The Best in the Business by Jay Bains

Friday 11 June 2010

Sitting down on a comfy leather sofa, I looked around at the airy atrium. It had been less than a minute since I first entered the Financial Times, and my expectations had already been exceeded.

A meticulous perfectionist, I’d often worried that I’d never find a place of work that meets my pedantic needs. I yearn for dynamism, sophistication, and unmatched excellence, in addition to tolerance, balance, and a reputation for being the very best. Looking out at the Thames from the immaculately kept obsidian building, perched on the south side of Southwark Bridge, I felt at home.

My internship commenced with a grand tour of the building and its various departments. A sea of smiles greeted me from the many desks in the light and spacious newsroom, and continued as we conquered the next few floors. I returned to the first floor for morning conference with Lionel Barber, his team of chief editors, and the Hong Kong office. I watched their composed and captivating analysis of the previous day's paper and in-depth plans for the current day's in an awed silence.

Training in their specialised software and lunch followed. I was then introduced to my team on the UK Companies desk. After being assigned a desk, stationary, passwords and e-mail address, the day was drawing to a close, and it was time to leave.

The next two days were an exciting amalgam of tasks. From searching for imagery on Getty, to sifting through press releases, writing a short article, to forwarding a link to my first published story to everyone I know, it’s been surreal. Comfortable and gratified with my surroundings, applying my taught journalistic skills to real practical situations has been exceptionally rewarding.

This morning I accompanied David Blackwell, twice winner of the Aim Journalist of the Year Award, to a meeting in the Square Mile. David kindly introduced me using my full name and told the company we were meeting with a little about me, giving me confidence and recognition. Unnecessary, yes; I could have blended into the background and watched the meeting in silence. But it’s this subtle attention to detail and bespoke integrity, as exhibited by David, that makes the Financial Times simply the best in the business.

At the beginning of my internship, I thought that working with the Financial Times would give me some guidance as to what route of journalism I would move into, if any. After just four days, it has confirmed that finance journalism is the place to be, and the Financial Times is where I want to be.

Walking back over Southwark Bridge from the meeting, the river splashing beneath me and the wind howling above, I can see the black metropolis of world business standing royally on the other side. Smiling to myself, my grip around my staff-pass tightens, and I quicken my step.


Blogger JayBainsTheWriter said...

Very enjoyable article.

Coincidentally, we both have the same name.

Any advice to an aspiring scribe?

Happy Wordsmithing.

Jay Bains.

By the way, I'm in toronto, yourself?

7 November 2010 at 07:12  

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