Contacts ‘Invaluable’ In Getting First Job

Artur at CNN

Artur at the CNN headquarters in London

After a three-month internship at CNN, Artur Osinski has secured a role as a freelance production assistant at the company. What advice does he have?

Usually, when you start an internship, you think about one of the following scenarios: either you treat it as means of improving your CV and getting experience without planning on staying on after, or you’re aiming for full-time employment at that particular company.

Regardless of your approach, you should do your absolute best and impress as much as possible. After all, a good reference cannot be overrated.

At the beginning of my internship I was assured by Richard Quest that it was perfectly possible to land a freelance position after the work experience if I did really well.

This wasn’t part of an empty motivational speech that all interns receive – it was a fact that became clear by the many people working in the newsroom who told me they too had started as interns.

I spent half of the time as an intern working for the Connect the World and Quest Means Business shows and the other half with the news desk. I received positive feedback from both, but that still didn’t guarantee anything. A bit of luck is always necessary – you may be a great intern, but if there’s no vacancy going, there isn’t much you can do.

I mentioned in one my of earlier posts that it was incredibly important to make contacts everywhere, whenever possible – the fact I worked in two different parts of the newsroom helped a lot in this respect, as it meant I met many people.

Good contacts proved invaluable and I was introduced to a senior producer who needed a new freelance production assistant – my timing was fortunate and I secured the role after having proven myself as an intern.

By securing the position, my first mission of remaining at CNN post-internship has been accomplished. It is freelance, but that’s a start, especially if you are able to get regular shifts. If you follow this approach then you are likely get rewarded with both higher pay and more responsibility.

At the moment my main duty is operating the auto-cue – which may not sound that glamorous, but it’s a great first step. I also get the opportunity to contribute to writing the presenters’ scripts and producing the images that appear in programmes such as Connect The World.

Hopefully some of the tips I shared in my previous posts will help give you some ideas on how to make the most of your internships so that you can secure paid work at the end. Good luck in your job hunt!

Would you like to intern at CNN? The broadcaster is currently looking for a digital features/special projects intern. If you want to share your own experiences as an intern, send us an email or get in touch via Twitter @Journograds

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