An internship in Life & Arts, Helen Waller

Monday 6 April 2009

Before I started my internship at the Financial Times I was both excited and terrified in equal measure. Waiting in reception I saw smart, suited business-types walking in and felt very young and inexperienced. And whilst I was filled with awe during my tour of the vast floors filled with people at their computers, working on important news stories, from the moment I started I have felt comfortable and well looked after.

Being unfamiliar with all things financial, I was happy to be given a placement in the Life & Arts section of the FT Weekend. Here I have carried out a variety of tasks from not only the Life & Arts section, but also House &Home, Arts & Books and Travel. It has been a pleasant surprise that I have only made tea once and have not had to do any photocopying. I still cannot believe that I have been writing copy, which may not exactly be front page stuff but still gives me a great thrill when I see it, along with my name, printed in the paper. I have also done some fact checking, research for articles, and even a telephone interview, which helped me overcome my irrational fear of talking on the phone.

This is a real positive aspect of the internship. Whilst everyone is friendly and makes sure you know where important things are, like the canteen, they do not spoon-feed you and allow you to carry out tasks independently, using your own initiative. This makes excellent practice for the big bad world.

I have also been able to attend editorial meetings, which has been fascinating. I have felt privileged to be able to listen in on planning for articles in upcoming papers and have enjoyed the jovial banter that goes along with these discussions. It has also been incredibly satisfying seeing those same planned articles go through the entire process of being written and edited, laid out on the page and finally appearing in the paper once it has been printed.

I am currently about half way through my month’s placement and am very much looking forward to the next two weeks. Overall I know that after this I will have learnt so much and have grown massively in confidence, which will be extremely beneficial when it comes to getting a job.


Blogger Unknown said...

I read your article about 'Choose what you read', clipped it out because I wanted to keep it, and ended up googling you when I wanted to refer to it and couldn't remember the source. I guess that means it was a good article!

I'm Dutch and doing a MA in Creative Writing in London, and know exactly what you mean. Good luck in finding a job after your internship!


6 April 2009 at 09:21  

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