It’s 2016 and after an unbelievably fast January, it’s time for get back into the swing of things. For me, the ‘swing’ includes classes, part-time work and of course, interning. Along with the responsibility of intern life comes the responsibility of answering the never-ending list of questions from family, friends and classmates regarding said internships. So – in true Phoebe fashion, I thought I’d just get in early.
(Yes, I’m interviewing myself guys, practice is a part of intern life).
“How did you land the internships?”
So for me, there were two different ways of finding out about an available internship position– word of mouth or an advertisement.
Interning in the field of music journalism clearly rests on your ability to communicate in written word; however, never underestimate the power of verbal communication. The first internship I started was with Mixdown Magazine of Furst Media. During my second year of university, I was lucky enough to have a friend recommend the position (he had completed an internship with them the previous year). After contacting the publications editor and attending a super casual interview, they offered me a three-month internship. Over six months later, I’m still interning and still enjoying it. The moral of the story here is to never underestimate the power of your peers – Big Kev from class may just be your ‘in’ to your ultimate internship.
The second internship I was able to find was with the lovely folks at Speaker TV. Here is where the power of a good Google search comes into play. While a simple search of ‘Journalism Internship Melbourne’ will give you several leads, it’s easier if you know where you’re headed. Personally, I visited creative job platforms including Pedestrian.TV and The Loop. Afterwards, head to as many online and print publication websites as you can. With a little bit of a look around, you are sure to find a suitable point of contact for each publication – email them all. Oh, and if they are not advertising a position, don’t be deterred, often you’ll find that they are happy to take you on or keep you in mind for a later date. Just trust me – apply, apply, apply! Remember, this isn’t an application to your local café, so make sure to put in some extra effort.
“How many hours/days do you intern for?”
It all depends on the internship. For me, it’s a full day once a week for each of my two internships. Other internships can offer multiple days during the week but for this broke student, classes and the $$$ have to fit somewhere into my schedule. Keep in mind that while interning is a wonderful learning experience, the last thing you want to do is overextend yourself – everything in moderation.
“What do you even do at your internship?”
Unlike many preconceptions, interns are not used as coffee carts with legs or errand runners. Throughout my time intern experience I’ve been responsible for writing up music news pieces, live reviews, album reviews and the most exciting and daunting task of all, conducting interviews. As well as typing away at your desk, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded, talented and experienced individuals – so take advantage. More often than not, the person you are working with once interned for their publication so be sure to ask them about their own experiences. From sing-alongs and dress-ups to in-office mini workouts, there’s no telling what will happen in the office on any given day so be open minded, ask questions and get involved in the fun of it all.
“Do you get paid OR how long will it be until you get paid?”
Everybody’s favourite question – are you getting that dolla dolla bill ya’ll? Well let’s just say I’m not making it rain just yet. Most internships are indeed unpaid, however, if you are lucky enough to pick-up paid editorial opportunities you can be paid as a freelance writer per piece.
“Then like, why are you working for free?”
After hearing this one more than once, it’s clear that working for free isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – but just hear me out.
Interning is the ultimate networking opportunity for any up and comer. From fellow interns, established writers, editors, graphic designers of course the talent, it’s a smorgasbord of influential industry professionals. I have made multiple connections that have lead to other opportunities in my chosen field. These range from writing for other Melbourne publications, to being published interstate. Another benefit interning offers up is the real world, on the ground experience. As a third-year student, I know that theory is a crucial part of a writer or any creative’s learning experience, however, there’s no better way to perfect your craft than to implement it in a professional environment. At the end of the day, ‘you’ve gotta be in it to win it’, so you may as well be ‘in’ an energetic, enjoyable environment.
“Where can the internship take you?”
Obviously every intern’s prospects are different, but an internship is never the end of the road. From landing a position at their chosen company, to finding other intern opportunities, the possibilities are endless. While the internship yellow brick road is definitely a long one, there’s got to be magical wizard waiting to make all our dreams come true at the end of it, right?
“What tips would you give someone who’s about to start an internship?”
1. Make a note of everyone you meet – there is nothing worse than forgetting someone’s name and nothing better than being able to greet people personally as you arrive.
2. Keep a copy of your writing, whether it is in print or online version or both, this way you can slowly create your professional portfolio.
3. Try to be the stand out intern – there will often be multiple interns in the one workplace, make sure you are known around the office (for good things of course), going the extra mile is bound to pay off.
4. Stay in contact with your employer/co-workers after you complete your internship. The connections you will make are invaluable to your future career; make sure to save them in the address book quick smart.
5. Approach your employer with new ideas – it shows that you are 100% keen and not just cruising along.
6. Get your socials in order. From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and LinkedIn, the more connected you are, the better.
7. Take advantage of the free live shows and albums. With every review comes a freebie – a major perk of the job for any music lover struggling on a student budget.
8. Push yourself to try new things. Face-to-face interviews are nerve wrecking but are definitely worthwhile.
9. Do your own research. A thorough knowledge of your field, current trends and upcoming releases will make you a handy resource around the office.
10. Make friends with fellow interns, after all – we are in this together!
Thinking intern life might be right for you? Speaker TV is seeking an intern for their Melbourne office! Apply here for your chance to join the team.