It’s getting super warm, so you know what that means: summer is just around the corner. The time we all look forward to, to put away the books and go on fancy vacations to escape the heat.
But not all of us will be travelling to some exotic destination. So for those who choose to stay back, it’s probably best to keep yourself occupied and get an internship.
Now while this article mostly talks about media internships, I’m sure it speaks broadly for all types of industries. So read on.
Internships in the summer are quite popular. I mean, it not only gives you a chance to get some hands-on experience but also to network and build your circle of connections.
For media students, it’s one thing to learn concepts whilst sitting at a desk, in class and another to practically implement what you’ve learned. Media internships give you that window of opportunity to learn some practical skills.
Still not convinced? Keep reading our five top reasons you should do a media internship this summer.
Let me break it down for you. If you thought you’re sorted by simply sitting in class, passing those tedious exams in numerous, media-related subjects, and dodging those ATKTS, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.
While learning theory and writing exams are part and parcel of a student’s life, if you want the competitive advantage over your peers, it’s the experience on the field- a media internship, that will set you apart.
And why? Well, when you do get into the industry, the first thing you realise is that not everything you learned in class, will help. More often than not, jobs require you to have hands-on experience and not just textbook knowledge.
For example, many journalism courses will teach you creative writing and even report writing. But it’s only when you get into the field, think up and write your own stories, that you will truly be able to understand the very essence of report writing. Until then, everything remains hypothetical.
TRIAL AND ERROR
You read that right: internships are probably the only time when making a mistake is understandable and pardonable.
Since media internships are a time to observe and learn, making a mistake isn’t typically seen as a cardinal sin. But.. obviously, this does not mean that you can and should make mistakes.
Look at it as more of a safety net. If you do happen to make a mistake (this happens to the best of us, even after years of being in the industry), it is important to learn and develop your skill set that will prove to be helpful when you really enter into a full-time job.
IDENTIFY WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO
How many of you even know what industry or company you want to join? When I was in college, I had no idea.
For those inclined to go down the journalism route, in order for you to figure out which beat you want to work in, it is first important to experiment with different beats – reporting hard news in business, legal, crime, sports or writing softer features.
On the other hand, those media students who are keen on advertising could probably bag a media internship in an advertising agency or as part of the advertising team in a company.
In this case, you will get a feel for what it’s like to work in a corporate office or what advertising agency life is like.
A note to BMM Students:
One good thing about the Bachelor of Mass Media degree is that it opens a plethora of options in terms of jobs, for you. I mean, you don’t have to go down the path most-taken- journalism and advertising. You could try your hand at a public relations internship or even a marketing internship. In this way, you will even get a sense of how the two streams are different, in terms of the types of content created and the functionalities of jobs under each stream.
Further, if you’re better off with photography, you could even look into a photojournalism internship.
So BMM students can explore with a variety of internships during the three-year degree to figure out the field they are most interested in.
A note to Diploma students:
Now, if you’re a student pursuing a diploma in a media discipline, you may have a bit more clarity in knowing what field you are into. This is a no-brainer.
I mean, a student pursuing a diploma in journalism is presumably pretty set in their goals to be a journalist; but journalism in itself is a vast field. So, a media internship at this stage would perhaps be beneficial in order to gain more clarity over the beat you are most interested in.
As I said earlier, internships should be all about learning and finding where your interests lie.
BUILD THAT RESUME
Yup, we couldn’t leave this one out. Having a lengthy resume, with all these fancy degrees will take you some distance, but employers mostly look for your experience levels in the field.
This is where again, your internship comes into play.
As I said in point 1, experience in the field in which you want to build a career around is what will help boost your resume qualities. The things you could possibly learn during the internship communicates that you do in fact, have sufficient knowledge to undertake a job.
So, never discount an internship. It’s worth more than you think.
This is a big one. Time management is something we learn since we’re in college. I mean, you do learn how to manage your free time, along with the time needed to finish assignments, right?
So it is with media internships. You’re on the job and a couple of responsibilities will be laid on your shoulders. You will learn to properly and efficiently use your time management skills to get tasks done.
It may seem unlikely at the time, but trust me, time management is a thankless skill to have when it comes to managing and completing tasks when you finally land a full-time job. What’s more, employers appreciate employees who have excellent time management skills and can be relied upon to complete tasks effectively.
NETWORKING IS KEY
Getting the experience, putting in the hours and garnering amazing time-management skills is good, but this is superseded by what internships also offer: the opportunity to network and expand your horizons.
Whilst doing an internship, remember that ultimately, you are working for a company that could potentially hire you.
So, if you prove yourself to be sufficient for a job that may prop up in the future, who knows, you might just be perfect for that position, because well, the company has already seen what you can do.
Now if that doesn’t work, internships also offer the opportunity to meet like-minded people, while on the job, so building relationships with them might also be beneficial because they might be able to introduce you to other potential employers.