Intern Profile: Peter Williams

Peter Williams, a journalism student from Melbourne, has experience with many different mediums, including print, radio and online journalism. In addition to the work he does writing opinion-based articles, Peter is responsible for the Rising Stars section of Bound for Glory News.

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Establishing some great contacts and learning skills, his prior experience has helped him with both his current writing for Football Federation Victoria and co-producing the Bound for Glory radio show. With a Masters of Journalism on the cards, Peter is looking to improve his CV and hopefully make a full-time career out of Bound for Glory News. Peter tells My Interning Life how he found his passion for journalism. 

Internships are an amazing way to open doors that you never thought were possible. When I was 14 years old, I applied to work at The Leader in Cheltenham. I was told by many in the industry that it was only for 16 year olds. I didn’t hold out much hope, but within a week I had a call from the Sports Editor, Paul Amy. He loved the samples of writing I had sent and wanted me to work for a week there. It was a fantastic experience to be a part of the newsroom, something that kids my age never got to experience. I knew from that moment on, I wanted to be a journalist.

In Year 11 at the age of 16, I applied to work for a week at the Herald Sun. This time it was my careers teacher who told me that the chance of getting there was close to nil given the preference given to metropolitan students. Hailing from Mornington and far from a private school, it seemed a long shot to get in. But once again, I was pleasantly surprised that I had received an internship there for a week. While the week was enjoyable, I soon learned that the metropolitan papers were less hands on than their suburban or regional counterparts.

I finished Year 12 in 2008 and got into my first preference of Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) at Monash University. Over the three years of 2010-2012 I majored in journalism and public relations while also enjoying history and marketing. There were huge differences between the subjects, but that’s what I loved about it. For the first two years at university I guess you could say I was still sort of in limbo as to where I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to write, but had just cruised along and expected it to all sort of fall into my lap like the other placements had. I soon learned that you can’t afford to be complacent in the industry and that hard work and not necessarily ability will get you there.

Towards the end of 2011, I was still working at a regular casual job at KFC with very few contacts and writing positions. I was achieving credits and distinctions at university in my favoured writing subjects, but I guess you could say I knew what I had to do to get them but I soon realised, a mark on a piece of paper isn’t going to get you a job.

In December, 2011 my whole world changed.

I was on BigFooty, an online football forum when I noticed a thread started by another MIL member, Ben Cuzzupe. At that time, I knew him as ‘GreatBradScott’ and he was looking for student journalists and keen footy fans to start a radio program on the Student Youth Network (SYN). Given I had been waiting for some sort of opportunity to present itself, this was my chance. Despite having filled the positions, Ben allowed me to come on board as a co-producer given my experience with radio journalism at Monash. It was through this Bound for Glory group that I have met many friends.

As I started to complete my course, I knew what I wanted to do. It wasn’t going to help my hip pocket or give me a 9-5 office job, but it was going to be something I loved doing. When the Bound for Glory team through the guidance of another BFG member Matt Marsden, started a website called Bound for Glory News, I immediately wanted to become as involved as I possibly could and started up a Rising Stars program for the 2013 season.

The Rising Stars program would involve getting a team together with the help of fellow BFG members Ashleigh Craven and Jourdan Canil to help scout and report on the TAC Cup. Without the help of these guys, this would never have been possible. Rising Stars would not only provide our readers with comprehensive information about the upcoming draftees in the TAC Cup, but also provide students with the necessary experience that is needed to gain a job in the uncompromising journalism industry.

A few months in, the team have about 20 writers who are keen footy fans that love writing about our great game. Over the next two years, I have a vision to expand the Rising Stars program to state leagues around the country so Bound for Glory News can provide the most detailed information on the future stars of the AFL.

My biggest message for all those aspiring writers and journalists out there is when presented with an opportunity, grab it with both hands and don’t look back because it could just change your whole career and life.

Peter and the Bound for Glory team are continually looking for writers who love footy and are determined to make a break-through in the industry. For those who are keen to join a team that gets over 5,000 individual views a month, you can contact Peter via email: pawil5@student.monash.edu or follow him on Twitter

You can also check out Peter’s Rising Star articles

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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! 


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 SmartCompany.com.au, 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: Giulio Di Giorgio

Giulio Di Giorgio is a budding broadcast journalist with aspirations of working in radio and television. Since May this year, Giulio has been interning with Melbourne sports radio station 1116 SEN.

Giulio has also recently completed a work experience placement with Melbourne radio station 3AW. His experience with 3AW was so successful that Giulio has been invited back to do some producing work with the highly rated station.

Giulio says he tries to undertake as much work experience as possible to further complement his studies. Through his own initiative, he has also completed work experience with Network Ten, Radio Sport National and SYN FM.

“I have a passion for the media industry and I’m highly motivated, and hopefully my persistence will pay off,” Giulio explains.

Giulio is in his final year at La Trobe University, completing a Bachelor of Journalism, and is also part of the upstart magazine editorial team for this semester.

Upstart is an online publication for emerging journalists that was started at La Trobe, however aspiring journalists are encouraged to contribute. While being part of the upstart editorial team, Giulio sub-edits, writes news and feature articles and produces audio and video content for the site.

