how to prepare for an internship in journalism
An internship in journalism is an exciting way to gain valuable experience, and to work amongst talented, hardworking individuals in the media industry. It is also a great opportunity to gain insight into a work environment you may not know much about; and to potentially secure a job with the company long term. Before you begin your internship, it is important to be prepared and make the most of this opportunity.
1. Review the company’s website and social platforms
It is important to understand the company, its employees, and its ethos before you begin your internship. Make sure you review the website, read published work and employee bios and job titles. This will familiarise you with your new colleagues and their roles within the company. It is also helpful to check out social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, this will make you aware of the company’s mission and will be useful if you are requested to help and write for these platforms in the future.
2. Look over your job description
Before starting your internship, you want to have a clear understanding of your role and what is expected from you in the company. This will be highly useful when introducing yourself to co-workers and working as part of a team, as you will know your purpose and where you fit within the company. It can also be useful to brush up on a few of the skills that you have detailed on your CV, including ones in systems- such as Microsoft Word and Excel or InDesign.
3. Make sure you have what you need
Whether you are entering a newsroom or are working remotely, you need to be thoroughly prepared for your first day of work. Make sure you have a notebook and pen, smart clothing, or essential identification documents for the operations team. Or if you are working from home to determine whether you have the right technology and internet connection and your own laptop; essential for team calls, email exchanges, and for completing and submitting work.
4. Be prepared to ask questions and to pitch
It can be daunting working amongst a new team, but it is important that as an intern you ask questions to thoroughly understand your tasks and projects. Your employer will recognise that you have a great amount to learn and will be pleased with your work ethic and desire to complete tasks to a high standard. Also, you may have an opportunity to pitch your ideas or a piece of work during your internship- so it is important to understand how to pitch effectively. Remember, if your idea is good enough and your pitch is effective, it will be considered.
5. Have confidence
You have secured an internship in a competitive industry, and you should be immensely proud. You not only have the skills required for this position, but your enthusiasm has shone through and impressed the employer. It is important to remember that you have a lot to learn from this internship and to not put an enormous amount of pressure or expectations on yourself. It will be challenging and demanding, and you will be required to work hard and for long hours. Nonetheless, you are new to the professional world, and all you can do is your best and that is more than enough.
Hopefully these steps will help you prepare for your upcoming journalism internship and will give you the confidence to thrive and succeed. Being fully prepared will not only help you to have a great first day, but to ensure you are a valuable asset to the company.
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