Intern Profile: Anne McGaffigan

All I can say about this weeks featured intern is WOW. 
Anne McGaffigan is a Pace University student at their New York City campus and she is a super intern. She’s currently interning at a match making events company but she’s also interned at Cosmopolitan Magazine, Staff International, Massey Knakal and for designer John Varvatos. 
The Basics
headshotFull Name: Anne McGaffigan
Age: 20
University: Pace University – NYC campus
Expected Graduation: May 2014
Dream job? 
My dream job is to be CEO of a major public relations firm in the fashion industry such as KCD Worldwide or even my own firm. In order for that to happen, I hope to be director of public relations for several fashion designers after college graduation.
Tell us about your previous intern experiences
My first internship was with a show room in NYC called Staff International. I worked directly with the Vice President of Communications for the labels Maison Martin Margiela and DSQUARED2. My daily tasks included sample trafficking, show room merchandising, checking editorials for credits, and at the end of my internship my supervisor taught me how to write a press release. I loved this internship because I worked at the same desk as my superiors and I was able to see the day to day tasks that a show room and PR department complete. While I was at Staff International I also worked on a bridal fashion show for Anne Bowen where I created the design of the invitations, confirmed RSVPs, prepared seating charts, and made sure everyone entering the show was on the guest list. During this time I also interned at a theater company in their wardrobe department.
Next, I interned for Cosmopolitan Magazine in the fashion department. Cosmo was really great for many reasons. My main responsibilities included checking in/out samples, organizing two closets full of designer clothing and accessories, and assisting on photo shoots.
After Cosmopolitan, I interned at a real estate firm called Massey Knakal. I was once again in the PR department and I genuinely loved every second of it! My supervisor was an incredible mentor and she really guided me through every task. At Massey Knakal I wrote and posted press releases, assisted with a press conference, checked editorials for clips, routinely updated press contact lists, drafted weekly PR blasts, and posted on the company’s blog. I really enjoyed Massey Knakal because it seemed like they valued their interns and wanted to make them feel part of the company culture.
After Massey Knakal, I interned with fashion designer John Varvatos. At John Varvatos I was a Special Events and Marketing Intern. I updated guest lists for events, sent out invitations to celebrities, chose photos of sponsor products for marketing projects, and assisted at the VIP fashion week party – Which was an amazing experience!
What was your favourite task while interning at Cosmopolitan Magazine? 
My favorite moment at Cosmo Mag was definitely assisting on photo shoots. We would have one or two feature shoots every two weeks and it was very exciting! I would set up for the shoot, lay out accessories and garments, and basically assist in any other ways possible. The shoots were in rented out penthouses in Manhattan and they were absolutely beautiful. It was incredible to be able to see the way the photos in a magazine come together. Then when you get to look in that month’s magazine and you see the picture that you helped make happen…It’s a really great feeling!
You’re currently interning at a NYC Match Making events company – tell us about what you do there
Currently I intern at a matchmaking and events company called Sunday at Noon. So far, I have had a great experience! I have a lot of hands-on assignments like competitive analysis, writing press releases, and the big project that I am working on is the creation of a promotional video for the website. I work in the same space as the CEO and associates so I get to see exactly what being a matchmaker is like. I hear her talk about dating, what to do, what not to do, love, and life. I’ve definitely absorbed some great advice already! I also start a second internship next week with a company called Urban Daddy which is a lifestyle website providing people with the best places to go and things to buy. They also are known for throwing large-scale promotional parties. I will be working on Special Events and Projects.
How do you juggle interning, attending university and having a social life? 
In NYC, the intern industry can be insane! Everyone in the city is driven, hard working, and talented so it can be a real challenge to define your competitive edge. Sometimes whether you get an internship comes down to your availability because there are so many great interns here looking for amazing opportunities to break into an industry.
Juggling two internships, a full time course load, and being class president is no easy task! It can be difficult in terms of scheduling personal appointments and meetings because I am busy from 9am to 9pm every day, and then on weekends I typically do a week’s worth of homework. I make sure I take a few hours out of my week to write and meditate. It’s important to schedule some me-time into your life so that you can really appreciate everything that you have and remember why you work so hard. I also love yoga and working out to relieve stress. Staying organized is a key factor in maintaining success when you are doing a lot of different things. I write everything down in an old-fashioned agenda even though I own an iPhone.
Tell us about your blog, ‘The PR Intern’
It is and you will find posts about my current internships as well as my personal thoughts about intern life. I have posts about NYC fashion week, interview attire, and the controversial topic of unpaid internships. I would love for you to take a look.
How beneficial is social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn when it comes to finding internships? 
Twitter is a great tool for networking because you can connect with millions of people across the globe. Personally, I do not use Twitter for my business life but I love LinkedIn! I like to keep my Twitter and Facebook private so that I can “socialize” with my friends without it reflecting on me professionally. I heard a great speaker once say, “Myspace is the bar, Facebook is the backyard barbecue, and LinkedIn is the office.”
My advice is that if you’re just starting out, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a call for an interview right away. Finding a good internship takes a lot of patience and persistence. Also, don’t forget to network at your internship. Your supervisors are great connections to have, but if you are at a larger company, remember to always be friendly and nice to the other employees in different departments. You never know if they can help you out (or vice versa) in the future. After all, the more people you know, the more opportunities you will have.
If you want to find out more about Anne and her experience as an intern, check out her blog The PR Intern or connect with Anne on LinkedIn

