At MediaHeads 360, we’ve seen the impact that internships programmes which have had the required investment in terms of skills, time, and resources, deliver meaningful improvement to those young practitioners who’ve committed themselves to the internship journey. As a thriving company contributing to the dynamic media landscape, we employ a variety of passionate media professionals who all add their secret ingredient to our client offering. Having spent twelve months as an Intern at MediaHeads 360, Nonhlanhla Mbele has transitioned from a learning and development role into a fully-fledged member of our team as a Junior Campaign Manager.
Nonhlanhla has every reason to be proud of her career progress to date. Having graduated from Boston Media House in Sandton in 2020, she was keen to explore her options beyond workplace learnerships and her academic environment. In recounting her journey, she explains that in the beginning, she wasn’t too aware of what her options were. She spent time learning, researching, and reading about the various media agencies, their clients, and the kind of work they do as well as the jobs on offer. She also sought advice from a career counsellor at Boston Media House on how to position herself, how to approach potential opportunities and where to focus her time and energy.
Noni explains that as a new graduate, the opportunity to be paired with an organisation that can add real work experience to an academic qualification isn’t an easy one. She spent hours on-line connecting with organisations and applying for positions. She didn’t adopt a one size fits all approach and was quite strategic in her communication, despite this more than 95% of her correspondence went unanswered. She interviewed for internship positions and MediaHeads 360 landed up offering her the opportunity she was looking for after she successfully completed a short, but rigorous assignment.
Companies need to be strategic when looking for young talent. Be honest about what you expect and what you can offer. Interrogate and seek the skills you require but be aware that, for many eager graduates, they have yet to find an adequate way to express themselves in an interview scenario. Create an environment where they can showcase themselves and learn in the process. You might not be the right media company for their skills, but your time and input in the interview process might land them a gig that is a fit for both.
Internships shouldn’t be seen as a “cheap labour”. Many Interns present with tangible skills and a passion to make a difference. Noni explains that she never viewed her position at MediaHeads 360 as a “B grade job”, she treated it as if she was employed full-time and made sure she embraced the culture, work ethic and ethos of the company. Being the Intern wasn’t an excuse for sub-standard performance. As a company employing an Intern, make sure you empower them with the technology, connectivity, and framework to thrive in. You need to have a well communicated plan and all your staff must know what their role in guiding and developing the intern is.
We couldn’t be prouder when our Interns move into full time positions in the industry. It is testament to work-place experience, team guidance and a solid development plan underpinned by a professional attitude and willingness to learn.