Case study

Media services technical intern — Laura McDonagh

Laura enjoys the variety of her work as a media services technical intern. She recommends building up relevant work experience to stand out from the crowd

How did you get your internship?

During my final year of studying film at the University of Roehampton, I was trying to build up experience to get a job that was related to my degree. I asked companies what they required in an employee and worked on this.

During this time there was an advertisement from the universities media services department asking for a film or media student, graduating in that academic year, to be their intern for the next academic year.

How do you use your degree now?

My degree has really helped me progress, if I had not used a film camera before I wouldn't have been able to help so quickly. I gained the knowledge of how to use the equipment while I studied.

Even with time management, my degree has helped me immensely. When we have a week of recording exams you have to organise your own time and make sure all the footage is there afterwards, just like you have to manage your time during essays and a dissertation.

What do you do day-to-day?

One day I can be assisting students on the front desk, loaning equipment, helping with deadlines by giving them an understanding of certain software; and the next I can be recording exams for three different courses.

The hours are usually the same (9am to 5pm) depending on the filming schedule. Whatever type of day it is, I enjoy it.

What do you enjoy/find the most challenging about your job?

Although it sounds cliché, I enjoy everything about my job because it's so varied and the days are never the same. I'm gaining a lot of experience and knowledge and my colleagues are always teaching me new things.

The amount of new software and equipment that you have to get to grips with can be a challenge. You need to keep going back over things to keep it fresh in your mind, so you’re able to do something as soon as someone asks.

Any advice for students and graduates trying to get experience?

Push yourself, you just need to give that little bit extra each time and it will pay off. University is such a valuable part of life that you may never experience again so during your free time find out what is needed for you to get where you want to be, and try and do it. You won't regret it and you’ll stand out that bit more from other people applying for a position.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

Through this job I have been able to work with the disability services at the university as we loan out all the laptops and audio recorders for them to use to assist with their studies.

I have been able to gain an understanding of their job role and feel that I would now like to work with people with disabilities in the future.

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