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How A Journalism Student Became Mamamia's Editorial Assistant Before Graduating

Current Macleay Journalism student Emma, recently become an Editorial Assistant at Mamamia before graduating. 

When I graduated from high school about a year ago, I had already secured my position at Macleay thanks to their early entry program.

I remember on our final day of year 12, we opened up a time capsule that we created on the first day of high school.

Sure enough, starry-eyed, year-seven-me had written under ‘future occupation,’ “journalist.”

So, as you could imagine, searching for the perfect journalism degree took up maybe a bit too much of my time for a student that was meant to be completing her HSC.

I was drawn to Macleay for its practical units and strong emphasis on getting all the hands-on experience. They offer a bachelor’s degree that can be completed in two years rather than the usual three, and like the Australian journalism industry, the college is quite a tight-knit, small group of students.


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As was anticipated, I couldn’t get enough of the course. Sitting in the Hatch newsroom each morning gave me a real taste of what it was to be a working journalist and filled with ambition, I decided to push my luck and reach out to my dream company, Mamamia, to see if they would like to take me on as an intern.

I reached out to the Talent Acquisition Specialist, Deb, over LinkedIn after noticing she was posting job ads for the company. It wasn’t that easy though.

Initially, she let me know the internship program didn’t open for a couple of months, but that she would keep me on the books.  This is where I enlisted the help of our wonderful Internship Coordinator, Leah Creighton. Leah went above and beyond, catching up with Deb for a coffee to chat about the college (and me of course!). Sure enough, I got a call from Deb later that week asking me if I would like to come in and help out with some preparation for their upcoming tour.

Again, this visit was prefaced with no promises of an official editorial internship, though they would be more than happy to include this for my mandatory 120 internship hours.



Emma Gillman stands in Mamamia's head office in Sydney.  


I had the most amazing, tiring day. It was a surreal experience hearing the voices that I listen to all week on podcasts, walk past and say hello to me.

And although that experience alone was exciting enough, towards the end of the day, Mia Freedman, the face and founder of the company, came over and introduced herself to me.

“I haven’t introduced myself…” she said. “I’m Mia, who are you?” Slightly starstruck, I ran through my quick elevator pitch explaining that I was here for the day as I would love to work for them. And just like that, Mia hired me as her intern.

By simply accepting a low-pressure day at the company, I had fast-tracked the nerve-wracking interviews and scary first impressions.

Now keep in mind that by this point, I was only partway into my second trimester. And while I expected to feel overwhelmed by everything I didn’t know, I was surprised by how much I already did.

The practical experience I had already gained as a part of the Hatch newsroom, meant that I understood things beyond theoretical learning like website formats and editorial guides.


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The few months that I worked at Mamamia two-days-a-week flew by, and before I knew it, it was my final day and I was unsure of what was to come next.

I sat down at my desk upon arriving and opened up my computer to my name on Mamamia’s front page.

In small writing under my first article of course, but there, nonetheless.



Emma's first paid day at Mamamia meant she finally got on the polaroid paid employee wall. 


While I was still coming to terms with this fact, I was called into a HR meeting and invited to stay on as a casual editorial assistant.

I loved every minute of interning at Mamamia. When you do something solely for the love and passion you feel for it, being offered a paid role is the icing on the cake.

Needless to say, I accepted the job and have been working comfortably around my timetable as a full-time student.


Journalism at Macleay College

Students become working journalists from the first day they step into Macleay. They work on real stories in a real newsroom across all media platforms.

Journalism students are taught by industry experts that are up to date with the latest trends and are well connected in the industry.

Curious to know more about the Journalism programs at Macleay? Check out the student run Journalism website here. 

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