It is now more important than ever for graduates to be able to show prospective employers that they can operate in a professional environment. To better equip their graduates for such a competitive workplace, Monash has implemented internships into many courses. For example, community welfare and counselling, marketing, public relations and journalism students are required to find professional placement in order to complete their undergraduate degree.
An internship is a system of on-the-job training, providing students with a platform to build on skills and knowledge they acquired in their studies. They also aid in developing essential, transferable skills, such as interpersonal communication, teamwork and problem solving.
ATS3919 – ‘Journalism Professional Placement’ requires students to complete a minimum 70 hours professional placement within a commercial, government, or community sector. Monash University student Yiming Wang went back to China over the mid semester break in 2012. There he completed his journalism professional placement at Hebei Daily, a 16 page broadsheet, printed every morning in all 11 of Hebei’s local cities.
“Placement provided an opportunity to see firsthand what really goes on in a real life newsroom”, Wang said.
“I imagined a newsroom to be very busy with journalists rushing around everywhere stressed for time.”
“It was instead very quiet with most journalists working quietly by themselves”, he said.
The placement was approximately a month in length with very flexible hours because the newspaper is published early in the morning. Wang started out under the supervision of his mentor, but after a week was on his own.
“My mentor trusted me a lot… I gained his trust and he was very pleased with my level of professionalism”, he said.
Wang worked in the Entertainment and Culture section in a team of seven, responsible for three major tasks.
“My first job was to edit news stories sent into Hebei Daily from outside journalists”, he said.
“I had to make their stories fit within the small entertainment section.”
Wang was also responsible for interviewing people that entered Hebei Daily’s competition to win free movie tickets.
The most interesting aspect of his placement was finding out the latest gossip on celebrities before the public did.
“I’m not usually interested in celebrities,”
“But during my placement I heard a lot of stories about Tom Cruise. So naturally I became curious,
“I was one of the first people to know that Tom Cruise was getting divorced.” he said.
Monash is well respected in China, employers highly valuing graduated with an overseas education.
Despite the fact the media acts very differently in communist China, Wang thinks “the journalism writing practice offered at Monash is still relevant.”
Professional placement offers practical experience, which helps you learn firsthand if you are suited for a particular career.
“Placement can help you decide if you want to continue in your chosen career path or find a new one,” he said.
His advice to students that have yet to complete their professional placement or internship is to be punctual.
“Keep your eyes open and learn from others that are not necessarily teaching you”
Wang is certain he has made the right career choice after completing his professional placement.
“Journalists are well respected in China.”
“My placement at Hebei Daily (has made) me even more passionate about journalism,
“I believe journalism provides me with opportunities to meet all kinds of different people from different works of life”, he said.
To read more from university students who have completed an internship or professional placement in the media industry go to www.facebook.com/myinterninglife