Intern Profile: Emma Bedson

Wow. Has this girl got an impressive PR internship CV or what? 

528183_10151985304627119_290829293_nRead about Emma Bedson’s various PR internship experiences and see which company she highly reccomends for interns.

The Basics: 

Emma Bedson, 20, currently studying a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) at RMIT, graduating in October this year.

Dream job?

Top boss at a consumer PR agency. Or perhaps Founder/Director of my own PR agency. The possibilities are endless…

You’ve had a busy interning life over the past year, tell us about your internships

Two Birds Talking 

My first internship was at Two Birds Talking. I was the typical PR intern -running coffees, media kit packing, phone handling, booking and receiving couriers, editorial monitoring, database updates and so on. I assisted on a couple of events for Kookai and Nike. Whilst I liaised between their Melbourne and Sydney office during this internship, I had a chance to work at Two Birds Talking’s Sydney office as a fill-in PR co-ordinator. I hit the ground running at that time working directly on Kookai and Lovisa. If there is anything that I got from Two Birds Talking, it was MEDIA IS KING.

One Green Bean

Throughout the first half of 2012, I confirmed an internship with One Green Bean. I saved up for six months to pay for accommodation, flights and living expenses to intern full time with One Green Bean. During this time I prepared press kits and coverage reports, assisted with the production of events and performed admin and ad hoc office duties. I worked on a number of clients such as IKEA, Dunlop Volleys, Virgin Mobile and CBA. One Green Bean definitely showed me the difference between Melbourne and Sydney based PR.

Undertow Media

I interned with Undertow Media briefly before going to Sydney last year. On my return, I came back as a contractor to assist their account co-ordinator on Mt Hotham, Kathmandu, Tupperware and Domaine Chandon. It was at Undertow Media where I learnt what the role of a junior PR professional is really like. I pitched to media on a daily basis, refined my writing skills, contributed to campaigns, proposals, brainstorms and meetings. I was also responsible for account administration & reporting, which inspired me to write my third year undergraduate thesis on PR measurement and evaluation.

Mango/DDB Melbourne 

This has been my most recently internship. Having vast industry experience prior to Mango, the team delegated tasks to me not usually given to interns. I worked across a number consumer accounts creating, pitching and following up media materials. I secured multiple pieces of coverage both in print and online. I spent an extra week at Mango working with their social media team to create content and see how social media runs within a PR agency.

What was it about working at a Sydney based PR company that attracted you? 

I researched a lot of agencies in line with the area of PR I’m interested in. Most of them are based in Sydney so I emailed a couple of dream agencies for an internship placement. I have previously lived in Sydney and have friends who live up there so making the temporary move up there was more exciting and thrilling than daunting. I loved the entire experience and would do it again in a heartbeat. Moving up to Sydney permanently after I graduate is high on my to-do list.

How did you juggle university course work and paid work while interning? 

It’s challenging but it can be done. I wrote a lot of to-do lists and time management was crucial. I will admit there were more than a few all-nighters to get the assignments done but I managed to juggle it all. In fact, I actually prefer the adrenaline rush. It makes you more accountable to your tasks and there is no room procrastination.

What was your most valuable internship experience so far and why?

My time at Undertow Media was the most valuable experience, especially when I was contracted to assist one of their juniors.

I immediately felt part of the team the minute I stepped into the office. I gained a strong sense of responsibility and accountability for everything that was thrown at me. My time management skills were definitely tested (a crucial skill to master so I advise to get on top of it ASAP). Nonetheless, I completed tasks with a passion because I wanted to prove to myself and my colleagues I could handle agency life.

Undertow Media taught me so much about the industry and how to operate in PR. I recommend Undertow Media to anyone interested in a PR internship, I would safely say they have one of the best internship programs around.

Tell us about your favourite client pitch you got to work on and what you learnt from it

McDonald’s has been one of my favourite accounts to work on. I really got to own a project where I wrote media material, pitched to journalists and secured multiple pieces of coverage. I was able to learn how to develop relationships with journalists (a true love-hate relationship) and refine my writing skills. It was so rewarding seeing coverage and knowing you had some input in making that happen.

What’s next for you? 

I don’t have any internships confirmed for the near future but you never know what’s around the corner. Right now I’m focusing on completing my thesis and graduating but I’m sure I’ll slip in a few more placements before graduating.


Emma shares her advice for other aspiring PR pros;

There have been so many quotes to get me through my interning ‘journey’. My mum told me this quote just before cold calling an agency and it has resonated with me ever since:

“Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it.” – We Bought A Zoo

For anything you want to achieve, it’s always going to be ‘no’ until you ask. No matter how whimsical your ambitions may be, throw yourself into the deep end and you never know what may come out of it. 

