Alice Tozer's internship

Wednesday 4 March 2009

I had barely been in the building an hour when I found myself being ushered into Tuesday’s morning conference (Monday having been a snow-induced national duvet day for the sensible). The quotidian conference affair sees the FT’s editorial greats congregate punctually around an elongated table. Hooked up by conference call to Hong Kong, grasping coffee and their notes, they justify their choice of top quality content to the Editor, who sits in contemplation at its helm.

Fighting sporadic distraction from a spectacular view over the winter-sun struck murky Thames, that Tuesday I was brought up to date with the state of the world at an unforgiving pace. An undoubtedly routine and pressure-wrought experience for them, it made me feel privileged to be at the nerve-centre of an awe-inspiringly influential team and their sparkling product – a feeling which has remained.

I am among that breed of Arts graduate who feel slightly more comfortable philosophising on the bonus culture than detailing its contribution to the fall of the world economy. Lucky, then, that I was heading straight down to business at the FT Weekend Magazine desk, where I was welcomed warmly into ‘the Book corner’.

Helping out on the Books and Life&Arts sections of the weekend broadsheet as well as on the weekend magazine has made for satisfying variety and ensured there’s never a work-less, or dull, moment. My tasks have ranged from fact-checking articles and researching ideas for future ones, to conducting a telephone-interview with a San Francisco designer so I could write that week’s Meet the Maker column for the magazine. Currently I am thrilled to be getting stuck into a new release book about the history of tea, for the purposes of writing a short review.

If only for a suspended reality, the Financial Times is a wonderful place to work - inside and out. Lunchtime strolls into Borough market’s medieval and modernised nooks and crannies offer a veritable feast for the eyes and tummy. Instead, if you head in the opposite direction you can have a muse in Tate Modern or go for a lunch time run along the bustling South Bank. Crucially, the FT has showers – and they’re spick and span.

I’ll be sad to leave. Everything has worked like clockwork from the moment I arrived; the Editorial Assistant acting as my mentor went to great pains to give me the grand tour, and offer general support. And yet I have also felt as independent as an employee would be and I will miss coming to work here in the morning. All in all, the internship is completely hands-on and far from glorified tea making, which so many of its type are. You’re more likely to be writing about the stuff.


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