I’m pretty lucky… I’m 22 years old and have a kick-ass job. I work for one of the leading PR consumer and lifestyle agencies in Australia, across an array of amazing clients, travelling interstate and attending exclusive events… and each day I meet, work with and be-friend many people wanting my job.
Wonder if they knew it took me five years, a university degree, a hundred no’s, months of unemployment and eleven internships (equalling oh.. let me see.. thousands and thousands of hours) to get here?
Yep, wasn’t kidding with that “thousands and thousands of hours” and eleven internships. I started my PR journey right after high school. My first gig was at Quest Newspapers – when I wasn’t yet 18 and hadn’t started university. I Googled where my local paper’s office was, called them, called again and again… annoyed the editor… dropped a few names of local students doing well (*cue story inspiration*) and a few weeks later I was sitting at my desk. Despite loving the newsroom, I wanted more.
I went on to read the breakfast news at a local community radio station for almost a year (when I say local I mean 45 minutes away, three times a week – that’s a lot of early mornings), which led to an internship at NOVA 106.9fm. The morning newsreader Krystal lectured at my university, I stalked her on Facebook, convinced her I was good (which I wasn’t) and got myself a gig. I worked here for a year, and yes I got paid for most of it.
Whilst at NOVA I also decided to try television. I interned at Totally Wild (which had always been my dream), Nine News Brisbane (which turned into my dream), Seven Local News, WIN News and WIN News again. Meanwhile, I was meeting with News Directors at every station possible, calling Chiefs Of Staff across Australia (yes I called Tasmania determined to get a job, which I didn’t), writing free stories for magazines and keeping in contact with every person I had crossed paths with. I also interned at Cancer Council Queensland and was about to start at the Red PR Group before scoring a job with WIN News. Along the way, I applied for hundreds of jobs and was rejected, tried for many internships to no avail and met numerous people who had no interest in me at all, ever.
Today, I meet interns everyday who blow me away – filled with talent, armed with a skill set I could never have dreamed of and completely inspired to get their dream job – but have they done the work? I remember Nine News Brisbane reporter Darren Curtis once asking if I’d done the hard yards, if I was prepared to “work regional” – in PR terms, have you done the internship, the hundreds of hours learning basic industry skills? Have you really earned that dream position?
I know working for free is never easy, trust me I budgeted every coffee (not kidding) for years and worked multiple jobs just to pay the rent (not kidding either) – but it’s worth it. It will get you that job. Interning is a respected position in this industry – it shows resilience, modesty, determination and most importantly your commitment to get a job. This should never be undervalued.
At the Red PR Group we’re working on a new and exciting project for Red University – launching an intensive half-day internship for university students. The event will be held in November and discuss all things from how to write a resume, secure an internship, write a media release and make the perfect pitch, how to engage with media, network effectively and how corporate social media differs from personal.
Speaking at the event will be Red PR Group Managing Director Fleur Madden, our team, Courier Mail Deputy Editor Steele Tallon, NOVA Newsreader Ange Anderson and Former Ten News Reporter Chloe Baker. Each speaker will discuss how to be the ultimate PR pro, and work successfully within the industry – a HUGE benefit to students.
I know I’m biased but this is a huge opportunity and you’d be crazy to miss it – I would have been first in line this time last year. These opportunities are rare, and extremely valuable. You get to meet the MD of a leading PR agency in Brisbane, chat with key media personalities and if you’re clever… stay in touch (hint, hint). To get tickets, or if you have any questions, email my lovely colleague Ambre (she really is lovely, don’t be scared) at [email protected].