You can follow Emma on Twitter and ask her any questions about her internship CV. Emma Also reccomends interning at Undertow Media – click here to apply. 

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Intern Profile: Isobel Loschiavo

Isobel Loschiavo is a PR student from Melbourne, who recently completed a 5-week internship at international PR firm, Burson-Marsteller. 

Isobel briefly moved to Sydney to complete her internship and today on My Interning Life, she tells us what she learnt and what it was like interning away from home. 

The Basics 

Isobel Loschiavo, 22, studying a Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) at RMIT University, graduating in 2013.

Dream job

Ultimately I would love to be Head of PR at somewhere like Channel Seven. Having grown up around television that is my number one passion. I would eventually love to end up doing PR in New York perhaps for NBC or another American TV station. One can only hope!

Tell us about how you scored your internship with Burson-Marsteller in Sydney

Networking!!! I used contacts I had made through my mum’s work and sent off an email very hesitantly to one of the Senior Account Managers at Burson-Marsteller. Initially I really did not want to go to Sydney but I am so happy I did hit ‘send’.

What did you do on a daily/weekly basis at your internship?

I was there for 5 weeks so each week was spent working with a different team (it was great to mix it up). When I was working with the Corporate and Public Affairs team I spent a lot of the time helping organise a big product launch for one of their major clients.

I also did a large amount of research into a client’s competitors. Ask me anything about solar energy and I could probably tell you a thing or too, put it that way. Working with the Brands team was a lot more interesting. I got to be on the phone a lot calling journalists as well as putting together contact lists, media briefings and even organising a brief for Bethenny Frankel (for those Real Housewives fans!).

In another team I actually was able to help in securing a new client, while I was also involved in several brainstorms for a new product. One of my ideas was shortlisted. Overall there was never a dull moment. I was constantly emailing.

What was it like living in another city for 5 weeks and interning – would you have preferred to intern in Melbourne? 

As I said earlier, at first I was very hesitant but now I am so happy I went. It was a little scary because I knew few people in the city and was basically alone but once I got my bearings it was fine. Interning itself was no different but obviously going home to an empty apartment and being completely independent was a readjustment.

I wouldn’t say I would prefer to intern in Melbourne. I think every student should experience another city or country at some point whether they are studying or interning (or even work experience). Although it is very difficult with part time work. You really need to rely on your savings to pay your rent, groceries etc. while you’re away.

You study PR at uni, what was the most valuable thing you learnt at uni that you applied to your internship? 

Lots of little things popped up along the 5 weeks where it clicked that I had actually learnt that in the classroom. Something like proactive/reactive public relations came up a lot in the office. However I think the internship benefitted me more so at uni. It really taught me to be confident and to trust my gut.

How do you juggle university, interning, working and having a social life? 

Sometimes it’s a little hard but I think you just cope. I find I only really have time to socialise on the weekends. I guess for myself I find it really hard to remember that uni is more important that work. I have a tough time with money vs. education. I have learnt not to make my part time job a priority.

Is one internship enough? 

Definitely not. Like any job, all agencies are different. You also need to experience different areas of PR to ensure that you don’t pigeonhole yourself into one specialty. I think trying a bit of everything means you can see where your strengths lie and which type of PR is your favourite. For me I now know that corporate comms is something I loathe but I really enjoy brands. I do have something lined up for early next year. Another big agency, so I am very excited!


Isobel’s last piece of advice:

Be confident, trust yourself, listen, learn and love what you do. 

You can follow Isobel on Twitter. 


Intern Profile: Matthew Ongarello

Matthew Ongarello has had an interesting start in the world of PR and journalism so far. He has interned with ‘Melbourne’s Queens of Spin’ Great Donaldson at her publicity company and is an entertainment contributor for Local Today. 
Already making his name known in the PR world, Matthew started his own company, Ongarello Publicity this year. 
 
Matthew is today’s profiled intern on My Interning Life. 

The Basics:

Matthew Ongarello, 24. I’m currently studying a Public Relations degree at RMIT University. I expect to finish in October 2012.

Dream job?

I have too many; Television Publicist, News Reporter, Crisis Management, Social Media Manager.

Tell us a bit about your intern experiences and where you are now with your current job.

I was lucky enough to attain an internship with Melbourne’s Queen of Spin, Greta Donaldson. Greta owns her own PR Agency, namely Greta Donaldson Publicity (GDP). I met Greta through her media conference company Prospect 360 in late 2011 and started working for her shortly after. I interned with Greta for approximately six months where I was exposed to clients such as BMW Australia, Strike Bowling Bars and Ansell to name a few.

