JOB BLOG // Alumni Profile: Ellijahna Victoria
You can’t be under 26 forever.
When SYNners get too old to volunteer, a lot of them go on to work in the media, taking with them all the skills SYN has instilled in them.
Ellijahna Victoria was a regular SYN volunteer from 2012 and now works as a producer for A Current Affair.
Read more about her here:
Have you been to uni? What did you study?
I studied Journalism at RMIT University, majoring in Politics, Businesses, Economies & Communication related studies.
What did you do at SYN?
I joined the news team back in 2012, when I was still in high school and was doing all kinds of bulletins – breaky, lunch, drive and an extended 4pm bulletin. In 2015 I was fortunate enough to lead the news team as EP. I was also part of the Panorama team and the 1700 crew for Channel 31.
Did you do any internships? How valuable were these in finding a job?
Yes, internships were my life during uni! I actually got into trouble because I arranged half my placements without consulting my course coordinator! I managed to complete 12 internships while completing my degree, including a short stint overseas with CNN Indonesia.
What are you doing now? Where are you working? How did you get your job?
I now work as a Producer for A Current Affair on Channel Nine. It’s been a long road, but I got my job after interning there, which I scored from the Jacoby-Walkley scholarship. Four weeks of internship turned into six months and I was lucky enough to get a job when a position opened up. I was also working as a casual Social Media Producer for 9 News while interning there.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different – you could be on the road, door knocking a whole suburb one day, and be in the office all day, the day after. If I’m on the early shift, I’ll start at 5.30am and go through all our emails and the papers to see if there are any potential stories to chase up, either to air that night, or to work into a bigger story for later down the track. My other tasks include research and fact-checking, lining up and interviewing talent, sourcing vision, organising graphics, shotlisting and writing the online copy of stories I produce. We do a lot of sneaky filming too, so sometimes there’s a bit of acting involved when I go out undercover with the spy cams.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about finding a job in journalism/TV?
Get as much experience as you can, and be persistent. Also keep in touch with employers so you’re in the loop if any jobs come up.
You’re working in TV now but you have experience in writing and radio. What made you want to pursue TV over the others?
Growing up I watched a lot of (commercial) TV so it’s something I’ve always been interested in. I think it was really the bells and whistles that came with the storytelling that drew me in – I remember watching one of the journos going undercover with a hidden camera and thinking I want to do that when I grow up. It looked really dodgy but really cool at the same time!
You’re having coffee with a SYN volunteer who wants to do what you’re doing. What advice would you give them?
- Uni grades aren’t everything. While I got high marks in my journalism subjects, I actually failed some of my majors and elective multiple times (but only because I was busy interning and didn’t hand in my major assignments!!!) In fact, the uni threatened to kick me out of the course and I had to beg them not to. #TRUESTORY. But employers don’t care about that; they just look at how much experience you have and how well you work in their environment.
- Be annoying, but not too annoying to the employers. Keep asking them for a job and they’ll see how keen you are and most likely offer you something. Just don’t ask them every week or you’ll get blacklisted!
- Have thick skin! You’re going to get knocked back and abused a lot in this job so just learn to keep your cool even if they’re being pests.
Have a job application you want proofread? Got an idea you want covered here? Are you a SYN alumni who wants to give back to SYN? The SYN Job Blog is updated monthly and you can get in touch with the Content Development Coordinator at content @ syn.org.au with any ideas.