia and had our first baby, I decided the time was right for me to go back and have a crack at journalism, which had always been niggling at the back of my mind. There have been a few times I’ve wondered if it was a big mistake and thought the pressures of parenting and study were too much for me, but I love journalism, and even if I don’t end up with my dream job I will have no regrets.
I realise a 30-something graduate might not be what some employers are looking for, but I believe I have unique qualities and experience that contribute to my skills as a journalist, and I’m confident there will be a place for me somewhere.
You can follow Georgina on Twitter.
Brittany Shanahan is an aspiring sports journalist. Trying to crack into the sporting world dominated by her male counter parts, Brittany has been successful by interning for several Australian sports organisations.
“As the footy season was coming to a close, I jumped on Google and found that Cricket Victoria were after a media intern over the summer” Brittany explains.
Brittany found out about the Cricket Victoria internship with only two days left to apply. She sent in her resume and based on her application, Brittany was invited to Cricket Victoria for an interview.
Brittany felt as though she had “blown it” after her interview but was delighted to find she was successful and started interning with Cricket Victoria in November last year.
Brittany’s work at Cricket Victoria, involved organizing the media coverage for the Victorian Bushrangers. Brittany also wrote articles, recorded press conferences and even attended Cricket games.
“I was the designated photographer at major event such as the Bushrangers Twenty20 and one day games, and the Gala Awards. The most rewarding part was being able to stand on the MCG in the middle of play and take photos,” says Brittany.
She was also required to publish articles and photos on the Victorian Bushrangers website and Facebook pages.
Brittany is well on her way to reaching her goal as becoming a sports journalist. She started her Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) course at Swinburne University in 2010 and decided to create an account for online sports publication, The Roar, where she submits articles of her own opinion.
Brittany also has had her footy match reports published on the Northern Football League (NFL) website and footy record. Her current internship with the VFL involves her attending and reporting on games across Victoria.
Her additional work with the Leader Newspapers also publishes Brittany’s match reports on the Herald Sun’s Local Footy website.
Brittany also has her own sports blog, which contains all her published work and features exclusive to her blog. She has found that her industry experience has improved her sports journalism skills.
“One thing I have learnt so far in my course is that it’s pivotal to have a blog to showcase all your work and capabilities to potential employers” says Brittany.
Brittany says interning has helped her understand how to work in an office and has become more confident with small things like answering phones, to the way she dresses.
Interning has also made Brittany think about her other career options such as marketing or PR. She has found that she isn’t confined to only doing journalism. Ideally she’d like to be a sports journalist for a leading Melbourne newspaper, along with regular sports radio and TV appearances.
Brittany’s sports industry experience is representative of her hard work and persistence to stand out from the rest. Brittany juggles university, a casual retail job, family and a boyfriend, but says the long-term benefits of interning out weigh the cost of having a huge social life.
You can follow Brittany on twitter. She regularly tweets live from VFL matches. Don’t forget to check out Brittany’s sports blog and her opinion articles published on The Roar.
“It’s all hard work and dedication. If you really want it, you will work hard and things will start to fall into place. It’s by no means easy but people will begin to recognize you and reward you for all your hard work”, says Brittany.
“Get out there and do as many internships/work experience as you can because it will be a huge advantage in the future. Don’t use a lack of time as an excuse because if you really want it you will put the social life aside and get your priorities straight.
La Trobe University is now offering a Bachelor of Journalism (Sport) because of the high demand for a specialised degree.