My Internship: Stephanie Gum
In this first post of our series ‘How to land a great internship (while still studying)’, we talk to Stephanie Gum, full time Sydney graduate and all round hard worker. Stephanie is the type of person who looks particularly sweet on the outside but who also has the same determination as a dog with a bone (in no way do you resemble a dog Stephanie, just trying to illustrate how persistent you are!).
Tell us the details of your internship…
My internship is with ‘Events and Sports Projects Australia’ also known as ESPA. The initial unpaid internship is based over a three-month period, working up to three days per week. I have worked on two events so far, Run 2 Cure for Neuroblastoma and Sydney Harbour 10K & 5K and am currently working on Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.
Describe your work day and the duties that you attend to…
Depending on whether I am in the office or out an event, my work changes constantly. Some days have started with a 2.30am wake up call and a 4.00am on-site bump-in consisting of fast-paced, continuous hard work and dedicated long hours. Usually prior to an event day, I will assist in early bump-in preparation and/or registrations, which can take up to three or more days of 7-12 hour shifts.
Other days I’m in the office working at my desk concentrating on a variety of tasks; developing a volunteer database and calling all volunteers to assign and confirm shift dates and times, assisting in volunteer registration, training nights, volunteer inductions, allocations and on-day point of contact for all volunteers under my supervisory role. My particular internship job role is more focused on the HR side of events, so I need to be my most professional self at all times.
Can you tell me how you secured your internship?
All students at College of Event Management are required to volunteer a certain amount of hours to prepare them for the hands-on reality of the event industry. CoEM set up a volunteering two-day experience for our whole class with ESPA at the NSW Premiers Seniors Gala and during that time I was able to demonstrate my work ethic and dedication. Coincidentally, I knew one of the ESPA employees through high school and we reconnected through working on the event. I connected with her on LinkedIn after the event, and stayed in contact. Then one day, I received an email asking if I was interested in interning with ESPA as they were looking for a new intern. This offer came during the early stages of my second semester of college.
Why do you think you were picked for this internship?
I believe I was chosen because every time I go to work, or go to volunteer – I take the work seriously and I think the people at ESPA saw that. I feel that if you can show people that you are hardworking, dedicated, hands-on, passionate, mature and focused – proves to not only them, but also yourself that you are made for great things because of the strong work ethic that you provide, each and every time.
Working your hardest and doing the best you can, every time is not just a throw around motto but something that my family and I live by.
How did you go ‘above and beyond’ to secure your position?
There were two ways I believe I was able to help secure a position; being hands-on while volunteering and being consistently dedicated to the job. Also, networking with the event company and/or employees through social media including yes, my favourite, LinkedIn!
What’s your favourite thing about interning with ESPA?
My favourite things about interning with ESPA are the friendly and bubbly employer and employees I get to work with. They are all like-minded people who enjoy a good laugh and a warm working environment but are ALL extremely hardworking, dedicated and professional at what they do.
I like it that the people at ESPA give back to you what you give to them. They do not take an internship lightly. They are teaching me everything I need to know to fully prepare myself for a career in events and there’s someone there every step of the way if ever I need any assistance or want to learn more about job roles, responsibilities and tasks outside of my own.
What tips could you give those wanting to secure and internship?
BE PRO-ACTIVE! Volunteering is the best way to get in the event industry door, trust me!
Make yourself stand out from a crowd by showing off the hardworking, hands-on, passionate, positive and professional person you are. People do notice that extra time you took to assist someone, or that professionalism you had with a customer. So get out there and make them notice you!
Great advice Stephanie and a big thanks on behalf of all those who take heed and manage to land that great internship or job because of it!