With only one term and a single course left between her and graduation, Political Science and Economics student Sydney Soldan decided she needed some practical experience under her belt. Enter an Arts Internship – an opportunity to ease her transition from school to the work force.
Working as a Broadcast Content Producer at CiTR, the campus radio station, Sydney was exposed to a wide array of jobs in broadcast media and used her political science background to inform her work.
“I was really involved with the News 101 program; hosting the show, writing scripts and headlines, booking interviews, interviewing guests, booking politicians in BC ahead of the BC election, producing a radio documentary, and doing live broadcasts,” says Sydney.
After spending a term as a bonafide radio reporter, she sees new intersections between her degree and career paths beyond government or policy work.
“Now, applying for jobs, I am definitely looking at a lot of stuff related to media. I think it helped me realize that you do need to branch out,” Sydney notes. “You could do media for the government, you could do public relations for the government, or even writing speeches in parliament.”
While her internship hasn’t completely eradicated nervousness about what the future holds, Sydney says that it makes her feel better to be graduating with some type of formal work experience.
Her advice for students who are interested in the program can be distilled into one simple phrase: it will be what you make of it! While some internships may not initially seem that related to students’ programs of study, Sydney encourages interns to tailor their position to their interests, and to not be afraid to ask supervisors to support your goals.
“Really try and make as many connections to your degree as possible, and get as involved as possible.”
When it comes down to it, personal growth and success in the Arts Internship Program is reliant on the individual efforts of students.
“I know some people who have done the program before, who didn’t get as involved as they probably should have, and then they feel like they didn’t get as much out of it as they should have. You are not going to feel fulfilled unless you take initiative yourself,” she says.
“If you are only giving ten per cent you’re not going to get back fifty.”