Tag Archives: internships

Giving Students and New Grads a Voice

You know I’m all about networking, seminars and interning to help you make the way towards your dream job, so it’s no surprise I would be all on board when I heard the country’s leading online career resource spot, TalentEgg.ca, was launching an awareness campaign to fight Gen-Y under-employment.

The platform is called Student Voice, and it’s mission is to give students the opportunity to voice their school-to-work transition concerns, experiences and wishes to Canadian employers. Each day students and new grads will be sharing their career-related stories, and so far almost two-dozen young professional have contributed.

And of course I was one of them. You can check out my story about something that is near and dear to me: unpaid internships. Read: Attract and Retain the Best Talent by Offering Paid Internships.

If you are a student or new grad with a positive career experience story or wish the job hunting process was a bit different for young professionals, I would encourage you to submit your story to this great campaign. We all need to work together to voice our opinions if we want things to get better for our generation!

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Guest Post for The Happy Freelancer

A little while ago I was asked by my Twitter friend and fellow PWAC member, Heidi Turner, to write a guest post for her wonderful writing blog. The Happy Freelancer shares many great personal stories as well as career advice for freelance writers. I was honoured to be asked to contribute to this wonderful online resource along with many other freelance writers whom I admire.

Check out the many inspiring posts as well as my guest post about my experiences as an intern in All Work and No Pay: Surviving Unpaid Internships.

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Should you work for Free?

Keeping up with all this intern talk, I found something else I’d like to share for all my past, present and future intern amigos.

My friend @laurenonizzle found this flow chart created by designer Jessica Hische.

You start in the middle and answer some YES and NO questions to find out if that unpaid internship/job is worth all your time and effort.

You will probably find this chart humorous and quite frankly very truthful, but I have to say it was a little quick to judge. While there are mixed views about working for free (tough competition, exploitative, necessary for success, slave labour) in these times I don’t really see a way you can’t get to where you want to go without one (or two, or three…).

Never mind the networking and hands-on experience, but internships give you a sneak peak into the word of whatever career you have your heart set on. And what better way to find out if it is really the right thing for you than having the chance to do a “trial run” per se for a few months. You may love it and know for certain that there is nothing else better for you, or you may find it was not how you imagined and go back to the drawing board for another shot at a career path that you will love and excel at.

Internships can be draining, emotional, intimidating, frustrating, exciting, and rewarding all at once. You have to believe in what you love to do enough to be willing to work for free (hopefully only for a little while anyway). You have to be smiling and helpful and eager to do whatever is thrown your way, even when you know you are above the task and you feel like yelling, “WHY WON’T YOU HIRE ME ALREADY?”

There's more to being an intern than coffee runs.

But in the end it is all about what you make of the opportunity. Be smart enough to pick an organization with a track record for good internship experiences, and talk with anyone and everyone you know about their experiences and words of wisdom. Don’t be shy. Ask the stupid questions. Get there early and bring a pen and a notebook. Always ask if there is anything more you can do. And don’t forget those thank you notes when it’s all over.

Be the best you can be.

You may be still waiting for your internship(s) to pay off (I know I am), but it will happen. One day. And when it does, I hope you remember to be nice to YOUR interns.

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This Time Last Year

It’s funny how you can look back on things  and decide they were even better than you previously gave them credit for. Like when you were younger and you couldn’t wait to drive a car, make money, or pick your own clothes.

I’m just getting into the groove of 2011, but I still find myself looking back. Looking back at Facebook photos, archived emails and blog posts that remind me of where I was and what I was doing exactly 12 months ago.

My first picture as a Pinellas News Intern

Not only was I still a journalism student last January, but I was also an intern at the Pinellas News in St. Petersburg, Florida. Who would have guessed it would have been such an exciting and such an eye-opening learning experience. Not me.

It all started with a trip down to the Sunshine State. Funny enough I’m back down here right now and I wish I could be spending my days again reporting for the community paper. But my internship is long over and whats more is that little paper no longer exists.

As I took a drive downtown yesterday to visit my old stomping grounds as an intern reporter, the nostalgia really set in. This little community that I had known as my vacation hideaway since I was three years old became a place full of lively stories and interesting people that I was so eager to meet and write about. In the beginning I was quite intimidated at the thought of having to report in a city where I hardly knew anyone or anything, but that all wore off quicker than I expected just by talking to the natives and doing as much research and exploring as I could.

