/‘My Abilities Skyrocketed’ My Experience Of Doing An Internship In Ireland

‘My Abilities Skyrocketed’ My Experience Of Doing An Internship In Ireland

Let’s face it; taking the plunge into the working world can be the most terrifying moment of your life.

As a new graduate or a young person who has recently finished full-time education, you’ve had teachers and lecturers to fall back on for almost your entire life.

It can be daunting, and this is where stepping into your career as an intern can be a massive help, as you can be slowly immersed into the world that you have been working so hard to get to.

I started interning at EVOKE one week after I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at Dublin City University in 2017, and it was the best decision I have ever made.

As a baby-faced 20-year-old, I was ready to take on the world! Tentative as I was, going from the classroom to the newsroom was something that kept me up at night.

However, being brought in as an intern gave me the time to learn and experience what it is like on all sides of the company. My confidence grew under the watchful guidance of some really encouraging editors, and my abilities as a reporter skyrocketed.

When I started my interning experience, I was given the opportunity to shadow senior members of staff to learn how to hunt down the perfect story. From interviewing techniques to how to construct a story, my internship allowed me to learn in a way that was just not available in college.

I was also able to conduct my own interviews as the weeks went on and perfect my technique, which is one of the most valuable skills as a journalist. And while the first few times coming face to face with people I’ve seen on the telly was pretty terrifying, it has now become the highlight of my job.

Payment on internships vary, but thankfully I was given a stipend of €100 per week. This was nothing to be sniffed at for a broke college student. I kept up my part-time job, so I worked weekends in a petrol station and had my whirlwind journalism job during the week.

Of course, this is something to take into consideration when applying for an internship, if you can afford to do it. Currently, there is no legal definition of an internship in Ireland, so you should make sure you are given a contract before agreeing to one.

When it comes to payment, eligibility for the national minimum wage depends on the actual nature of your work and relationship with the organisation providing the internship, according to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

In short, if the work you are doing work is of value to the employer and has a similar level of responsibility as the rest of the workforce, then you are likely to be entitled to be paid at least the national minimum wage (which is currently €10.20 per hour) regardless of the title you have been given.

To anyone who is hesitant about applying for an internship, I would say not to worry, as interning doesn’t mean going on coffee runs and photocopying! Despite what the Hollywood movies suggest, you do get some really incredible hands-on experience.

Most importantly, you get the help you need to really begin your career.

Eight weeks after I began my internship I was hired as a staff writer. Now, almost four years later I can safely say that being able to intern in my field before becoming a full-time employee helped me progress in leaps and bounds.

These days I have moved up the ladder and I am now a Content Creator at EVOKE, conducting interviews with huge stars, interviewing some amazing businesswomen, and regularly appearing on the radio.

I was able to get the necessary guidance for beginning a career in media that you really just can’t get inside the lecture hall. From confidence to skills needed in the field, I couldn’t be more delighted with my experience as an intern.

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