Intern Profile: Sophie Shaw

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

The basics

Sophie Shaw, 22, studying a Bachelor of Sports Journalism at Latrobe University. Graduating mid 2014.

Dream job?

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. 


NewsLifeMedia 8-week Internships

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THE DETAILS

NewsLifeMedia, the lifestyle publishing arm of News Limited, is offering an eight week internship program during which you can work with super brands like taste.com.au, news.com.au, kidspot.com.au, body+soul, Vogue Australia, GQ Australia, Sunday Style, Country Style and delicious, to name a few.

Placements will be in the marketing, advertising, editorial, circulation and design departments.

ABOUT YOU

You’re a final-year tertiary student from
a Media, Communications, Advertising, Design or Business-related degree (you must be enrolled in a course relevant to the field you are applying for).

You have an excellent academic record. You’re an enthusiastic self-starter and team player.
You’re a strong communicator with a capacity to understand business strategy. You have a passion for communicating with your audience.
You’re active in social media.

DATES

Monday May 6 to Friday June 28, 2013, two days per week. Days are flexible depending on your existing work and study commitments.

SUBMISSIONS

Please send us your answer + ONE other document (in Word or PDF format) that includes your CV, a copy of your year 12 results (UAI or equivalent), a current academic transcript (an unofficial version is acceptable) and, in order of preference, a list of the two departments you would most like to get experience in.

DEADLINE

Send your applications to nlminternships@news.com.au by 9am, Monday April 8, 2013.

NEXT STEPS

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by Friday April 12, 2013. Interviews will be held at the NewsLifeMedia offices in Alexandria on Tuesday April 16, 2013.

To view the ad click here. 


Successful Intern: Brendan Lucas

Brendan Lucas is a 21-year-old journalist who recently graduated from La Trobe University. He’s been working as an Editorial Assistant at metropolitan newspaper, The Herald Sun, since December last year but before he scored his dream job, Brendan was an intern at the newspaper.

Find out about how Brendan’s “hard-work, perserverance and  unwavering initiative” granted him the opportunity to work in an industry that has gone through many changes within the past 12 months. 

The Basics

0f719f70fda1e19afec19ee7078c4ec2Brendan Lucas, 21-years-old, completed a Bachelor of Journalism at La Trobe University last October.

Dream job?

Close to it. I could not be more grateful for my first job out of university knowing how hard it is to break into the industry at this time.

Tell us about your previous internship experiences

Some of my previous experiences have included being a reporter for AFL Victoria (2011/2012) covering the VFL for two years, writing articles, going to games, attending press conferences and interviewing players and coaches. This included publishing my written work and photography on the VFL website, in the AFL Victoria Record and Leader Newspapers.

I also worked as a commentator for vfl.com.au and the U/14 and U/15 Division 2 Metro Championship Grand Finals. In addition, I co-hosted a drive radio program on 88.6 Plenty Valley FM for more than two years (2010-2012). I was responsible for creating the shows content and format, interviewing and presenting on air and participating in a number of outside broadcasts at festivals around Melbourne.

You interned at The Herald Sun last year, tell us about that and what you did on a daily/weekly basis

My interning involved undertaking a variety of roles. From the outset I was responsible for doing the daily vox pop, monitoring the news, assisting senior journalists, pitching and writing my own stories, answering phone calls and heading out to press conferences.

I also learnt how to use a number of new media programs which has expanded my technical skills base. Furthermore, I assisted the sports department in addition to the news department performing similar duties. In sport this included weekly article contributions to Statewide Sport – a two-page spread on country football each week.

What was it like being published for the first time with a story you wrote? 

Being published for the first time in a major newspaper such as the Herald Sun is a great rush. There is nothing like seeing your byline after all the hard work you have put in.

I remember my first story very well and have still kept a copy. It was my first day interning and I was sent out to cover the St Kilda Festival by my chief of staff. I was quite nervous having been given so much independence to find an angle and to uncover the stories of the day. However, I took it in my stride knowing I had the ability to utilise all my theoretical journalistic skills I had gathered at university by putting them into practice.

How did your job as an Editorial Assistant at The Herald Sun come about? 

It all comes from hard-work, perseverance and unwavering initiative. You have to be willing to make sacrifices if you want to make it in this industry – and that is exactly what I did.

