Interning on the Interactive Desk by Cornelia Treptow

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

My internship at the Financial Times began in the building's reception where I met another new intern. We spent a few minutes learning a bit about each other before being given a whirlwind tour of the editorial floors. It was certainly exciting to witness first-hand the behind-the-scenes of such an iconic newspaper, and the tailored tour made us feel welcome from the very beginning. After the tour we were invited to attend the morning meeting, known as Conference, during which the editors discuss that day’s paper and what to prepare for the next day. This provided an excellent insight into the newspaper’s editorial process.
During my time at the FT no two days were really the same though my overall responsibility was to provide support for the interactive team working on Some days were spent researching how subscribers use the FT’s blogs and website comment functions whilst others involved preparing web-posts themselves. In addition, I helped by researching background information and facts for a number of projects for the website. Beyond this, I was tasked with preparing a timeline of key events during President Obama’s first year in office, and then searching for links and pictures to accompany each of the events. This was particularly interesting as it allowed me to observe how a project evolves from being just an idea to a finished product that is ready for the website. 
Away from simply working at the desk, I was invited to watch the recording of one of the FT podcasts. Jumping at the opportunity, I was shown how the recording equipment works, what the producer’s role is and then later how to edit podcasts and post them onto the web. After being shown, I was able to edit and post on my own.
Halfway through my second week, I spent a day with an IT expert getting one-on-one tuition about the software that is used to put the paper together, how the FT uses it and the process a story goes through from its initial writing to it appearing in the newspaper and on the website. This was really fascinating, and a great way to understand how the work I was doing at a desk related to the website and the finished paper itself.
In all, I’ve had a wonderful experience at the FT and would recommend it as an opportunity not to be missed. Everyone I have worked with has not only been welcoming and friendly but also patient and willing to take the time to ensure that I understand different processes and how my work will be used. My parting advice to future interns would be to make the most of your time at the FT; you’ll certainly get more out of it if you put more in.


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