My FT week by Ana Dabrundashvili

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Financial Times is a dream destination for Georgian students. I was the luckiest. I spent a week at the FT and it was not like any other place I’ve ever lived or worked (not that there are many of them, though.)

On my first day, I had hardly shaken hands with my supervisor and was trying to remember if his name was Max or Mark, or something else starting with an "M", when a siren like a school-bell went off. Dozens of people in their suits and ties, who had been trying to figure out why Sweden’s economy had a 1,9% rise this year, slowly moved to the fire exit knowing there was probably no fire to run from.

That’s what responsible citizens do: they queue; they follow safety instructions and they pay for public transport. Unfortunately, I’ve not become a responsible citizen during my stay in London: I keep accidentally showing an old ticket to the bus driver. But I have learnt a lot of new words (like “Googlable”) and started to understand British journalism jokes. I have even started to become friends with the FT software. I also found out there is a right way to sit at my desk when a lady from career counselling approached me and asked if I wanted to talk about my job: she seemed worried I might develop a stiff neck!

Thanks to all the staff who have been nice and attentive to me (they even tried to spell my surname correctly) I now consider my FT log in, password, mailbox and security pass to be something absolutely natural. I have even stopped walking the streets lost and searching for the FT building.

This glimpse inside the world’s most respected publication is something that will drive me to set myself higher standards and push myself to something more than average. I observed a true professionalism during this week and had the opportunity to brush up on my own. Although I still feel like Harry Potter on his very first day at Hogwarts, I’m confident it will not be the case next time.

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