Meet James, our new intern

James Mort

James Mort is Powell Tate’s newest intern. James joins the Powell Tate team two days a week from the University of Sydney. As you’ll notice, James is a man of many surprising talents.

Powell Tate’s internships offer an environment to learn and hone key corporate and public affairs skills and become embedded in the team.

James was interviewed by Emma Dunn, a Senior Account Executive at Powell Tate, and former intern herself.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is James Mort, I am 23-years-old and I am an undergraduate student at the University of Sydney. Outside of interning and study, I am an avid surfer, skier and photographer. I have worked in retail, marketing and as a bushfire aerial surveillance specialist.

What attracted you to public affairs?
I have always taken a keen interest in news and politics. I am attracted to public affairs as it allows the opportunity to manage real issues whilst also working with some of the biggest organisations in the world.

What were you looking for when you applied to intern at Powell Tate?
I was looking for an internship that gives real world experience working in a world class corporate communications and public affairs environment. As I am in my final year of undergraduate study, I am seeking experience that will allow me to follow my dream career path.

Has the internship met your expectations?
Absolutely it has, if not exceeded them.

What surprised you about interning?
The biggest surprise was the level of responsibility handed to me from day one. I also really enjoy being able to work with the Powell Tate team on the issues of the day.

What do you think are the most important issues faced by governments and corporations today?
We are living in increasingly uncertain times. I believe that public and private sectors must be increasingly flexible in navigating complex issues including; the widening political divide and the rise of post-truth, an increasingly concentrated and polarised media landscape and the globalisation of economics, trade and politics.

What do you like most about interning at Powell Tate?
I love the collaborative atmosphere within Powell Tate. This means that every day I am doing a new task and I have the opportunity to work with each member of the Powell Tate team.

What do you like least about interning at Powell Tate?
That is a tough question. The fact that I am only here for twenty days and that we ran out of communal Tim Tams.

What are some of the skills you have learned during your internship?
During my time at Powell Tate I have learned how to work effectively in a world class public affairs team across a range of issues management practices such as: compiling media lists, researching issues and the efficient communication of information.

What does an average day as an intern look like?
A typical day interning at Powell Tate begins with reading the daily newspapers in order to provide an overview of the news of the day. Next we report to a team meeting where we discuss the news, how it may affect clients and any stories we found interesting. After the team meeting we get started on the tasks of the day. Every day at Powell Tate is exciting and different, so there are no typical days per se. However, most days I work on at least three different tasks with each member of the Powell Tate team.

Do you believe that internships are valuable?
Definitely, internships offer a student the opportunity to experience working and learning in a real world environment that provides skills not taught in the classroom.

Has interning helped your study/job prospects?
Yes, because interning has given me valuable vocational skills and experience that are applicable to both future work and study.

Why would you recommend the Powell Tate First Light internship program to others?
Because Powell Tate values its interns by providing varied and stimulating work experience in a world class public affairs team.

If you could offer one piece of advice to a future Powell Tate intern, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. An internship is as much a learning opportunity as it is an opportunity for work experience. Enjoy it!

If you’re interested in interning with the Powell Tate team please contact Emma Dunn on edunn@powelltate.com for more information.

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