Not making tea by Ivana Kottasova

Friday 9 July 2010

There are two ways to avoid becoming a tea-girl while doing your editorial internship:

A)When your boss asks you to make him a cup of tea for the first time, produce a weak and way-too-milky slop, preferably cold and with a long blond hair in it. I promise he won’t ask for another one.

B)Do your internship at the FT.

Knowing absolutely nothing about finance except how to spend it, I suffered a slight panic attack when the FT offered me a four-week internship with the Markets desk. I rushed to a bookstore and spent £30 on 'Financial Markets Guide', 'Markets for Dummies' and, an absolute must-have for all future interns, 'Reading and Understanding the Financial Times'.

After spending the next few weeks reading, I finally arrived at the FT and soon realised that I don’t have to pretend I understand everything, or nod sophisticatedly despite having no clue what people are talking about. Trust me, if there is a place where it is absolutely fine to ask stupid questions, it is the FT Markets desk.

During the four weeks, I had the chance to try different aspects of editorial work, from updating markets reports and subbing stories, to uploading copy onto the website and writing a daily blog on emerging markets in central and eastern Europe.
I was lucky enough to be there on Budget Day and found it absolutely thrilling, watching the professional, dedicated staff deliver best Budget coverage.

My supervisors let me work on my own, make some mistakes, find them and correct them only to make them again the next time. They were encouraging and helpful and I enjoyed every bit of this experience.


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