FT Video Production by Tulay Kalyon

Wednesday 10 April 2013

As the author Betty Bender says: “Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile...initially scared me to death.” Surely that is the case with the Financial Times internship. As soon as my internship was confirmed, it scared me but I knew it was going to be a great experience.

Arriving at the reception, I was met by an Editorial Assistant, who provided me with information that I could not even think of asking. A tour was given of the building showing every single section, explaining what they do in detail. I was then taken to the editorial  conference meeting.

The meeting was led by Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times. After watching the meeting, I just felt high, high from being in the same room with Britain's top journalists and seeing how great minds work.

After the meeting I was taken to my section, the video unit. There I was welcomed by the video team, who were extremely professional and helpful. That's one of the most amazing things at the Financial Times. Everybody works hard yet they are relaxed. It's where Northern Europe an organisation skills meet Mediterranean cheerfulness perfectly finished off with British politeness.

The first day I was shadowing and was patiently explained every single thing they do on a daily basis. I was shown the studio, introduced to the presenters, showed software they use and how they produce the videos. But the internship at the Financial Times is not just about shadowing somebody, the first day they make you feel relaxed but after that they want an intern to feel confident and be able to produce some work. It is not like other places where they say "Oh, you are only here for a short time, you do not have to learn how to do that." At the Financial Times, they teach you everything they do, you can ask anything you want to learn.

After watching how everybody operates, then I was free to create my own material and make my own little contribution to the Financial Times which felt amazing. I published news, produced videos and did research. I did not panic as I always had somebody to ask when I had any hesitations. The video department is full of accommodating people.

After a week spent at the Financial Time's video unit, my manager asked me if I was happy. I was assured that if I had any problems or any suggestions, I should not hesitate to talk to him which made me feel at home. Every single person at the Financial Times from security to maintenance is extremely polite and ready to help at any time.

During past weeks, I have done many things and learnt a lot of useful skills that I can use in my professional journalism career. Calling these experiences an "internship" would be like calling a philosopher a life coach. The Financial Times is a great academy, an academy that makes Plato's academy look low-key.