The view of downtown St. Petersburg

Not only did the internship give me a ton of great reporting experience that I have been able to build upon in my career, it gave me many memories and a newfound appreciation of the city of St. Petersburg that I will keep with me and think about every time I come back to visit.

Reporting from President Obama's town hall meeting in Tampa

Looking for a dose of the past? You can check out the stories from week one, two, three and four of my internship.

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2010 Photo Diary

Uploading the last of my 2010 pictures onto iPhoto today, I couldn’t help but browse through all my albums from the last year. The groups of photos sparked so many good times, so many happy memories, and new experiences that made it a year to remember. So I decided it would be fun to put together a little photo diary of my year in review. Here is to a wonderful year and to the start of another great one.

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Intern Diaries: Vol. IV Conclusion

As the month (and the year) comes to an end so has editorial internship #4.

It has been an exciting and enjoyable past few months working in the fashion closet amongst creative minds, fashionable bodies and racks of couture garments. All of the hard work, early mornings, late nights and frantic deadlines have only made my love for magazines and fashion grow stronger. I won’t be able to open up a magazine without flipping to the masthead to make a mental note of all the important names and titles before I turn the pages to enjoy the beauty and expertise they have edited together for my viewing pleasure.

Click here to read my final blog post on the Interns’ picks for Best Dressed of 2010.

Below you can check out some of the photos from the ten-page January spread “Chalet Chic” which I was on set to assist with.

Photos from Next Models Canada

Stay tuned for another volume of the Intern Diaries starting in early 2011.

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The Intern Diaries: Volume IV

As I mentioned earlier, I will soon become an intern for the fourth time.

I’ll have to admit, I hoped I was done with this stage of my career but I’m still looking forward to another great learning opportunity, and a possible gateway to the working world. Unlike my pervious intern gigs, this one won’t be strictly editorial. I’ll be spending part of my time in the fashion closet sorting clothing and accessories, calling PR companies and designers and getting organized for fashion shoots, and the other half contributing to the fashion blog (It may sound glamorous, but I assure you it will be hard work). I’m super excited to get to experience the daily happenings at one of the country’s leading fashion magazines and I’m sure I will be meeting many talented people in the magazine industry along the way.

Stay tune for more additions to the Intern Diaries in the coming weeks for updates.

But before this all goes down, I’m off to the city that never sleeps for my own little adventure. I’ll tell you all about it when I return, and don’t worry I won’t keep you guessing about the exact magazine I’ll be interning at for much longer.

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Good Advice to Give and Take

Some of you may know I have been a member of the Professional Writer’s Association of Canada (PWAC) for a little over a year now. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made as a newbie freelancer, and I’ve really enjoyed meeting members from across Canada and hearing how they got their start.

Well, a little while ago I was asked to share my experiences as an intern at Pinellas News for the London chapter’s newsletter. I was a bit surprised to be asked to give advice to other members, especially since I am one of the youngest and least experienced of the bunch. Still it was great to get my experience down in writing, and as I wrote the piece I was reminded all over again what an incredible learning opportunity the entire internship was.

As I prepare to embark on my fourth stint as an intern (more on that soon) I’ll be making sure to read over this piece and make some mental notes to bring with me to the next publication.

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You can never have enough shoes: This weekend at the London Free Press

