Circus Media formed a partnership with Deakin University to offer a formal internship program for students studying PR, communications, marketing and design, with a placement available every two months throughout the year exclusively for Deakin students.
We are so excited to have our first international student, Kathrine Stangeland, currently interning at Circus Media. Kathrine will predominately be working with the Geelong Community Foundation, of which our owner Carly is on the Board of Directors, as well as assisting our Account Managers with all PR related tasks including media kits, media releases, blogs and more.
Officially commencing her internship today, Kathrine has told us about herself and the noticeable differences in university studies and PR between Norway and Australia.
“My name is Kathrine Stangeland and I’m on my final year on my Bachelor of Communication degree, majoring in Public Relations at Deakin University. I’m Norwegian and was born in west of Norway; Stavanger, known for its striking fjords and mountains. Bitten by the travel bug, I knew early on that I wanted to study in a different country to explore new sights and meet people from different cultures. I ended up settling down in the exciting and culturally diverse Melbourne, where I have been embraced with open arms.
Staying still has never been an option for me, growing up, my family travelled across Europe, and I got the sense that a big part of learning about yourself, is to put yourself in different settings and see how you adapt to new surroundings and challenges. Besides travelling, I have a big love for films, Japanese animation, cartoons, and tv series, spending too much of my time on Netflix and YouTube. I would consider myself quite nerdy as well, and not afraid of looking different than others, dying my hair in unnatural colours since I was a teenager, to my parent’s dismay.
After enrolling in a PR unit at home in Norway, I became instantly hooked on the profession. The way social media has changed how we interact with each other, is making the PR landscape so exciting and challenging. I love to communicate to different target publics and learn more about how to reach them using different media channels. I want to learn even more about how to use social media, blogging, and the internet as a way of communicating with the public on behalf of an organisation. I have also been enjoying writing media releases and backgrounders, even though it can be difficult to perfect, and is something I want to become better at.
I got my bachelor in filmmaking in South of Norway and can now reflect on the differences in Studying in Norway compared to my time here in Australia. The first being that all government owned universities in Norway are free, the downside to this is that the government tend to not make many creative units available to study. Communication, design and art studies are often deemed less important and are run by private universities, which have tuitions like Australia does. Australian universities, such as Deakin, have a good range of all kinds of studies, and view them in a more serious light, like making it possible for students to get work experience within the direct field they’re studying, like myself currently in this Public Relations internship. This is quite rare in Norway, most internships will only be done by “physical labor” students, such as students in the medical field, and in the engineering discipline (very big in Norway due to our big export of oil).
In Norway, the PR industry is much smaller than in Australia, not having much education or focus around it. Most PR practitioners in Norway are prior journalists, creating tensions between journalists when they leave their coworkers and poor government pay to work in the communication sector for the “big companies”, often being called “sell outs”, and “traitors”, making team work between the two sectors often difficult.
My country is only now starting to increase the focus on social media and the power it can have on the public, compared to Australia, where there is vast amount of PR companies, and the media landscape is way bigger and diverse. We have two major news channels that dictates the news, the biggest one being the government owned NRK (Norwegian broadcasting corporation), that gets 94% of its funding from a mandatory fee payed by everyone in Norway who owns a television, regardless if you watch the channel or not.
I would say we have way less drama in our political arena that makes it to the news, underlining the fact that our country population is after all, smaller than the city of Melbourne. However, this makes it easier for the companies and news outlets to be able to answer all inquiries they receive on social media if they first have one, whereas in bigger countries like Australia, it can be harder to receive attention and responses.
My studies here in Australia have been very rewarding, and I am very grateful to have been given an internship here at Circus Media in Geelong. This is my first time working in an Australian work setting, so I hope to not only learn about PR, but also Australian work ethics and behaviours. I am very keen to learn new skills from such a friendly team of professional people, and work in beautiful Geelong, experiencing everything this city has to offer.”
If you’re a Deakin University student looking to intern at Circus Media you can apply online here: Deakin Internship Program
If you’re not a Deakin student but would like to learn from professional practitioners in the industry, Circus Media also offers business coaching, mentoring, workshops & events through the training arm of our business; Project Empire.