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. 


Intern Profile: Stephanie Hume

Today on My Interning Life, Master of Communications student, Stephanie Hume, says that persistence, hard work and self-belief are key to having success while undertaking internships.  

The basics: 

aMy name is Stephanie Hume, 23, and I’m studying a Master of Communication at RMIT and expect to graduate this year.

Dream job? 

That’s a tough one as I feel I change my mind constantly, as new avenues from things I read and hear about always inspire me. However, I think it’s wise to have a few ideas and to be flexible at the same time.

Nonetheless, I’d love to get some experience in an agency such as Ogilvy or Edelman and then work in the marketing department of the NGV or the theatre’s of London or New York or even for film production companies like The Weinstein Company. It’s really quite endless. That’s what I love about PR I have so many ideas and industries I want to pursue.

Tell us about your internship experiences

My first break was at Mango Communications, which is part of the DDB network. After un-enrolling from a post-grad course that really wasn’t my thing I rang up Mango that exact same day and asked if they offered internships.

Coincidentally they needed one week to fill as their current intern was going to be away. I believe this moment was the universe extending me a slice of opportunity pie.

My week there was a dream. I was exposed to a bunch of hard-working, talented and friendly individuals and given real responsibility to coordinate coverage with the media for their client, Disney.

After getting into my course mid-year I finally found motivation to pursue internship opportunities elsewhere. I have been fortunate enough to spend a week at CHE Proximity part of Clemenger, three months at The United Nations Global Cities Programme and just before Christmas I spent a month full time at Red Agency’s Melbourne office.

It’s been an amazing 6 months and I’m still excited about what 2013 will hold.

Tell us about the the ripe and what you do

The Ripe is a music website started by Huw Nolan and Tom Pitney. It was launched last February and is supported by writers, photographers, videographers and editors. We review band’s work and provide media coverage of festivals and concerts in Melbourne. It’s been a great tool for us all young to contribute to our portfolio and we’ve also become really great friends too.

I am one of their writers and also do PR work for them on the side. It’s enabled me to keep up my writing and as there are talented writers onboard it keeps me motivated to constantly improve and find original ways of expressing myself.

It’s our first birthday this February 14th at The Workers Club. We’ve locked in City Calm Down, Collarbones and Panama to play there. It’s going to be so much fun. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short time.

What has been the most important lesson you learnt while interning? 

Persistence, hard work and self-belief are the three big things for me. There are times when I was overwhelmed with how much work I was given. I just had to breathe in and acknowledge that being nervous or unsure of myself was what happened to everyone in new experiences and when you are constantly thrown into new experiences it happens more often. There really is no reason why anyone should be self-doubting as we are capable of pretty amazing things.

Persistence pays off in bucket loads too. At one of my internships I spent most of my time developing a media report and had to call up pretty much every media outlet in the country for information the client needed. Its enormity was overwhelming but I just kept on putting on a brave face and calling those numbers and people eventually got back to me and I even formed a few relationships in the process. Persistence and hard work cannot be substituted.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Giving myself space is key and researching new music to review is a good distress. I do love spending time with my parents too. My favourite thing to do during semester is staying in on Saturday night and having dinner with them and then watching a movie. Bliss. Other than that I love reading and seeing my friends. Looking after my health is a big thing and the only way I get through how much I put on my plate. I can’t take big nights out anymore.

How do you juggle interning, course work, paid work, and having a life? 

Last semester all I did was uni work, interning and saw my family and added socialising in sometimes if I had the chance.

I did an Arts degree at The University of Melbourne before my Masters and didn’t put as much of my heart into it. I’m being a massive nerd but I am absolutely loving it all and the opportunity to learn again. Plus my course only goes for a year and a half so I’m happy to make sacrifices now if it means I have a better chance of securing a job on graduating.

Stephanie shares her advice

It really is a no brainer. Do as much as you can. Email, call them up, search places online that are of interest and just put yourself out there for an internship, a week’s work experience, or even to meet up for a coffee to discuss their role.

