Since starting my journey with Paper & Spark in 2019 and becoming a student in Sydney, I have noticed that the practical skills I have accumulated from working in the office have been mirroring and completing my theoretical studies from college.

I moved from Germany to Australia 9 month ago with one goal in mind – to grow my knowledge in all things Digital and finally get hands-on experience in the Marketing world.

In February, I started my Bachelor degree in Digital Media and Entrepreneurship, not knowing what to expect. Shortly after my classes began, I had the opportunity to start interning at Paper & Spark.

I am not going to lie, the first few months of living in Australia were tough and I thought it would be much easier to juggle my college, internship and work responsibilities.

Moving here from a different country, a different culture, on a different continent, meant starting from scratch.

But knowing that although I had a lot on my plate and even more to figure out, I was finally getting educated in the topics I wanted to learn about for years, kept me going.

Finally, I was not only dreaming about becoming the person I wanted to be, but also taking action.

How I got an agency internship

In my first Trimester, I met Zeina Khodr, my now boss and then lecturer and overall inspiring women. She taught me in a class called ‘Written communications’ and mentioned in one of her first lessons that she is accepting applications for interns at her business Paper & Spark. Written Communication consists, as the title suggests, of learning the basics of writing both creatively and professionally.

Words have always been the creative outlet of my choice, weather I was reading books in my early teens or drawing up journal entries in my twenties, I have always felt deeply connected to language and as if I could truly express myself though my writing. To have that passion helped me create pieces for class. This talent combined with the effort in participating to the course, let Zeina to consider me as her intern and that’s how I endet up getting the position.

What I learned during my internship

  • Use Photoshop
  • Write Copy
  • Work with WordPress
  • Picture sourcing
  • Client interactions
  • Teamwork
  • Creating of GIF’S
  • Email drafting
  • Presentation skills
  • Writing Blog posts

Now that the demanding settling-in phase is over, my internship at Paper & Spark has turned into a junior role, I have successfully completed my second trimester at College and now live in a lovely flat close to the beach.

When I first started my degree. I only had a rough idea about what ‘content creation’ was. I had never used Photoshop and I wasn’t sure what the acronym SEO stood for. I hadn’t given a presentation in years, and although I had been journaling a lot, I didn’t know anything about writing in a professional environment.

Now, I am not only familiar with the marketing jargon that flew over my head when I first stepped in to the agency, but I can see how the knowledge learned in my classes can apply practically to the work that happens in an actual agency.

I think it is one thing to learn about something in theory, but only when applying it practically in a repetitive manner does it finally make sense in a real way.

Theory and practice complete each other.

Advice I would give

If I can recommend one thing to my fellow students, it would be to get your foot in the door of ‘the real world’. Get yourself an internship, get a glimpse behind the curtains of a business that you are interested in. Not only will this complement your education, but also improve your grades. You will gain confidence, people skills and the knowledge to come up with solutions for real-world problems.

This will also improve your chances of landing the role you’ve always dreamed of doing and separate you from students that have only had the theoretical training. Meeting colleagues that have worked in the industry for years and talking to them can help you decide if you’re on the right path, while a mentor at work can be a great additional resource to a lecturer, can help you find your passion and teach you so much more than theory.

On a side note, I have also tasted all kinds of different plant-based milks and am happy to say that I have found the best oat milk in Sydney.

Lea Tsionis is the Content and Production Co-ordinator at Paper&Spark

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