Giulio says his internship at SEN is invaluable and gives him an insight into the radio broadcasting industry. On a weekly basis, Giulio assists the senior producer with pre-show preparation, including sourcing and contacting interview talent, researching talent, editing audio, publishing podcasts online, answering listeners’ calls and post-program administration.

Giulio’s various work experience placements and his current internship with SEN has helped him gain many skills which have contributed to his personal development.

“I really want a gig within the media industry, so [I’ve] just got to make a few sacrifices and hopefully the fruits of my hard work will pay off in the future,” he says.

He also agrees with the common saying, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, and Giulio has been successful in developing contacts within the media industry from his hard work and persistence.

Networking is imperative for Giulio and his internship with SEN has given him an understanding into the behind the scenes of a radio station. However, Giulio would love to be on the other side of the microphone in the future as a successful broadcast journalist.

In such a competitive industry, Giulio’s various work experience placements and internships will no doubt make him stand out to prospective employers.

Perhaps it’s this piece of advice that drives Giulio: “Someone who works in the media industry once said to me; Say ‘yes’ to every opportunity and worry about the consequences later.”

“Undertake as much practical experience as you can – even in a voluntary capacity. You’ll be surprised with how much you learn and how many people you meet, including prospective employers,” says Giulio.

“Most importantly, don’t ever give up. Keep the faith, keep persisting, keep knocking on that door, and you’ll succeed.”

 
You can follow Giulio on twitter and read his articles published on upstart
 
If you are an aspiring journalist, take a look at upstart’s notes for contributors and submit your articles and ideas to the editorial team by email: contact@upstart.net.au

Successful Intern Profile: Carlie Bonavia

Carlie Bonavia thought her dream job, as Fox FM’s newsreader was unbelievable. She didn’t think working as the newsreader for the Matt and Jo show would come so early in her radio career.

After graduating from Swinburne University in 2005 with a Post Graduate Diploma of Arts/Commercial Radio, Carlie worked in Lismore, NSW. She worked for commercial and talkback radio stations, writing and reading the news.

Carlie spent just over a year in Lismore, but found she wanted to explore more job opportunities. Carlie sent out demo tapes to radio stations, and one particularly to a Brisbane traffic reporter she’d befriended through myspace.

Carlie’s connection ended up referring her on to Nova Brisbane after being impressed with her demo.

“I didn’t think I had a chance in hell really, but I sent him my demo tape – he liked it so [he] decided to pass it on” Carlie explains.

After some phone interviews and a nervous couple of weeks waiting, Carlie got the job at Nova Brisbane. Carlie spent two years in the newsroom before accepting a transfer to Nova/Vega in Sydney.

Carlie stayed for nine months in Sydney before returning home to Melbourne to her current job, reading the morning news for the Matt and Jo show.

In her early high school years, Carlie decided she wanted to work as a journalist, and aimed to study journalism at RMIT. In her final year in high school Carlie found a love for radio, and started volunteering at SYN FM.

At SYN FM, Carlie hosted radio shows, did news shifts, and she helped produce and present on Channel 31.

Carlie’s work experience with SYN FM and Channel 31 would help build her folio in order to get into RMIT. Although Carlie didn’t get into her preferred journalism course, she was accepted into the Public Relations undergraduate course.

Carlie knew that PR wasn’t for her and deferred after a year of study and went on to study Arts/Commercial Radio at Swinburne.

During her time at university, Carlie began volunteering at Fox and Triple M radio stations, while continuing at SYN FM. Carlie was also required to do a two-week placement at a regional or provincial commercial radio station as part of her course.

Because of her volunteer work, Carlie was granted the chance to do some paid shifts with the Fox FM promotional team and helped answer phones on weekends for the Rove Live Radio and Hamish and Andy shows.

Carlie’s years of “loose networking” and building contacts helped her get the job she has today at Fox FM. The Fox news director already knew of Carlie and her talent from past demo tapes she’d sent in.

“Reading the news for Matt and Jo on Fox is the epitome of dream jobs for me” says Carlie.

Carlie’s job requires her waking up at 3am, and says switching her brain out of ‘news mode’ can sometimes be hard.

That’s where Carlie’s interests outside of her job, such as kickboxing and yoga, help her connect with friends and enjoy her life, despite going to bed at the same time as school children.

Carlie says her work experience has opened her eyes to other possible job opportunities, and without it she wouldn’t have discovered that radio was the right career path for her.

“My advice to students interested in radio would be to do as MUCH work experience as they can – not just in the specific areas they think they’re interested in, but other departments too.

A degree is great – but if you don’t have the hands on experience and industry understanding to go with it, you’re not as employable. And don’t just stick to the city stations – regional/provincial radio stations offer just as much valuable experience, even more so as you can be much more hands on there,” says Carlie.

“Facebook/Twitter is a great networking tool, when used in the right way. Don’t pester, don’t be put off if people don’t ‘add’ you – we like our privacy, email I think is the best way to be contacting radio people for feedback/advice – take on board what they say – show you’ve ‘actioned’ some of the advice they’ve given you and they’ll be more inclined to help you the next time.”

You can follow Carlie and the Matt and Jo show on twitter. 
If you are looking to gain some work experience, Carlie recommends contacting SYN FM and Channel 31