Intern Profile: Jasmine Ceni

This week’s featured intern is Jasmine Ceni. Jasmine is an avid sports fan, focusing on all different types of sport all year round. 

Jasmine recently accepted an interning position with the Melbourne Victory Women’s team. Today she shares how she scored her internship by connecting with her future employer using professional networking site, LinkedIn. 

My Interning Life

The Basics

Jasmine Ceni, 20 years old. Currently completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism and Public Relations at Deakin University.

Dream job?

Sports Journalist

How did you find out about your internship with W-League? 

I followed the communications officer of the Melbourne Victory W-League team on LinkedIn and he approached me with an interning opportunity which I took without hesitation. I always wanted to get into sports journalism however wasnt too sure about the W-League at first (I hadn’t watched a women’s football game ever before and wasnt sure what to expect) however I’m glad I took the opportunity. Women’s football has grown on me and will hopefully gain some more coverage in the future.

Is LinkedIn a useful tool for connecting with prospective employers and internships? 

Definitely. Within a week of joining LinkedIn I was offered the internship, I don’t believe I would have found the opportunity any other way.

Tell us about what you do on game days

I control The Football Sack’s Twitter account throughout the game – list teams, yellow and red cards, goals, substitutions and interact with fans as much as I can. I also complete a match report at the conclusion of the game and can (if I needed to) interview players and coaches at the end of the game.

How are you juggling your internship, uni and casual work? 

I work three days during the week, studying for my university trimester subjects on my days off and, intern on the weekend at Melbourne home games. It is a fair bit to juggle however I can’t complain too much as I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to do something I enjoy. As I only report on Melbourne home games there are weekends where I don’t have to intern which also makes it a little easier to catch up on uni work.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Not too much spare time on my hands at the moment but I’m a huge sports fan so usually watch or attend sporting games, spend time at the beach or catch up with friends.

Jasmine shares her advice:
Take any opportunity that comes your way because you’ll never know what you’ll get out of it. Join as many social networking sites as you can to build relationships with potential employers or workmates. Hard work always pays off in the end.

You can follow Jasmine and the Melbourne Victory W-League team on Twitter. You can also check out Jasmine’s articles on The Football Sack

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

Successful Intern: Ryan Dunn

Ryan Dunn aka Ryan Jon as you may know him from twitter, has recently completed a stint in Phuket, Thailand launching Phuket LIVE Radio.
He has recently returned to Australia where he will now be presenting the daily breakfast show at Power FM in the Hunter Valley. Ryan’s unique journey to his current job is today’s feature story on My Interning Life. 
The Basics

Ryan Jon Dunn, 24 years old. I have an honours degree in finance from Swinburne finished in 2010.  I completed three journalism subjects at La Trobe so I could qualify to play in the Australian University Games with a friend who already went there. I was either going to do Maths or Media, I choose media. We won La Trobe’s first ever Beach Volleyball gold medal, then played in the World University Games in Serbia. I enjoyed the media subjects, and ended up being part of Latrobe’s upstart Magazine editorial team.

