Graduate Life: Intern and Employee at Network 10

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Ursula Melhem

“I am having a pretty weird morning. I lost the bras’n’things receipt, then I found it again, then I dropped someone’s coffee on ALL the cables which led to the ENTIRE studio and I just feel SO clumsy and forgetful today. It’s just so unlike me. Aside from all that I am doing really well – how are you – I miss you”, I messaged to a good friend after one of my first days on the job as the ‘Acting Art Director’ on set of Studio 10. To their quick reply, sending a prayer my way and ironically my utmost luck, the urn had broken (something which was just the tip of the iceberg for me that morning).
After graduating from a Bachelor of Arts in Media at Macquarie University last year, I felt my experience prior to my graduation was yet to be elongated, I embarked on a somewhat-treacherous mission of researching.
I felt it was my duty as a recent graduate amongst countless of others, to get a move on, after-all not only was it my industry which was of competitive nature but almost every industry in our current state of economy in Australia too. This is where I exhausted my options and limited them to strictly broadcast, investigative and citizen journalism, averting my energy on the debate of placing myself in either commercial or public forums of media.
One morning after watching the-then Wake Up on Channel Ten, a Studio 10 ad came on (a new program which was essentially revolutionizing the morning-breakfast format on commercial TV), with an invitation to fellow Australianites to join the audience. This was to be based on the LIVE talk-show in its well-known PYRMONT studio alongside its well-reputed panel; Ita Buttrose (Australian of the Year 2013), Jessica Rowe (journalist and author), Joe Hildebrand (journalist and media critic), and finally the acclaimed Sarah Harris (journalist and now leading-reporter of Studio 10). I jumped just at the notion of being part of the audience, sitting in the bay analyzing a studio-environment coupled with big lights focusing cake-faced presenters, and engaging in both the heated and light-hearted discussions endured by the panel.
After applying for the maximum of tickets with what I thought was a simple and sharp statement, I received a reply not too soon after saying I had won each ticket I requested for, my oh my was this big to me. After some talk with the ‘Audience Coordinator’ and ‘Props Master’, sending my CV and appropriate examples of work such as a compiled audio-reel, written work, and even possibly a show-reel, it was organized for me to begin work experience immediately.
Beginning as a regular intern, literally meant starting from the bottom, I did everything from helping with audience coordination, mastering props for the LIVE shows, as well as the pre-recorded advertorials. This was delivered by the infamous TV and radio legend Jonathan Coleman who is as iconic as the yellow and green colours of Australia.
Level 6 in any building never sounded so good. I went from handling refreshments (food and drinks) before, during, and after all shows which sometimes took more work than anything else. I organized, placed, and listed new stock that came in alongside partaking in market research.
As my supervisor wished to travel overseas, he competently and confidently left me in charge of his position, for three and a half weeks. When this time came, I was a little hesitant as I wasn’t sure what this meant for me generally, was I to work as a full-time freelancer on a temporary-contracted basis? Did this mean that once finished, I can no longer intern, I can no longer bounce from department to department as I had initially planned and was yet to do? I was eager yet felt as if it could work to my dismay. Little did I know that this was a privilege to be working at one of the biggest commercial media stations in all of Australia; after partaking in work experience for only just a month and a half. My mentor, the ‘Executive Producer’, and the ‘Supervising Producer’ of the show felt certain in my ability to carry out the role I had previously been assisting with. As soon as my mentor arrived back from overseas, I was put in the position of the ‘Production Assistant’, acting of course in place of another employee while also away. This proved to me that now, with my CV on file, my newly-found contacts, my newly-learnt knowledge, I may be called in anytime for another position, as well as a job-filler. I am now interning and will move to other departments and oh so excited am I.
The process of interning and then venturing into full-time work was fun. I was given the experience of beginning somewhere and ending elsewhere with a great outcome. I managed to learn several if not all aspects of how TV works, what is encompassed with a TV show, and what it entails. Everything was relayed to me in a successful manner in which I was able to digest and deliver in a very short amount of time. This afforded me the opportunity to adapt in any situation – stressful or not stressful – something I will take with me wherever I go.  Bad days. Good days. In the end they’re all the same, if they get you to where you want, the only mission is to keep thriving for more.

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