Mel Evans grew up reading glossy magazines. She loved reading Dolly so much that in year 11 she decided to experience the inner workings of her favourite magazine herself.
After three stints doing work experience with Dolly magazine and at Rolling Stone in her first year at university, Mel scored an internship with Dolly.
“I fell in love with the place and went a few more times before begging for an internship in my first year of uni. My persistence definitely paid off,” says Mel.
Mel is so dedicated to working for Dolly, she even travelled every Monday from Canberra to Sydney where Dolly and other ACP magazines are based.
She found out about her internship position by asking the editorial coordinator at Dolly. Mel says there was a list of enthusiastic work experience students but because of her hard work Mel was given the next available intern position.
During her time at Dolly, Mel was often writing features, pitching to the deputy editor, writing for the online editor and taking care of the work experience girls and doing interviews or assisting on photo shoots. She was also in charge of Dolly’s ‘Most Embarrassing’ cringe page. Mel also researched and transcribed stories, helped unpack beauty products and was sent on the occasional coffee run.
Mel is also very active at university as she is the president of the journalism society and often holds networking events for students and journalists. Mel says that many students who start a journalism degree don’t realize how important networking is.
“You can have the highest ATAR and be the first in all your classes at uni, but if you don’t know anyone in the industry, you won’t get anywhere,” says Mel.
She also says that Twitter is an essential networking tool for aspiring journalists.
“I’ve met so many amazing journalists and student journos through it and I’ve managed to keep in contact with valuable networks I’ve made through my three years at uni and one year as president of UC Press Club,” says Mel.
Mel has recently finished interning with Dolly mag after two years and is now working freelance for Cleo magazine’s online editor.
After her two years interning at Dolly and now working freelance, Mel believes the magazine industry is the right career for her.
“It’s made me more realistic about the industry, but that realism has only fuelled my passion more so, because I now know that I am cut out for the magazine industry and I’ve got what it takes to make it. But two years ago I wouldn’t be this confident I can make it in the industry,” says Mel.
Mel says that she is now more open to working in other forms of media such as print or broadcast. Ultimately, Mel says her dream is to one day become an editor of a women’s magazine.
You can follow Mel on Twitter and check out her blog to see all her published work. You can also follow Dolly and Cleo magazines on Twitter.
“Do it. You don’t have any excuse as to why you can’t pick up the phone or send an email and ask for a week’s worth of work experience. They’re only going to say no- then you go onto the next one,” says Mel.
“Don’t be afraid of rejection. If you are serious about a career in journalism, you need that industry insight which only comes from work experience and interning. You might as well do it now while you’re still at uni instead of having to work unpaid when you shouldn’t be.”