After interning for roughly two days of the week for the majority of 2012 to the Herald Sun and after discussions with a number of people I realised there were no job openings upon finishing university. I still threw my name in the ring to be considered if anyone left. Fortunately, with a bit of right place, right time, a month after I graduated I received a call and was asked to come in for a job interview.

Before I knew it I was employed and starting work the next week in December 2012. Because most positions are internally filtered I felt my report with a number of colleagues worked to my advantage. My advice to anyone would be to keep smiling, persevering and getting to know EVERYONE; you never know what might happen.

How important is social and online media in today’s media landscape? 

Social and online media are very much intertwined these days. A lot of news now comes from mediums such as Twitter due to how the immediacy of the information is transforming the way newsrooms operate – particularly online.

Social media provides a great promotional tool for online media that can be used quite effectively as a cheap, engaging strategy. Consumer demand is also growing, which is in turn putting pressure on how these newsrooms meet their customer needs through this medium. Some even see online media, particularly online citizen journalism, as a threat to mainstream media’s diversification.

However I believe it is an important challenge in the coming years for organisations that are transitioning from print to online. They essentially have to find a way for their journalism to be financially sustainable and have unique offerings compared to its competitors, while still retaining accountability, accuracy and credibility within the pace of the news cycle. Sustainability online is the key.

What was the most important thing you learnt during your time as an intern? 

One of the most important things I learnt is to always back yourself. Sometimes you will falter, but if you show initiative to pitch stories and help out you will make the most of your opportunities. You will not if you do not try. By doing this you will learn where to draw the line in the sand.

I found an ethical issue I encountered during my time interning also provided a great learning curve for me. By communicating with other senior journalists I was able to uncover the appropriate course of action, while still leaving me with the final decision to make.

Brendan shares his advice for aspiring journalists

Advice can be hard to give, because for many young aspiring journalists the contexts are different

Generally speaking though developing an innate curiosity is the key – it is the groundwork trait for all good journalists – it highlights their hunger and willingness to succeed. Positivity and enthusiasm also go hand in hand. Without it things can seem tough when trying to envisage that ‘big break’ one day. But by showing these assets you are demonstrating to potential employers that you are willing to do anything and everything with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

People want to work with enthusiastic people – it is contagious. Initiative, perseverance and dedication are also key. Bluntly, if you do not have these you will be found out. Nothing comes without hard work. Many work experience/internship opportunities are what you make of them.

Finally, networking. This is essential for any budding journalists trying to get a foot in the door. Make friends with everyone and get to know as many people as possible. Persist with internship opportunities and gain a variety of valuable contacts that recognise your work ethic and could be sought after for potential job prospects in the future.

You can follow Brendan and The Herald Sun on Twitter. 

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! 


Intern Profile: Olivia Clarke

Today’s featured intern is journalism student, Olivia Clarke. Olivia has just completed a media advisor internship at the City of Port Phillip council. 

Olivia’s enthusiasm for interning while at university is exemplary. She already has another internship lined up this month at the Harvard World Model UN and has her sights set on gaining more experience in the future. 

Olivia Clarke, I’m a journalism student at Monash University, just starting my second year. I have also just finished my first internship.
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Although I am passionate about radio, news and current affairs, I am also really interested in learning and gaining experience in many different media careers. Therefore when the opportunity came up to do a two week internship at the City of Port Phillip Council as a media adviser, I eagerly applied to not only gain experience in local government media and communication, but to also gain experience in working in an open-office corporate setting.

The excitement about my first internship certainly didn’t wane over the two weeks where I spent my time chasing up different staff for media enquiries, working on media releases and organising media and photo opportunities for different councillors.

There was also plenty of media management that was part of the role. Of course, when you are dealing with local government, politics can sometimes make the management of the council’s public image harder to deal with. So I also learnt how the media adviser went about briefings with the Mayor and other councillors, as well as local journalists, who source a lot of their information and story ideas from the local government and issues around the community.

It was interesting gaining an insight into the other side of the media role, where you are the one organising the sources and photo opportunities for the journalists, rather than being the journalist chasing up the story, which I have spent a whole year learning about through my degree.

I also spent plenty of time researching and developing media strategies for certain projects. Because it was for a council, I didn’t feel like I was being a spin doctor, I felt like it was more about transparently promoting the services and events that the council was offering to the local community.

I also learnt how to compose professional tweets, which was a really different way of communication for me, in terms of how I use Twitter, which I really don’t use as much as I should in the first place. But the whole experience of watching my work being published online for the community to read was quite an experience.

