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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My Interning Life: Ben Cuzzupe

Today on My Interning Life, Ben Cuzzupe tells us in his own words how he chose to chase his dreams over attending university classes. 

BY BEN CUZZUPE

My Interning Life Guest Post

This blog quite possibly could be the key to everything you ever dreamed of being.

Some of the advice within these pages can kick down doors that you’ve only ever seen before in your dreams.

However, you might not get that internship you’ve been after. It’s a very competitive world, so some have to prepare themselves for when it all doesn’t go to plan. But even then, your own hard work and creativity can come to the forefront.

Many of the suggestions previous interns have made, is that you start your own blog or creative outlet for your ideas. Bound For Glory is an example of what can happen when you stick to something instead of a traditional internship.

In March of this year I had begun my first year of university at La Trobe, and at this point I didn’t have my license, so two hours on that ride. With the help of a team like-minded journalism students, amateur football writers and bunch of other BigFooty forum-ites along for the ride, set up ‘Bound For Glory’, an AFL radio program on SYN FM out of RMIT over the summer.

One day, as we were planning our first episode to coincide with the season launch at the end of March, one the people on the show, who is an employee of the North Melbourne Football Club notified me of an event. (Some clubs media policies vary from the rigid and selective, to the open and carefree; and North Melbourne was one of the latter.)

He began to tell me about an Open Media Day that the club was having, where all of the players and the coaches would be gathered and I could pick openly from whom to speak to for our opening show, regardless of if I had fifty years or minutes of experience. It was the perfect opportunity, the one opening to get the show off the mark and pull a substantial audience for ten people broadcasting something out of the middle of nowhere, right off the bat.

The one flaw in the plan was that I didn’t own a recording device and the next day of university I had a tute that was critical to my marks for the semester. The thoughts dangled and wavered for a couple of days, but I stuck to Uni until I came to the day before the Open Media day.  It was either the Upfield train or the Heidelberg train or whatever people in the northern suburbs use to get from one place to another; and for some reason instead of ending up at Flinders Street so I could change to get on to the Sydenham line, it ended up at Melbourne Central.

The ultimatum rattled around in my head for the past couple of days, in which I decided to make a choice in the blink of an eye:
Go to my tute the next morning, in which I would be placed in groups for the most important assignment for my semester, or ditch the class and University for a year to go interview football players.

I’ll never claim divine intervention or it was the most resoundingly intellectual decision either; but I got off the train, walked into a shop on Little Lonsdale Street, haggled down the price for the digital recorder and made up my mind.
Defer from University for a year to run the radio show along with a talented but mostly untried team, and make some contacts in the industry.

What seemed to be one of the most utterly insane decisions that I had ever made in my life, in retrospect nine months later turned out to be the smartest one I ever made. That day I interviewed several players (Sam Wright, Todd Goldstein, Matt Campbell) and coach Brad Scott.

In the space of a week, our opening show went from looking to fill air time with awkward conversation, to having a lengthy interview with Age journalist and one of the most humble people I’ve ever met, Rohan Connolly, (who got out of bed quite early on a Saturday morning to hang around a recording studio riddled with faults and a bunch of caffeine addled students), Warney of DT TALK (fantasy football analyst) fame, St.Kilda star Nick Dal Santo and the other interviews I and one of the co-producers had collected on that day.

We added some others to our team of the course of the year and we managed to interview AFL, journalists, umpires, presidents, players and many other people from the TAC Cup and the VFL. Most importantly, we grew as a team and our writing, recording, presenting abilities and audience increased tenfold.

The bubbling chemistry that this team of talented, optimistic, honest, ballsy, funny and outright insane people grew again when one of us, Matt Marsden, decided to launch and run an independent news/ opinion site in July of this year.

We’re a decent chance for AFL media accreditation and sponsors next year too, but even if it doesn’t happen, we’ll just grow again because you can’t contain that sort of raw energy and enthusiasm that exists with the idealistic and driven.

In the age of the internet, the information and ideas are now democratized and everyone is an artist of some sort.  The old guard (newspapers, television, radio) are struggling to see that regular people with regular lives can create the same, if not better magic that’s created in professional environments.

I don’t want to be the editor of the Herald Sun, or rally against the system where a professional journalist have slaved their whole lives to create fantastic paid content. The whole point of this is to create interest in the job and profession, and to give nobodies a leg up and a beginning into this confusing and fast paced medium.

I hope to someday do a proper internship elsewhere, but for now, this is more than enough. Get online, get creativity and the rewards will come.

Ben Cuzzupe is the Executive Producer of @BoundForGloryFM and a contributor for the @BoundForGloryNews. You can also follow Ben on Twitter. 


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