What is your job title and what you currently do at your job on a day to day basis? 

I now work at Power FM in the Hunter Valley, I’ll be presenting the daily breakfast show and working with the content director to manage promotions and client integration.

However I was living in Phuket, Thailand working for Phuket LIVE radio. I produced a presented the daily four hour breakfast show which involves researching and preparing news, talk and entertainment segments. I was also the content manager, meaning I developed client based segments and competitions, and assisted other announcers preparing their shows.

Where you have interned and what you did to apply for your current job – how did interning help you stand out? 

I enjoyed making media content so I tried to combine my interests and education in finance and interned with, which is news for small to medium business owners.

I also did work experience with TRFM, a top 40 radio station in Gippsland. I worked with CPR communications, a Corporate Communications consultancy.  I also spent sometime with Glen Ridge’s show on MTR, for five days I was ‘Young Buck Ryan’ on the Matt and Jo Show on Fox FM and helped out back stage at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in addition to my work at SYN FM and Nova.

All of the things above, I had never done before. I’d never done anything on Commerical Radio before the Matt and Jo Show. I’d never presented my own shift on commercial radio before TRFM, I’d never written a hard news story before SmartCompany, I’d never worked on a live show before the Kids Choice Awards and never even thought about corporate communications before CPR.

In terms of ‘standing out’ as much as it looks good on your resume, it’s more about the skills you not only have, but that you can prove you have. It’s one thing to say, ‘yeah I can write hard news for online’ but the ability to put a hyperlink in a resume of a story you wrote for a reputable publisher is a lot better. In terms of radio, I always took the audio with me to put in a demo if need be.

Also, set a time on your last day to sit down with your boss and ask for feedback. If your ego can handle the criticism, it will be highly valuable exercise to a, learn where to get better and improve and b, it shows (a potential future employer) that you’re wanting to improve and willing to learn.

How important is it to network, have an online profile or twitter account? Is it about who you know or what you know?

I have scored jobs through twitter, acquired interviews with big names simply by asking them via twitter and increase the audience of work I have done by sharing it with those online.

My latest job with Hunter Valley had as much to do with twitter as it did as my radio work. In fact, I have no doubt without a, my twitter presence or b, the contacts I know via twitter, I would 100 per cent have not got this new job.

‘Marketing’ can be a frowned upon work in journalism, but if your writing for an online publication, if you have to share your work with as many as you can.

Without twitter or facebook, this is very difficult.In terms of online profiles, LinkedIn is a great platform. It’s not properly understood nor fully utilised in Australia…yet. But it will be and when it does, it’s the early adopters that will benefit the most.

How many interns do you employ and what do they help you with?

At Phuket LIVE Radio we had local Thai interns. Most were graphic design interns who made images for our website, facebook and twitter pages. One journalism intern we had helped behind the scenes and also did small things on air, like the read the weather and contribute to segments and Voiceovers.

Ryan shares his advice

I often send people a job advert and they say, I don’t have skills or experience for that. Let the employer tell you what you can’t do, rather than yourself. If your not qualified they won’t hire you and you move on. I can honestly say I have applied for and not got about 1,000 jobs.
But I didn’t think I had the skills for my job in Phuket, but I applied, and I got hired. I then spent my mornings doing breakfast radio and afternoons on different beaches in Phuket. Worked ok for me I guess. After six months, I learnt those skills I thought I lacked which allowed me to move into breakfast/promotions in the Hunter Valley. 
I think I’m slightly under qualified for this new job… I think you can see the point I’m making here.
In terms of interning, don’t have the mentality of ‘I don’t have the skills for that’ but rather, ‘that would be a great place to learn those skills’.
You can follow Ryan on twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn

Intern Profile: Kahla Spooner

Kahla Spooner is a self confessed coffee addict, fitness freak and loves a spontaneous adventure. She is also extremely dedicated and dreams of one day being a Getaway presenter.

Kahla is 21 years old and, has recently graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations).

Kahla’s commitment to gaining work experience is exemplary. She has interned for several boutique consultancies, agencies and in-house PR firms.

Eight months after graduating, even with her experience, Kahla is finding the PR world a “tough industry to crack.”

