Ah interning – it’s one of those things we’ll all probably experience at one point, whether it’s something we do as a part of our course, or something we choose to do in our own time over the summer. My current internship is the latter. At the moment I am the features intern for Company magazine, a monthly fashion, celeb and lifestyle mag.
Doing journalism means that experience is almost crucial to my success once we graduate. It’s an incredibly cutthroat environment that requires experience and skill to “make it” in the industry. And the same can go for most of the courses that Cardiff has to offer. When it’s our turn to get our honours degree, we’ll be thrown into the big, wide world desperate to grab hold of the same job as not only everyone else on our course, but the other thousands of students in the country doing the same. Experience sets aside the best from the ordinary, it proves you’ve gained skills in a real, working environment and have the get up and go qualities it takes to find yourself that placement.
I’ve just finished my first week at Company, and in the past I have also interned for Grazia magazine, Stylist and in the marketing department of the charity The Hunger Project. To say this week was tiring would be an understatement – it has absolutely exhausted me. It was as if I’d almost forgotten what it was like to get up before 7am, and throw in a mad commute up town (up town for me being London), I was shattered before I’d even started my day at 9.30am. My duties are varied, and they consist of those typical Devil Wears Prada moments of tea making, and errand running, alongside a lot of article writing and liaising with PR companies.
But it has been amazing, and an experience I really don’t want to end!
Do I get paid? Unfortunately not in money (however very reasonable travel and lunch expenses have been!), but I get paid with the most invaluable experience and shadowing that is possible. However, before you go into your internship, look at your legal employment rights as an intern – as many internships legally require the student to be paid the National Minimum Wage if they’re classed as a worker.
Many have asked how I got my internship, and I’ve written more about it on my personal blog, but to put it simply, it was purely networking. I went to the big PPA Conference event and there threw my business card at any editor or ‘meejah’ bigwig that I could talk to, and eventually got chatting to Company Ed Victoria White and just over a week later I was sitting at a desk of our office. Madness! I think the number one advice I can give is keep your eyes and your ears peeled, be prepared to speak to anyone, if you’re going to a network event, always look up who’s going to be there, or if you know, more about the company and the person. And constantly check websites such as Go Think Big, or companies’ Twitter feeds as they post a ton of things on there!
I’d love to know the experience you’ve had, so comment below!