I couldn’t pay for the networking opportunities presented to me during my tenure at GDP as I met so many television personalities, models, executives and most importantly the opportunity to liaise with journalists.

At first I was nervous contacting journalists as these are people I had always envied and looked up to as role models, but I found majority of them to be polite and genuinely interested in GDP’s clients. I’ve heard so many horror stories on the tumultuous relationship between PR’s and journalists, but I never had a bad experience, and to this day I still have regular communication with many via my Twitter feed.

Tell us about your experience at Greta Donaldson Publicity

I had never interned until working with Greta Donaldson.

At GDP I was responsible for attaining editorial coverage in many different publications, both locally and nationwide. I did this by sending press releases to the relevant journalists and following up with a phone call thereafter. As journalists are time poor, it was imperative to only send the press releases to those of whom it would be relevant.

At first I found it difficult to remember “who’s who in the zoo” as Greta would say i.e. what the Journalist covered and some street publications, but after a while with repetition it became a lot easier. Together with the help of Greta, I also liaised with photographers and on occasion was responsible for arranging talent to be interviewed by radio stations or at set call times.

All-in-all I enjoyed the launch party events the most as there was so much hype and it was like winning the jackpot when well-known models or TV personalities agreed to attend.

You’re a guest service agent at Virgin Australia – expand on what you do there

I have been working part-time for Virgin Australia at Melbourne airport for a little over 12 months. It’s an amazing company to work for and have made many life long friends with both managers and fellow colleagues. It has also given me the platform to see more of the World – in the past six months I have travelled to the United States and Europe. It’s going to be difficult to part with the great employee travel benefits.

And no, I’m not a Flight Attendant. I mainly check-in and board flights. I especially enjoy working at the boarding gates as it’s such a fast paced environment and can be challenging on busy days. It’s also a great place to meet cabin crew and pilots from all over Australia.

Previous to working at Virgin Australia, I was a Building Manager for four years at a private property development firm in Melbourne’s CBD.

What do you do on a daily basis at Local Today?

I write for Local Today on a freelance basis in their entertainment news section. Basically, I write stories on events I attend and report on who was spotted on the night. I think it’s as close as I’ll come to working for the Herald Sun Confidential or Snaparazzi pages. Yes, I won’t deny that I’m envious of Luke Dennehy.

Are you hoping to break into PR or journalism?

I haven’t made a definite decision, but believe that entertainment publicity or crisis management is my calling.

Do you have a blog?

Yes, I do have a blog, but don’t update it all that often.

Have you had any more industry experience? Do you think one internship is enough?

Shortly after finishing my internship at GDP, I started Ongarello Publicity after Richmond’s Collection Cocktail Bar hired me as their publicist. I regularly arrange reviews on the bar and have held two successful events this year.

I don’t believe that one internship is enough as I need to continue building on my skills in other areas whether this be journalism or another area of PR.

What do you do in your spare time?

What spare time?

Matthew shares his advice…

My advice to anyone that is currently trying to break into the industry is to NETWORK. It’s all about who you know, not what you know! (well, you have to know something) It’ll also make your life so much easier to build a rapport if you already have common ground.

I also am a strong believer in keeping abreast of social media trends. I am the epitome of how Twitter has changed my life. Twitter gave me a taste of another industry that I longed to be apart of. I never forget making the final decision that I would quit my job and apply to RMIT in a hotel room in Vienna.

Twitter has also presented me with some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. In 2009 via Twitter I applied to be a housemate for the Big Brother 40 hour famine lock-in – I was chosen. While I may not have appeared on the televised Big Brother, I was still locked away in the real Big Brother house for 40 hours with ‘D’ grade celebrities. When is that ever going to happen again? Random, I know.

I think it’s also important to PR yourself, the big guys in the industry are big because everyone knows who they are. Get out there and be seen! 

You can connect with Matthew on Twitter and Facebook

If you would like to do work experience or intern at Greta Donaldson Publicty – they regularly accept applications:

Greta Donaldson Publicity accepts requests for High School Work Experience placements and University Internship placements on a regular basis. ONLY students currently enrolled at High School or University educational institutions can apply for placements at Greta Donaldson Publicity in 2012. Please send a cover letter and CV to info@gdpublicity.com.au with your name in the Subject Header followed by either reference – Work Experience Request 2012 or Internship Request 2012. Others looking for opportunities to work in Public Relations should follow us on twitter and / or facebook, plus sign up with our affiliate company Prospect 360 at @Prospect360_ and / or www.facebook.com/prospect360 for updates on career opportunities. We will endeavour to reply to every request and take each request on its merit.