Photo By: Morris Lamont/London Free Press

After a relatively unproductive weekend, I took a day shift Sunday at the London Free Press. As I rode the bus downtown I went over the list of potential story ideas in my head that I could pitch. I arrived in the newsroom prepared for one of the city editors to okay one of my ideas and to spend the afternoon looking for sources and making phone calls. Instead I was greeted by one of the photographers, Morris Lamot, who told me I would be going along with him to cover Slush Cup at Boler Mountain.
As the day panned out I realized many things, one of them being that I seemed to be the only person I knew who had never heard about a Slush Cup before. (If you don’t either the best you can do is watch this video).
Check out the story from the London Free Press here.
Here’s my two cents from this weekend:
1. Always be Prepared: So I may have ripped this motto from the Boy Scouts, but I think journalists should start adopting this practice too. As a reporter you never know where the day might take you, and where you might end up to cover a story. You may need a raincoat and some wellies, or you may need some heels and a blazer. Case in point: On a fairly warm Sunday (about 6 degrees) I found myself going to a ski hill. When I got dressed that morning the last thing I was thinking as I starred into my closet was, “I should wear something warm incase I spend the whole day outside.” Not going to lie I was more concerned about coordinating my cardigan with my bracelets. But luckily at the last minute I wore my boots instead of my converse, and my wool pea coat instead of my short leather jacket. After the first hour at the hill my feet were already numb (these boots are nice but not designed for trekking through snow all day long), and I was wishing  my outfit plan included a scarf. The photographer on the other had pulled out a pair of Sorel winter boots from his trunk along with a hat and an insulated jacket. “You never know where they are going to send you, and if you aren’t prepared you can’t do your job the way you need to,” he said. Now the next time I take a shift at the paper I don’t plan on bringing a small duffel bag with different outfit options, (not that I wouldn’t enjoy that) but I will for sure think about versatility when I access my choice in the mirror.
2. Multi-tasking is an Art: My job for the day was simply to interview some spectators, contestants, and a representative from Boler so I could write a colourful story about the event. The photographer on the other hand had to shoot video for the web and take photos that would appear in the paper, as well as in an online photo gallery. I watched him as he shot some clips with the mini-cam and then quickly turned to his digital SLR to snap some stills as all the action was going on and people were moving all around him (don’t forget he was standing on an uneven snowy hill!). On top of that he even made it a point to run over to every contestant after they came down the hill to get their names for the photo captions. I was having trouble just conducting interviews while keeping track at how many people had come down the hill. Luckily we worked together back in the newsroom, sharing names and going over the facts for the story, but I realized that’s not always going to be the case. The realities of the job today are that I might be sent out somewhere without another reporter/ videographer/photographer to share the work with. This means I will be expected to step up my game and make sure I cover all the major points of the multimedia story––  even if it’s just covering some crazy teens skiing into a pond of freezing water.
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The Intern Diaries: Week Two

Two weeks completed. Two weeks to go. I am now half way through my one month internship at Pinellas News in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was another exciting week for me, and the weather is slowly improving (yay!). Here are some highlights:

  • On Monday I had my first encounter with the cultural side of St.Petersburg. I met with Nan Colton, the resident  performance artist at the Museum of Fine Arts and interviewed her for a story about the Coffee Talks presentations she puts on for seniors at the museum every month. She gave me a personal tour of the newest exhibit at the museum, the work of artist Fernando Botero, and told me all about her 40 year career as a performance artist and how she teaches her audience art education through her portrayals of famous female historical figures like Georgia O’Keefe and Frida Kahlo.
  • Starting next week I am also taking on a large portion of the design and layout of the newspaper. This means I spent many hours of the week learning how to use Quark design software as well a Photoshop to edit all the photos we will publish. Boy do I wish I paid more attention to those layout lessons we got back at school in the Fall. It’s a long and painstaking process to set up each page of the paper and play around with it until it looks visually appealing and logically correct (and this is a relatively small newspaper, only 6 pages!). Hopefully I can get the next issue done before we go to print next week. I better start Sunday night.
  • This week I had my first experience as a photojournalist. The Tampa Job Fair took place Thursday, and I was sent on location to capture some pictures of the event to put on the front page. After a quick lesson on how to use the digital SLR I was on my way. It’s surprising how much power you have walking into a room with a camera in your hand and a press pass around your neck. People move out of the way for you, they smile and say “Hi”. Talk about an ego booster. The pictures turned out pretty good if I might say so myself and two of them are on the cover this week.
  • And last but not least, I ended the week with a visit to the Southeastern Guide Dog School in Palmetto, Florida. It’s one of only 10 guide dog schools in the country. I got a tour of the campus and the training facilities and got to see some  cute little 2 week old puppies as well a some older puppies who were being trained as guide dogs. I also got to speak with Helen,65, one of the administrators at the school who has also been using guide dogs for 40 years. The article will be in next weeks paper.

Check out my articles in Pinellas News this week

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