Career and Work

Why an internship was the best thing I did for my communications degree

Hannah Retschlag

Sick after hours? If you’re anything like me, there was only two options, suffer through until morning and an open GP or drag yourself to the hospital.

That was before I discovered House Call Doctor and the after hours medical practitioner service they provide in the comfort of your own home.

As a communications student, an internship was always on the cards, not only as a degree requirement, but as an insight into the way public relations, marketing and journalism happen outside of a classroom. When an opportunity arose to enter the team at House Call Doctor as in intern, not only was I a nervous wreck, but incredibly excited.

The prospect of an internship meant a few different things for me as a communications student. It not only meant I got to experience a workplace and deadlines, but I was also provided the opportunity to have my writing critiqued in a way that I could learn and develop from.

I’m sure plenty of other students, much like myself have had in-between jobs, the ones that make enough money to survive off KFC and 2 minute noodles whilst studying. My in-between jobs were in hospitality, making the office I was about to become a part of daunting on many levels.

Its unsure if anyone really knows what to expect when entering a new environment where their skills will be tested, which rang true of my first meeting with my internship mentor.

In meeting with Jess, the Assistant Marketing Manager of House Call Doctor, my nerves started to settle as I learnt more about the role I would play.

The skills I have learnt whilst studying have prepared me to the point of an internship, and an internship will prepare me for workplace situations. I have learnt how to use and adapt my skills to suit the requirements of the task.

Working with a friendly and like minded team also meant that I was surrounded by guidance, not just from my mentor. The team created a welcoming work environment full of like minded individuals, creating connections that will follow me through my working life.

My mentor, Jess, has provided me with guidance throughout the entire time I have spent with her, allowing me into the editing process and consistently giving me feedback to improve with. Being included in the editing and understanding the process allowed me to develop and further adapt my skills to what was needed.

I would encourage other students to reach out and make connections within the industry and approach companies for as much work experience as possible. An internship provides a longer term approach to work experience and the chance to gain more workplace skills, but doing more than one internship during a degree may not always be feasible. I recommend chatting with your mentor and working to your best suited timetable to allow you the best opportunity to improve your skills once in placement.

Although it may seem daunting, both your internship mentor and yourself have the same goal, to develop and grow your skills. An internship is the perfect opportunity for you to gain one on one feedback on your work and develop problem areas whilst getting real world experience.

I recommend always asking for guidance if needed and speaking up. A mentor will prefer to give you guidance than to have you sit and mull over a task you feel you cannot complete. Offering your view and input, along with tackling every assigned task head on allows you to demonstrate your perseverance and skills. Make the most of those around you and the skills they have.

For more information about House Call Doctor and their services visit

So what are you waiting for? Go for it!

– Hannah


Hannah Retschlag

I am a Communications student majoring in PR and Journalism. I love writing and keeping myself busy through work and study. When I’m not working or writing, you can find me reading, listening to music or spending time with family. I moved to Brisbane from Central Queensland to pursue a tertiary education and look forward to seeing where my degree will take me.

You can follow me on twitter at: @HRetschlag

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