By AMY NIEDORFER.
‘Work’ and ‘placement’ are two words with the power to strike fear in the hearts of university students everywhere.
While offering invaluable hands on experience, work placements are often a stressful time for students, particularly for those looking to gain entry into the media industry
Adelaide is home to few television studios and even fewer major newspapers and magazines, forcing students look to smaller, local media outlets for experience.
University of South Australia journalism student, Marie Kakousidis is travelling to the Yorke Peninsula Times in Kadina to complete her placement, after the long and frustrating task of finding a suitable organisation to intern for.
“Responses in most cases were always ‘pending’ [with] very little communication back,” Marie said.
“If they did [respond], companies were not prepared to take on board a student.”
Despite her enviable success in securing work experience, having to travel so far to complete her placement has only created more stress for Marie.
“I needed to start budgeting for the unpaid work and expenses whilst away from home,” she said.
Such limitations within Adelaide’s media industry also encourages students to look to areas they would not have otherwise considered.
UniSA law and journalism student, Abigail Khoo is currently completing a placement at 1197 RPH Adelaide, a non-for-profit radio broadcasting service which provides those with a print disability information and news from Australia’s daily magazines and newspapers.
“[It’s] definitely an experience I might not have considered or even tried,” she said.
“I never thought that I would ever do any radio.”
Marie believes work placements force students to face their fears head on.
“[Placements] allow for hands on experience and a great environment for getting rid of insecurities, and pushing yourself to see if you have the potential,” Marie said.
“I had to restructure my emails, make follow up calls and look at different ways of making myself look exciting to the organisations.”
Although the thought of work placement can be intimidating, especially when faced with new tasks, such as being on live radio, Abigail believes it is still a worthwhile experience.
“Journalism is a very practical subject,” she said.
“There is a need to get out and do things in the industry as opposed to sit in a classroom listening to the lecturer.”
She urges other students interested in the media to complete multiple placements in a range of areas and not to be afraid to go regional to gain hands on experience.
“You can’t say that you don’t like it until you try it!” she said.