At the beginning of 2011, Kahla interned with Haystac and, is currently interning with Shereen Kiddle at Milk Kiddle Langmaid PR.

Like Remi, Kahla was also surprised that many of her peers at university weren’t interested in finding work experience until they were required to in their final year.

For Kahla she always knew that in this industry, “it’s who you know, not what you know”, and says, “gaining contacts and experience was essential.” In her second year, Kahla began looking for work experience.

Although Kahla experienced many rejections, which she says became extremely difficult,  “the key is to be persistent and never discouraged and eventually someone will take you on board.”

Kahla’s first PR work experience was with Tourism Victoria. Working with the team at a government agency, gave her the confidence to continue to apply for more intern positions. Kahla also said that Tourism Victoria set an extremely high benchmark because of its professional setting, work ethic and positive environment.

From the contacts Kahla made at Tourism Victoria, she was then referred on to Tyrrell Publicity and Promotions where she interned for three months.

After graduating, Kahla knew she had to keep in touch with the PR world and contacted a friend working at Haystac. At Haystac, Kahla was given the opportunity to work with Jetstar Airways for their 2012 campaign.

Through that experience, Kahla was invited to apply for a graduate position with Jetstar but was overlooked for a senior person with more experience, much to Kahla’s disappointment.

However the advice she was given by Jetstar’s senior account manager, Louise Laing, was to,

“Get as much experience as possible, you can knock on 100 doors and get knocked back 99 times, but someone will give you a chance. She also told me that the fact that [I was] willing to work for free, shows passion and dedication and that is what makes you differ from the rest.”

Within a week after narrowly missing out on the Jetstar position, Kahla started at Milk Kiddle Langmaid PR through her contact and friend, Aimee Briggs.

Each week Milkk PR provides Kahla with an opportunity to stay in touch with PR. From working on databases, compiling media kits for Sexpo, running errands like picking up a famous Collingwood player’s jumper, to writing features for Milkk PR client and Channel 10 traffic reporter, Emma Notarfrancesco .

Kahla has learnt that, “Agency work is extremely full on and can become at times stressful dealing with multiple clients and campaigns at once and boutique work is great to get a more personal hands-on experience, putting much of the skills you learn in university to use.”

Kahla’s commitment, passion and dedication have created opportunities for her to experience the PR industry on several levels. In such a broad industry, Kahla suggests that students find an area that best suits them. Multiple internships and work experience will help with finding this out. “After completing several internships, I was assured that I wanted to work in a corporate communications role as apposed to PR as such, as it’s predominately more writing based. I would also prefer to work in-house apposed to boutique.”

Kahla also says that from her internships that, “you also discover the ins-and-outs, such as ethical practices, lingo and the amount of work you should and can be doing, not just coffee runs…it’s also a time to challenge yourself and your capabilities”

Kahla also suggests in getting your name out there as many jobs aren’t advertised on Seek and that industry contacts are key. She further recommends having at least three internships on your resume, so students know what type of job they are looking for after graduating.

She also uses Twitter and LinkedIn for connecting with contacts and prospective employers.

Kahla’s advice to students who are looking to intern:

“DO IT! …Experience and contacts are imperative in this industry, and start at early as you can. Don’t wait for your teacher to help you, start emailing, calling or speaking to people to get your foot in the door and learn, because you will learn more in a day at a company than in a lecture. The last thing you want is to do is graduate and say, “well, I should have just done it then.” I know so many students who had one bad experience and turned away from the industry, without realizing on how much they are missing, I assure you there’s more to it than database building!

Also, take advantage of the fact that you’re at university as many places don’t offer internships after graduating for insurance purposes. It’s also a great time because you’re career focused, and it becomes much harder to stay driven after graduating when money becomes the motivation.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the people I met along the way, you never know when you’re going to need help. Always be kind, give 110% and people will remember your efforts, even if it’s not at that moment – think Devil Wears Prada! It pays off.”

If you are struggling to find an internship, Kahla recommends contacting HaystacStyle Counsel or Spice & Soul PR, who are willing to take on interns (subject to application).
Kahla wrote some articles on ‘Wining and Dining’ for the Tourism Victoria website during her internship. You can read them here and here.  
You can also follow Kahla on twitter