But with published work, mistakes can also happen. I made quite a big one during my internship. Although everything worked out for the best in the end, it made me realise I have to be really careful with anything I write or publish online. However my supervisor was really understanding and just told me not to stress over it too remember for next time, which is a good way to think about it.

For the future, I’ve got another internship at the Harvard World Model UN which I am about to embark on when the conference begins on March 18. I also have heaps of ideas for future internships lined up (news coordinator at a community radio station, working for communications/PR in another company) but I think the main focus should be my university studies for now. University is just around the corner again.

Advice for future interns? Use your family/friends/co-workers/anyone you know to see if you can get some work experience. That’s how I got my first internship, through a family member. You will never know what kind of experience you can pick up and the people you can meet if you don’t ask the people you know. Of course, be friendly and work hard at your internship. Network with your supervisors and other staff you meet so you can have more opportunities in the future as well.

When Olivia’s not chasing up stories or studying, you can find her blogging here or on Twitter


My Interning Life: Contributors

Hi Interns,

Please welcome to the My Interning Life team Remi and Isobel who will be contributing to the website, social media pages and the upcoming MIL event.

I’m really excited about how well My Interning Life is going so I need all the help that I can get! You might remember Remi who was my very first featured intern on this blog and Isobel who moved to Sydney to intern.

About Remi

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@remikins Assistant Victorian State Manager for Live Below the Line.  In my final year of PR at RMIT, I’m a lover of good food, cheap cocktails and cute dresses.

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  And you are the one who’ll decide where to go…” – Dr. Seuss

Previously a coffee girl at Glamourflage Cosmetics, Milkk, Style Counsel, and now, The Oaktree Foundation.

Dream job? Somewhere I can use my PR prowess and fabulous communication skills to make a positive contribution to society.

About Isobel

296845_10150854865005294_532365293_21310454_1319469924_n@isobelloschiavo Currently an intern at Ogilvy and Flourish PR. I am also about to enter my final year of PR at RMIT. I am a social media junkie, self-confessed Kardashian expert, iPhone dependent, shopaholic with an addiction to coffee and dreams of living in NYC. Follow me on Instagram @isobelloschiavo.
“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”
Previously an intern at Burson-Marsteller and law student at VU, I now spend my days as a counter girl at a retail job in between interning.
Dream job? PR at NBC in New York City.

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 www.nycprintern.com 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

5 ways to nail your internship

5 ways to nail your internship by Gabrielle Tozer

1.     Pinpoint your drive: why do you want to work in the media? Knowing this will help you to stay focused and hardworking during your internship, especially during those times when it feels like an impossible industry to crack (which is a lot – but if you work hard then it pays off, I promise.)

2.     Take initiative: don’t wait to be asked to do something during your internship. Offer help. Write something and show them. Ask what the journalists need assistance with and get involved – even if it means transcribing, photo-copying or coffee runs. You never know who’ll you meet along the way.

3.     Work hard – damn hard: this one should be obvious. If you’re bludging on Twitter/Facebook during your internship then forget about scoring any paid work later on – and yes, everyone probably saw you slacking off. The beauty of open-plan offices, eh? Knuckle down and work during your internship, after all you won’t build an impressive writing portfolio watching YouTube videos of kittens climbing into boxes.

4.     Follow up: maintain a relationship with your internship coordinator by checking in after your internship wraps up, thanking them for assistance and asking about further opportunities. Stay on their radar. Just be careful not to cross over to the borderline stalker category (daily emails or phone calls, anyone?). Send one email, and, if you haven’t heard in a week, wait – yes, trust me on that – then send a short, polite follow-up.

5.     Reflect on the good (and the bad) – then learn from it: what lessons did you learn during your internship? Sometimes the worst experiences still provide great lessons (maybe you’ve learn what not to do later in your career?). Write it all down and put it into practice at your next internship or, fingers crossed, job! Good luck.

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Gabrielle Tozer (née McMillan) is a Sydney-based magazine senior features writer and soon-to-be YA author. Her debut novel hits shelves and kindles in February 2014. When Gabrielle’s not working fulltime, she’s writing the sequel (and weeping over her laptop).
 
Visit www.gabrielletozer.com and www.facebook.com/hellogabrielletozer for more information on her magazine work and books, and to engage with other writers. Gabrielle’s currently cheating on her manuscript with Twitter, so come say hello via www.twitter.com/gabrielletozer.