Final year Charles Sturt University (CSU) Public Relations student Courtney Bell has worked hard throughout her years at CSU and is now putting in extra hours chasing her dream job. We were eager to find out more about Courtney’s internship experience and see whether it’s more than just taking coffee orders.
For the past six months Courtney has travelled back and forth between Sydney and Bathurst as she juggles commitments to two public relations agencies.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, Courtney takes the train to Milson’s Point where she joins the Maverick Marketing and Communications PR team, working on several consumer and corporate clients. Her Wednesdays are then spent in the inner-city at music publishing house, Mushroom Promotions.
She has had a vigorous experience in both organisations, learning not only about public relations but about her own work ethic.
What has been the most fulfilling part of your internships?
Putting into practice what I’ve learnt at uni has been so satisfying. You don’t realise how beneficial assessments and lectures are until you put them into practice in the real world. I can confidently say that I took them for granted before, but now I’m using all my university knowledge to my advantage even from subjects that I once despised.
For other students I definitely recommend to get involved in as many different types of internships as you can. The workplace is evolving and there are so many unique jobs out there, I don’t believe you will ever know what your passion and potential is until you’ve been exposed to it. I’ve worked with big organisations and small boutique agencies all with a variety of clients. I have discovered what most appeals to me and what I will focus on when getting a job later in the year.
Also the chance to get out of Bathurst a couple times a week to live and work in the city has been fun, sort of like a snapshot of what next year will bring.
What have you learnt?
The bulk of my practical PR knowledge has been acquired from workplace learning. That’s not to say the theory subjects I’ve done over the past few years at CSU haven’t been beneficial, but nothing will ever be able to truly prepare you for what working in an agency or organisation is like except practical experience.
I’ve also been handed the opportunity to talk and make connections with recent graduates who are now successfully working in the industry. Hearing their stories and tips has been so interesting and I’ve definitely had moments where I’ve applied their advice to my own decisions.
How will the internship experiences help your future career prospects?
My internships have already helped me considerably, it’s near impossible to get a job in communications without having some form of experience behind you. Organisations aren’t out there looking for someone with just a ‘university degree’ anymore, they want someone who understands the industry and if that means having to work for free over an extensive period of time it’s well and truly worth it.
From my experience people have been impressed with the amount of internships I’ve done.Without my internship experiences and the drive CSU prepared me with, I would not have received or have been able to pursue the work opportunities that have become available to me.