This isn’t just an internship, this is a Financial Times internship

Friday 14 August 2009

By Sarah Halls

My preconceptions of work experience were quickly dispelled on entering the FT. During the six weeks that I’ve been interning here, the usual suspects of photocopying, filing and getting the coffee have never featured on my ‘to do’ list.

During my first two weeks I had the task of suggesting new ways to improve the Business Education website. At the end of my placement I had to present my ideas to the Business Education editor, her colleagues and to the Lead Product Manager. Hearing that my ideas- case studies for MBA students to answer amongst other suggestions- were feasible and will be implemented gave me a great sense of satisfaction as I felt I was directly contributing to the team.

My next desk, Consumer Industries, gave me my first by-line. After attending the publication of a report on the restaurant industry I wrote about how it is floundering during the recession. After working to a strict deadline my Consumer Industries correspondent gave me feedback on how to improve it and what could be excluded. What really struck me about this desk was the sense of responsibility I was given from the start. However, if I needed any advice my correspondent was always at hand to guide me.

My current desks are Books and House and Home, which both appear in FT Weekend. I’ve been mainly focusing on the editorial side of things e.g. fact checking the proofs and making book lists for writers to review but at the same time I have been pitching and writing about upcoming events and trends.

Working at the FT is an amazing experience. However, this experience has been trebled since due to the downturn many sectors are facing challenging situations. Depending on your desk, you are at the forefront of all the business, national and international news. Whilst here, I’ve met internationally renowned journalists who are more than willing to offer their advice and have had a real eye-opener into life at a global newspaper. However, the best part of the internship is receiving feedback on my work. Often, criticism is perceived as something negative, but here at the FT I saw it as a constructive invaluable element to my internship that will serve to enhance my skills.

I would say to anyone considering interning here to chuck all your preconceptions you might have about the FT over London Bridge, because this isn’t just an internship, this is a Financial Times internship.


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