“We often see a Gen Y that does not want to do certain things because they think that it’s beneath them. I hate that,” said Mr Pell.
According to Mr Pell, the key to transforming work experience into a job is leaving ego at the door, and learning by observation.
“The best interns learn by osmosis, watching closely and then trying to make themselves productive rather than a liability,” said Mr Pell.
He also stressed the importance of making staff feel respected.
“The pet hate of the full-time employer is the work experience person who tells them how to do their job. It’s not a good start. In fact it’s a very good end.”
Economics correspondent for The Australian, Adam Creighton agrees that many graduates believe they are too educated to learn anything from prospective employers.
“Just because you did well at university does not mean you are a good journalist or good at writing,” Mr Creighton said.
“I think one mistake interns make is thinking that they are really good and they are not. It takes a huge amount of practice to become a fast writer.”
He believes the best way to secure a position in the industry is to start an internship with a solid track record.
“[You need to] have written lots in magazines and newspapers, have extremely good marks and have a wide variety of interests. Also have opinions about everything,” he said.
Seven news producer Mike Morrow believes it’s about finding a balance.
“Most interns either try too hard and are too enthusiastic and that gives the employer the impression they know it all or they don’t try hard enough and there is nothing worse then someone who does not try at all. You need to find the middle-ground,” Mr Morrow said.
Mr Morrow urges interns not to give up if a job offer does not eventuate.
“If they want you to stay then you did your job and if they don’t then maybe you have more to learn – that is certainly what happened to me,” he said. – Oliver McCormack