You can’t expect a potential employer to give you a shot if you merely have a university degree. Experience in the industry is just as much an indicator of dedication to a career as it is a catalyst for personal growth.

It’s just a matter of starting somewhere. I’ve emailed places or called them before and received a stern ‘no’. But you can’t get put off by ‘no’ from one, two or three people. You’ve got to put things in perspective and realise the bigger goals and aspirations you are trying to achieve to motivate yourself to keep on calling and emailing.

Make the most of it whilst you are at university too. As whilst I wasn’t enrolled at RMIT, despite my enthusiasm and people liking my writing they wouldn’t take me on as I wasn’t covered by insurance that your university will cover. And if you are lacking inspiration go onto Pinterest’s quote boards. My, the time I waste on there. Good Luck.

 
You can check out all of Stephanie’s work on The Ripe and connect with her on Twitter

Intern Profile: Clair White

Today’s featured intern is PR student, Clair White. 

Clair recently interned with the Victorian Police Media Unit and gives us insight into her intern experience. 

The basics

Clair White, 21, studying a Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) at RMIT University, graduating at the end of this year.

Dream job?

I’m still not sure, but media relations for a sports club in a national league is at the top of my list at the moment.

Tell us about how you scored your internship experience in the Victoria Police Media Unit.

My internship coordinator sends emails to everyone in my course when internships arise. She sent out an email about a four week internship at VicPol and I thought I’d give it a go. I sent off my resume, had an interview and got the position.

What did you do on a daily/weekly basis?

My position in the unit varied depending on which team I was working with, as there are two sections of the media unit: proactive and reactive.

The majority of my time was spent in proactive. In this team, public relations issues are broken down into portfolios, with each of the full time staff members responsible for different portfolios. Some of the portfolios include: road policing, public transport and specialist support (air wing, water police, mounted branch, dog squad, Public Order Response Team, etc). The job of the proactive team is to gain media attention for issues VicPol want covered. This can include launches of new initiatives, blitzes and campaigns. The proactive team also work closely with prominent feature writers to collaborate on stories relating to their portfolios.

During my time in the proactive unit, I was ‘thrown in the deep end’ as they are quite understaffed. I relished the responsibility though, as this allowed me to do work that was actually needed, rather than just ‘intern work’ that was created for me.

Some of the more interesting things I got to do in the proactive media team included: media releases (including pitching to regional, metropolitan and major print, TV and radio), organising and attending press conferences, visiting 3AW’s Neil Mitchell program and ABC 774’s Jon Faine program with Chief Commissioner Ken Lay, writing a police member profile piece for the Herald Sun Career Expo guide and liaising with police members and media on a state-wide initiative in conjunction with V-Line.

I was also given several administrative tasks in the proactive team. These included collating daily regional press clippings (through media monitors), daily road policing clippings, monthly coverage reports (e.g. PSOs) and creating/updating divisional media contact lists.

I was also given great responsibility during my time in the reactive team. The reactive team deal with major current news issues relating to VicPol. All of the police coverage on nightly news, in major newspapers and on radio source their information from the reactive team.

Unlike the proactive office which is displayed in a traditional setting, the reactive unit is a much more collaborative environment. Instead of separate cubicles, team members in reactive sit along a long desk, with one supervisor overseeing all staff. From these stations, we field media enquiries from journalists from all over the country.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned while at Vic police media?

During my internship, two major lessons kept popping up.

  1. Get the basics down – you need to have your writing and communications skills on lock. Whether it’s a simple email to a colleague or a phone call to a journalist, you need to know what you’re saying, why you’re saying it and how you’re going to say it.
  2. You can’t anticipate media attention – some days I’d have stories that I thought we get heaps of attention and some that I didn’t think would get any coverage and it was those little stories that turned into bigger events. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill – you don’t have to send out a press release for every little thing. Go with the flow and deal with media attention as it comes to you.

