If Alexis Sherman’s career path is anything to go by, the sky’s the limit for our journalism graduates.
While Alexis says cracking into the media industry isn’t easy, her hard work and initiative has taken her from Nova to co-founding a new online startup.
Here is her profile…
Name: Alexis Sherman
Course: Master of Journalism
Dept: School of Media, Film and Journalism
Year graduated: 2013
Current position: Co-founder of an online social enterprise, GHTO – launching end of July 2017 (previously Entertainment and News Journalist at Nova Entertainment).
What was it like breaking into the industry? Was it more ‘who you know’ than ‘what you know’?
Cracking the media industry isn’t easy, there are a lot of people competing for limited roles. I definitely found it’s ALL about connections. Be proactive in talking to as many people in the industry as possible and make yourself known. A job won’t fall into your lap, you have to work for it.
What is a ‘day in the life’ of your current role?
In my previous role I would arrive to work at my designated shift time and immediately research what was happening then and there. Reporting for Nova and smoothfm’s websites (plugged through Facebook) demanded up-to-date and timely news with an article being published roughly every hour. We would test our article/the response from our readers in one of our markets (say Brisbane), and if received well would later schedule posts nationally. When we had talent come in you’d be sure to take advantage of other Digital platforms and put up an Instagram story or post, or even a Snapchat.
In my current role I have used previous skills gained to write articles which will be published on our website and ‘GHTO Live’ to inform our members of collaborations and what’s happening at GHTO. I am involved in decision making around our social media strategy (it’s a HUGE part of every business these days), as well as other areas such as product development. As a Co-Founder, I need to be across every element of the business so I have broadened what I do on a daily basis.
What was a key lesson you learnt at Monash that translated into your workplace?
Once you have your name on something and it’s in the public realm there is no going back. Make sure you are someone with integrity, are unbiased and always produce fair content.
If you could go back and do your degree again, is there anything you’d change? Subject choice? Time management? Internships?
I strongly recommend people to get involved in work experience/internships. It wasn’t a compulsory part of the Masters course but I think it is far more valuable than being in the classroom. A unit based on an internship would be AMAZING. Get out there, make yourself known and get on the job experience – it’s priceless.
What skill (or skills) would you recommend aspiring journos acquire before getting into the industry?
Just get as much media experience as possible. I started with a casual job at Nine Network in Melbourne as a Marketing Assistant. While it wasn’t completely related to journalism it gave me a wider understanding of how TV worked as a whole. I was also given the opportunity to mingle and meet others in the industry, work as a Production Assistant on promo shoots for The Block and The Footy Show and become in charge of Nine News Experience tours for the public which saw me describing how news was made, giving people an onsite tour of our newsroom, and sitting through the live news bulletin with Peter Hitchener. Through my job at Nine I made contacts at Nova Entertainment (NE) and began a casual job there. Through that job I was able to meet the people I needed to help me secure my first role at NE as a journalist.
When you were a child, what was your dream job?
An actress until early high school, then a TV Journalist from about year 10.
What is your dream job now?
I want to make a difference in the world, and my current business venture will see me do that. So hopefully I’m already in my dream job!
Who do you look up to most in the industry?
Working closely with Peter Hitchener I have developed the utmost respect for him as a person and a journalist. He has been in the industry as long as most of us can remember and is one of the most genuinely kind, hard working, caring and professional people I know.
Have you kept in touch with any of your fellow alumni?
Yes, I still chat to a couple of the girls. We used to joke we’d make our own entertainment magazine one day.
Do you follow any sports teams?
I like watching a bit of AFL and rugby union but don’t particularly follow a specific team. I just enjoy sitting back with friends and family and making sport a social event.
What’s your coffee order?
I like to change things up. At the moment it’s a plain old latte with half a sugar, but if I’m feeling adventurous I might get a cappuccino (mostly for the chocolate topping).