What Experience Do You Need & How To Get It
When approaching a career in media, arguably the most vital asset you can have is experience.
"But how do you get more experience without already having some experience?" Don't worry - we hear you! (We might of even used a few more swear words...)
There are four key components to building your clout in the media industry. Each are equally beneficial and we would say mandatory to your success.
We could harp on about the value of practical internships, but you probably got enough of that at university. So above all, focus on these vital takeaways:
First of all, don't think you're "too good" for any opportunity. Spread yourself out, apply for multiple sectors (publicity, marketing, digital etc.) and gain a wealth of knowledge across the industry.
Next, show passion for each individual business you apply for and engage in the content they create. Prove your worth to the brand ahead of getting people coffee and make yourself indispensible by taking initiative and going above and beyond what's asked of you.
Not only do you gain knowledge of the workplace you eventually hope to join, but you also make invaluable connections with senior industry members and develop skills far surpassing the theory taught during a degree.
Mentorships are often undervalued in the doors that they can open for you.
Finding a mentor isn't as difficult as first perceived. It can be someone who you previously interned for or someone you've yet to meet but inspires you.
The trick is in reaching out to this person. Yes, they are media professionals and probably have busy working lives, but they were also in your shoes once. Not only is it flattering to be approached by someone who aspires to your position, it's also impressive and proves you are taking the initiative to network and put yourself out there.
If you tend to be more shy, there are also organised bodies who specialise in connecting people within the media community. For example, NGEN specifically targets the next generation of leaders in the field of media and communications showcasing a range of opportunities and events to meet experienced mentors in a fun and engaging environment.
Once you've found your mentor, don't be afraid to ask as many questions as possible, bounce ideas off them and meet their colleagues - you might even find yourself in a new internship because of it!
Media is a largely creative industry that demands well-rounded professionals with practical evidence of their experience.
Outside of your studies and internships there is still plenty of time to get creative, apply for training courses and develop your skillset. Particularly if you intend to create written or visual content, employers will always ask to see your past work. This could be via a blog, personal photography, short films or even campaigns you assisted on at one of your internships.
It's about walking the walk, so never stop writing, pitching and producing your own content to stand out amongst the crowd.
4. Build portfolio
So you've gathered up all this experience - now what?
You need to showcase this plethora of skill in a succinct and engaging way; most often through a portfolio. But depending on the sector you're working in and your examples of past work, this portfolio can take many different forms.
For example, if you aspire to work in Digital, a functioning website would be worthwhile. On the other hand, if your experience lies in creative production we recommend creating a showreel of your work to prove the breadth of your skill.
Whatever this portfolio may be, strive to make it stand out as a point of difference from your peers.
Built up your experience? Move on to your Resume!
Or if you still need help choosing which media sector to apply for jobs, take our quiz!