REFLECTIONS FROM AN INTERN TO ANOTHER
Interning at CBMP is a flexible experience where you are given creative freedom to express what you want in your projects in showcasing what you are passionate about and enjoy doing most. However, with creative freedom does come responsibility in communicating with your team, and setting goals and deadlines for yourself.
Unlike being at university where you are given rigid tasks that you must follow, at the CBMP internship you are given the responsibility to manage your own time - in which success in this ultimately earns you your place.
An internship introduces you to what working in the industry is like and teaches you the importance of how you contribute and interact within the workplace.
This semester’s internship cohort was joined with a diverse but like-minded group of marketing, production, journalism, tech and photography students. Some have had previous experience of working in a professional environment, whilst others were stepping into the industry for their first time. Regardless of our experience, we have all definitely learned a few do’s and don'ts along the way - especially surrounding our work responsibilities and taking ownership.
Ultimately, CBMP is a stepping stone for job referral and connections, and all that you bring to the table, your work and attitude will determine your suitability for jobs through the CBMP networks in the media, marketing, business and tech industry. Some previous interns have now springboarded into full time roles at SkyNews, The Guardian, Newscorp, ABC, Westpac, Coloursock, Poem Group, community radio stations, contractors for CBMP and more.
From one intern to another, here were some tips and helpful suggestions for those transitioning from the rigid university learning structure to finding your passion and place in any workplace - the essential Do's and Don'ts!
Ask questions or seek a quick meeting if you are struggling or unsure what to do
Ask your team for a peer review - the more constructive criticism the better! We all learn from each other and see how we can do better by taking tips from other people.
Say you "I don’t want to learn anything new". Internships and any workplaces are all about gaining new skills and experiences so being closed off to learning won’t allow for that. From the employer’s perspective, if you are not open to learning anything new it demonstrates you have limited initiative or motivation, and are resistant to change. The constant thing in a job or workplace is change.
Send your work prior to a meeting to give the person time to review so there are no surprises in a meeting.
Attend team meetings - if you can’t attend, follow protocol to ensure you still have time to talk with your team and not miss out (e.g. update on what you have achieved in the past week and request for a quick meeting over zoom)
Make notes in meetings - this ensures that you don’t forget what additional tasks you may be given or additional information you might need.
Assume that it is ok to not attend a meeting and not follow up with your employer and other team members.
Come unprepared to a meeting - always come with any questions you may have and updates on your project.
Ask for a meeting on the spot - everyone has different schedules and you will need to ask for a meeting at a later time to give a bit of notice to the other party
Meet deadlines - especially if you have set them for yourself! Setting your own deadlines in your proposals allows your employer to plan for meetings.
If you think you can’t meet a deadline, let your employer know ASAP! It is better for them to know sooner rather than later, and they will be able to help you through any complications you may be going through as well.
Never say "I don’t have time, I am busy, I don't know how it slipped my mind" - from an employer’s perspective, it means “Clearly they don't care about the project they are working on. Why are they even here?”
Procrastinate until the last minute. At the internship we have weekly meetings which help to hold you accountable for your time management, unlike university where you aren’t checked on weekly on if you are doing your assignments.
WORKING ON TASKS
Follow templates and guides provided by your employer.
Present a finished draft. A draft is the simplest form of your project from start to finish to give others an idea of what your project is and for commenting.
Collate all your questions before reaching out for task clarification.
Do things your own way. Although you are given a lot of freedom at CBMP, there are standards and guides to allow for an easier understanding between the team.
Take up a project you don’t think you can do or meet the deadline of - this takes up time which could’ve been more valuably used for a project that you are more suited to.
Attend meetings with industry professionals - you will get alot of insight into what it is like to work different jobs within the industry and have the opportunity to ask them questions.
Network!!! This program allows you to meet many people which could be your stepping stone into your next job - LinkedIn is a great start.
At this internship we have been able to gain connections to Robbie Hopkins (Senior Partnerships Manager @ Google), Conchita Pang (Producer and Director), Deann Tran (Manager at Deloitte Digital) and Lenny Fung (TV Director)
Personally, I was fortunate to gain a referral from Robbie for my application for a Business Internship at Google.
Ignore opportunities to connect. LinkedIn is very social and you will find that people you don’t know will want to connect with you. Take this opportunity to expand your network.
Christopher McMaster is a final year Chinese Australian student studying Biotechnology and Marketing at the University of Technology Sydney. He enjoys exploring his own Chinese heritage as well as other Asian cultures that have influenced the multicultural experiences of Sydney.
Zyri Dela Cruz is a Filipino-Australian currently in her final year of studying Biotechnology and Marketing at the University of Technology Sydney. With bilingual skills of speaking Tagalog and English, she has a great appreciation of her own Filipino culture and is continuing to navigate and celebrate this through her experiences in Australia. Beyond her studies and work, she enjoys traveling and broadening her musical skills.