The good, the bad and the not so ugly media industry

By Katie Ball. Follow her on Twitter @_KatieBall or add her on LinkedIn.

Taking on an internship in any industry is daunting; there are however misconceptions about the media industry whether you end up working in multinational company, a small agency or freelance. I was lucky enough to spend a year working in the retail marketing department of Nickelodeon UK, slap bang in the middle of Soho. We all know what you are thinking… City based media internship how very ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ and in truth I had a ball Dahhling! But before you jump for your CV there are some ugly truths about a London media industry that you should know when you’re starting out… But it isn’t nearly as bad as you think!

1. No you don’t get loads of free stuff and it’s not all ‘Casual Fridays’ and ‘Working lunches’
2. No you don’t meet loads of celebs!
3. And most shockingly of all, you work damn hard!

That is the scary bit over with… In reality, it is a rich and diverse industry with vast prospects to expand your career… If like me, you are not based in London then beware the joyous daily commute, challenging enough you may think to navigate your way through rush hour at the crack of dawn. It is so important to ensure you make the most from your work experience and that you gain long-term contacts, friends, and future career prospects.

Depending on the area of work you can sometimes expect extra hours and early starts at peak times. It is important to know your rights as an intern, particularly employees in the media industry get a bad rap for mistreating or overworking their interns. But remember it’s not just first impressions that count on a long term internships you will be remembered for the good work you put in so be consistent with your work ethic. Even after working late at an event (often booze filled), make sure the morning after you’re ready to jump right back into the world of work! Hint: A bacon bap is a must!

Top survival tips for your internship in the media industry:

1. Ask questions (Age old tip but it works, it give you an idea of other areas of the industry you may be interested in so you can broaden your job search)
2. Learn your way around (Read about trends in the industry, and show off your knowledge & passion where appropriate)
3. Connect with industry professionals (Network, network network!)

4 things to take away from your media internship:

1. Collect examples of your work. (Keep a log of the projects you’ve worked on, no matter how long it took you to complete or whether you worked as part of a team or on your own)
2. Lingo (Pick up on industry jargon, but make sure you know what it means before you use it!)
3. Experience (Take advantage of ALL opportunities to learn as much as you can, your work experience may not lead to a permanent position so turn it into a valuable learning experience)
4. A long term contact (Keep in touch and invite them to your professional network on LinkedIn and they may just recommend you for the job of your dreams!)

Now I am back to studying for my degree in Marketing Management at Kingston University… I am just dying to get back out there. Dahhling!