You’re in your final semester at uni, what are your plans for 2013?

It’s so exciting. The idea of no more homework or timetabling is equal parts ridiculously exhilarating and terrifying. I’ve applied for an internship with a US not-for-profit organisation called To Write Love On Her Arms. They exist to promote help and provide hope to those dealing with addiction, selfy injury, depression and suicide. If I get the position, I’ll be in the States from mid-January to early May. After that is up to future Clair! Presumably, I’ll come home and find a ‘grown up job’. All I can hope for is that it’s something I’m passionate about, as I wholeheartedly prescribe to the notion that if you love what you’re doing, you won’t work a day in your life.

How did you juggle uni, interning, paid work and having a social life?

Very precariously. All I can say is that you can never underestimate that value of a good support network. Those days when you come home and you’re that frazzled you try to use your myki to get cash out and can’t really remember how you got into your pajamas, they’re the days where you just have to love and appreciate those around you who are wiling to help you out.

Will you do more interning? 

I’m a work experience junkie – I love the stuff! I’ve helped on PR events, spent time at a boutique fashion/lifestyle agency, done social media and comms for a not-for-profit and shadowed some of Melbourne’s best PR practitioners.

I believe that we never stop learning and whether my future holds more internships or not, I know that there are so many things that I am yet to experience professionally. I am however, really interested in gaining some more experience in sporting organisations and media outlets themselves.

Clair shares her advice

While you may think the big bad world of media is scary, it’s made up of people who have come from the exact place you are currently. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t think that just because you’re young means that you can’t contribute. Listen to and learn from those around you. It sounds so corny, but if there’s something that you want/a place you want to intern at/someone you want to talk to – make it happen. You can do it.

 

You can follow Clair on Twitter. 


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: Kate MacDonald

Kate MacDonald is a Post-Grad PR student who has interned with Fashion PR, Style Counsel and not-for-profit organization, YMCA. 

Today on My Interning Life, Kate shares her intern experiences and her knowledge. 

The basics

Kate Macdonald, 22, completing a Post-Graduate Diploma of Public Relations at RMIT University. I will be graduating at the end of this semester.

I previously completed my Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) at the University of Melbourne.

Dream job?

Corporate affairs. I would love to work in the sports industry one day.

How did you score your internships at YMCA and Style Counsel?

It took a while to get my foot in the door. I found once I had done a couple of weeks of work experience at a PR agency and volunteered for a couple of events then it became easier to gain more intern experience. Do your research and find an agency or organization you want to work for and give them a call. You just have to pick up the phone and call people.

What do you do on a daily/weekly basis at YMCA?

I focus on marketing communications for the YMCA Bridge Project. They help young people leaving the youth justice system with employment, mentoring and training to get them back on the right track.

I am responsible for marketing communications in the lead up to the Bridge Project Breakfast. In the past the event has been attended by over 500 business people and is the primary fundraising and sponsorship source for the Bridge Project.

My role includes media targeting, social media, and content production and distribution of e-communications to the large database of contacts.

With each internship I have done my responsibilities have grown. My first week at YMCA I got to write the communications plan for the event. The more you show people what you are capable of the more responsibilities they will give you.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt as an intern?

Speak up. If you have a good idea or don’t agree with a decision then say so. Just because you are the most junior person in the office doesn’t mean your opinion isn’t just as valid.

Is Twitter an essential tool for networking?

For professional networking I think LinkedIn is much better and you really do need to be on it.

As a young person in communications people expect you to understand social media so it is essential that you be across all platforms. It’s funny how often senior PR managers come to the intern to ask for advice on social media.

Do you feel your various internships at Style Counsel and YMCA will help you stand out when applying for full-time jobs?

I am hoping so. In my course we are not required to undertake internships but it’s not realistic to think that you will be hired for a graduate position without any practical experience. A degree isn’t enough to get a job in this industry.

