My Interning Life: I intern, therefore I am?

It’s been five months since my last post and it’s because I’ve been dreading writing about my journey since finishing university.

superpitI 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.

MIL trophy shotMelbourne Storm was also on hold as my former boss said he would let me know if any opportunties would arise in 2013 and luckily there was a new position at the club, a content producer role.

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.

Aubrey EssendonLast 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.

Post Edit

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! 


No Ordinary Intern: Premiership Glory

Eight months ago I made a promise to one of Melbourne Storm’s inaugural players and former captain, Robbie Kearns.

The promise was to barrack for Melbourne Storm this season and follow their journey.

Looks like I made good on that promise and, every time I see Robbie in the Storm offices he always greets me with a beaming smile and a ‘hello, how are you?’

Today, after six months of interning and learning about a team and sport that was virtually unknown to me, I celebrate the 2012 NRL Premiership win with Melbourne Storm.

Sadly, I wasn’t in Sydney to witness the win, but I was at home, glued to my TV and laptop as I begun the live chat from 3pm and didn’t stop until about 8:30pm.

When my boss said to me via skype that I was a ‘Premiership Intern’ I realized just how proud I was to be a small part of the 2012 season.

I want to thank Dan, Sarah, Frank, Robbie and the rest of the team for being so friendly and helpful during my internship. I’ve learnt a lot about digital media and about a sport that I would have otherwise only read about in the papers.

Today I pay respect to a team that was stripped of two premierships due to a salary cap scandal, only to reclaim redemption and glory, two years later. A team that is only 15 years young, yet so experienced and celebrated during its short time in the NRL competition.

Melbourne Storm are resilient, strong and dedicated. Lead by coach Craig Bellamy and his staff who will celebrate equally with players tonight.

2012 has not been no ordinary year. The proudest moment I have witnessed during my time with Storm was watching Mahe Fonua become the first Victorian-born player to play for Melbourne Storm. As a Victorian and sports fan this makes me incredibly proud. It’s taken 15 years but better late than never, right?

I really don’t know what will happen after today. I’m only certain that I’ve got four weeks left of university and then I embark on my own journey into a full time career.

I’ll never forget the year that I interned for team that was ‘No Ordinary Team’ who became the 2012 NRL Premiers.

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

Intern Profile: Jonathan Demos

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 

The Basics

Jonathan Demos 21, in my final semester studying a Bachelor of Journalism at La Trobe University.

Dream job? 

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.

Tell us how you scored both of your internships as Match Reporter for the Box Hill Hawks (VFL) and Melbourne Storm (RLC)?

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

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.

You can follow Jonathan on Twitter and read his match reports for the Box Hill Hawks and Melbourne Storm.   

My Interning Life: Game Day

I reguarly attend Melbourne Storm Game Days when I can. I really enjoy working at Game Days because I get to see how Melbourne storm on the field and off the field operates.

One of my tasks during the game is to take photos of the live action for facebook half time and full time posts. Melbourne Storm were playing against Wests Tigers last week in round 14 and this photo I took of winger Matt Duffie in the second half was so fitting. Storm were down, tired and defending well but they had just had a penalty against them and Matt was shaking his head. This photo comes to life for me when I look at it – I can see Matt’s emotions, his heavy breathing and the crowd reeling.

Melbourne Storm lost to the Wests Tigers 6-10.



My Interning Life: Melbourne Storm RLC

Hi Everyone,

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.

Later this week I will officially start at Melbourne Storm as a Social Media Intern.

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.