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Instead of spending her university holidays taking a break, Ashleigh McIntosh flew from Brisbane to Melbourne to complete a two-week internship with the Western Bulldogs Football Club.
“As I want for work for an AFL club it seemed ideal and I wanted to start getting my name out and building my brand in Melbourne” says Ashleigh.
Ashleigh paid for her own accommodation and navigated her way around Melbourne’s transport system to get to the footy club in West Footscray.
While at the footy club, Ashleigh helped write stories, match previews and reports for online and print media. She also helped coordinate press conferences and interviews and assisted with social media.
However, this isn’t the first internship Ashleigh has completed.
“My uncle is a journalist and always insisted that work experience is just as important if not more than a degree,” says Ashleigh.
Ashleigh has completed three internships with The Courier Mail Sports Department, two with the Brisbane Lions Football Club, The Brisbane Roar, AFL Queensland and Football Queensland. As well as helping out with Media Training for Athletes, and of course most recently, Ashleigh worked with the Western Bulldogs.
Ashleigh is enthusiastic about gaining experience in her chosen industry to say the least.
“While ten seems a bit obsessive I am certainly glad I put in the extra effort…plus internships are the fun part of [a] media degree,” says Ashleigh.
From her various internships, Ashleigh has found confidence in her writing and in herself. She also says the positive feedback she receives from her experiences have cemented her belief that she has chosen the right profession.
“I am lucky enough to know the exact type of role I want and hopefully am building the experience that I need to stand out,” says Ashleigh.
Although Ashleigh had family connections in getting her work experience started, she recommends being proactive in seeking out experience.
“Make yourself known in the media industry while still at university,” says Ashleigh.
Using social media helps Ashleigh connect with the media industry and her fellow competitors in Melbourne. It also helps showcase her online portfolio to prospective employers and be able to further network within the industry.
“Most of my competition will be Melbourne students who are equally obsessed with AFL and it is quite easy to find and communicate with them via Twitter,” says Ashleigh.
Ultimately, Ashleigh wants to work in the media department of an AFL club or as a sports journalist. From her experiences, Ashleigh has found she prefers a combined media and public relations type role.
Ashleigh says she originally wanted to work in a sports newsroom but wants to be able to write, conduct interviews and also to be involved with crisis management and building a brand.
Despite being a self-confessed “footy tragic” Ashleigh is also a girlie girl and loves being social with her friends and family.
Ashleigh has no regrets about doing so many internships, as she is a firm believer in learning on the job rather than in the classroom.
You can follow Ashleigh on Twitter and visit her online portfolio. Ashleigh has also applied for the Collingwood Football Club Digital Content Producer position. You can view her application here.
“I don’t think you could realistically get a decent job without experience. The media industry is hugely competitive. Internships are also a fun way to develop your writing and interviewing skills and get a backstage look into an industry that you are interested in,” says Ashleigh.
“Get a resume together and a portfolio (whether online or not) and send them in to any company that you would want to intern with. It is like searching for a job, it can be a bit hit and miss, but it is definitely possible to find internships.”