What do you do in your spare time? I don’t have much spare time at the moment. I work part-time, intern and study. I like to keep fit and I make sure I go to the footy every weekend.

Kate shares her advice

You need to intern. You really can’t expect to land a graduate position when you leave university without having practical experience. 

You need to be a good writer. Practice. Practice. Practice. Ask for feedback for anything you write while interning. Make sure you keep a record of everything you have worked on so you build up a portfolio of work you can show when you are ready to apply for other internships or graduate jobs.

Make professional contacts and keep them. Keep in touch with colleagues once you leave an internship and connect on LinkedIn.

Get as much experience as you can before you graduate. Never turn down an opportunity. You may be stressed to the max but it will all be worth it in the end. You have to think of the big picture

You can follow Kate on Twitter


Intern Profile: Remi Gordon

Remi

Meet Remi Gordon, she is a 18 year old Brisbanite turned Melburnian.

She blogs, she tweets, and her dream job is to work for Channel 10 or for a fashion magazine, “just like every other PR girl out there.”

Remi has just finished a two-month internship with online beauty and cosmetics company, Glamourflage

Remi is currently at RMIT studying a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Public Relations. She hopes to graduate in 2013.

Remi is in her first year at university and decided to start interning because she wanted to “gain a broader understanding of how the industry works.” Although working in the industry isn’t a requirement until her third year, Remi decided to start early.

She searched online but felt disheartened when she realised how competitive internships are. However, Remi was determined to put the theory she was learning at university into practice.

Luckily a friend at Remi’s university knew someone at Glamourflage who was looking for interns. Cosmetics and beauty are a girl’s dream to work in. So Remi took the opportunity and got in touch with the company.

On her first day at Glamourflage, the butterflies kicked in. Remi didn’t know what to expect and discovered she’d be working in a small office environment. “Working in a smaller team was beneficial because I got more responsibility” says Remi.

She worked closely with the Glamourflage team consisting of a marketing manager, accountant and import/export manager. She says it was a very laid back environment, “everyone was very casual in jeans and sneakers”, but expectations were still very high.

Remi interned at Glamourflage one to two days a week. Her official title was ‘social media intern’, where she looked after Glamourflage’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as assisting with blog writing on the website.

Although there are some shops that stock Glamourflage’s products, the majority of their orders come via the website. Remi had to pack orders for customers and respond to call-outs from magazine editors.

Like all university students, Remi had to learn how to juggle her work load with interning and casually working at a jewellery store. She said, “[it was] difficult at first…you have to be organized but my social life and uni (sic) grades weren’t affected negatively.”

Although Remi has finished interning with Glamourflage, she believes the experience was helpful and has now steered her in the direction of fashion and TV. She feels that beauty and cosmetics isn’t the area for her but she believes that, “any experience is good experience.”

Remi’s career ambition is to one day work in television, but says she’s more realistic in hoping to work at a PR firm with a variety of cliental.

Remi also hopes to do more work experience and interning, preferably in the area of business. “It’s really important in our industry to network and gain contacts so that one day you can use those to your advantage.”

Using Twitter has also helped Remi keep in touch with prospective employers,

    “I follow a lot of PR firms in Melbourne and try to interact with them where appropriate so that if the time comes that I wish to intern or apply for a job there, I have already put myself out there.”

Remi’s advice to fellow university students who are thinking about work experience or interning:

“Definitely just put yourself out there. I believe in giving things a go, and if you don’t try something, you’ll never know! Also, remember that you are there to LEARN, so don’t feel bad if something doesn’t turn out right the first or second time. Remember that the people you’re working with are professionals and have probably been in the industry for a while. Everything you do, you learn from, so even if you learn that you never want to work there again, you’ve still learnt something.”

 

Remi also has her own blog, Ardente Buttercup where she writes weekly posts titled, The Sunday Seven and Wordless Wednesday. You can also follow her on twitter