Life and Arts by Alex Jones

Thursday 18 February 2010

So, I went into the morning meeting on my first day, and Lionel Barber says, ‘where are you from’? And I say, ‘Sheffield’. He looks at me a little strangely, but moves on. The new intern next to me (read her illuminating blog below) says ‘Channel Four’ and I think, dear lord, of course he didn’t mean where in the country – what an idiot. Word of warning: don’t let the nerves speak for you, especially when the person you’re speaking to is The Editor (notice the capitalisation, like God.)

My time on the FT Life and Arts desk has been vastly enjoyable. From the basics like collating information for the forward events list and fact-checking articles, to the more advance stuff like researching and writing sidebars and pitching ideas, my time here has meant that I have come to be familiar with the workings of the desk and of the paper as a whole. What has struck me most has been the sense of inclusion; everyone, from editors to subs to pictures, has gone out of their way to involve me in the all the processes of the section.

This inclusion, the feeling that I was really part of the team, has given me the confidence to voice my ideas and opinions safe in the knowledge that they would, at least, be considered. In the world of the intern I have found that this kind of confidence, wherein one feels valued and respected, is a rare and precious commodity and should the opportunity arise for me to answer any other questions for Mr. Barber, I think I would put it to good use.


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