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gap years and work experience

So, you’ve taken a year off before uni… to travel or to work and save money so you’re not trying to subsist on measly Austudy payments and handouts from mum and dad.

Or you’re looking to gain some valuable work experience in your area of study – which isn’t a bad idea, as you’ll soon find out if your dream job is really for you. That way, it’s not too late to change your subjects before you start.

We get asked all the time for advice on how to land a job in magazines and what’s involved behind the scenes. I stumbled upon this great article, which provides some important tips on getting that work experience placement/internship, and how to make the most of the opportunity.

Key points include:

  • * apply early – opportunities are snapped up quickly, or consider applying to lesser known publications as they receive fewer applications or have a much shorter waiting list
  • * attention to detail – if you want a career in magazines, few things leave a worse first impression than mistakes in your application
  • * don’t be a no-show – if for some reason you can’t make your placement, give as much notice as possible and save the mag’s staff a huge headache. The media industry is very nepotistic, and you never know when you might deal with these people again
  • * find out about the dress code
  • * see every task you’re given as an opportunity – even the boring ones
  • * after the placement stay in contact – if you’ve proven your worth, you never know when a job opportunity might present itself.

A few things to keep in mind that weren’t mentioned in the article:

  • * online opportunities can be just as valuable as in-office experience – you’ll learn valuable technological skills, hours are much more flexible, you don’t get stuck with the photocopying, and may actually get to do some writing tasks!
  • * research is key – find out as much as you can about the publication you want to work for. Don’t just read the “about” page on their website – try and find a copy of the mag, as the online content is often very different to the printed version.

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