Internship on the Books and House & Home sections by Hester Vaizey

Thursday 25 March 2010

When I first talked to journalist-friends about joining their merry band, the response was overwhelmingly cautionary: due to the recession and the challenges presented by the internet, they warned, the future of newspapers is uncertain. Keen to get some hands-on experience myself, and firm in the belief that people will always want to know what is going on, I nonetheless applied to the Financial Times for an internship.

Coming to the end of my first week on the Books and House & Home sections of the FT Weekend, I’ve already learned so much. From day one I was trusted with writing the weekly ‘On Show’ column for the weekend property supplement. The House and Home editor took the time to explain the changes he had made to what I had written, making me keen to incorporate his helpful pointers in the column for the following week.

A few days into the internship, the books editor asked me to write a review – now I need to come up with some searingly insightful remarks to justify my by-line! Ploughing through publishers’ catalogues, I’ve also been helping to choose which books to review. On discovering that a favourite author of mine is releasing a book next month, I pitched it to the books editor, who was really open to the idea and suggested I order a copy from the publishers.

It is great to be empowered and interning in a place where my work has a real impact on the pages that go to print.