FT Industry Desk by Daniella Tsar

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Opportunities are what the FT gives you. What is more important is that it gives you the opportunities you want. Speaking to other interns I have discovered that the things we are doing are very different. And that is perfect. After all we are different, our skills are different and our interests are different.

And that is where the FT internship’s strength lies. While some of the interns are doing more day-to-day reporting my role is more research based. While some interns work in teams or independently I am working a correspondent on the Industry desk. And I am working on one particular project.

On my first day I was welcomed and given a tour of the FT building. After that, the morning editorial meeting showed me the way a newspaper prioritises its content and the strong work ethic of the entire team. Then I started my work.

I have to look through a huge amount of documents quite forensically (some of them are 250 pages long!) but the rush of excitement I get when I see something that changes the entire view on the topic or find data buried deep within the pile of pages is worth it. At the FT precision is of the utmost importance. I have to do all this with the final project in mind, which includes interviews, structure of the article and content.

But, as I said, the FT gives you the opportunity to work on what you want which I realised the very first time I met the correspondent I am working with. She gave me flexibility and encouraged independence, but at the same time she made it clear that I could ask for help and advice on anything on my mind. What’s more she encouraged me to trust my instincts when I saw something that felt valuable or interesting. It was clear to me that the FT valued my experience here just as much as it valued my contribution.

The team on the Industry desk was incredibly helpful without probably realising it. While everybody was friendly and I know they were willing to allow me to steal the little time they had with my questions, the most valuable experience for me was observing the way they worked. I saw the way they cooperated with each other, talked to their sources and constructed their strategic approach to asking questions. It was incredibly useful to see how they approached their topics, how they gave advice to their colleagues, and shared their respective expertise with each other. I never thought a single person could be an expert in so many fields as the correspondents around me were.

Let me mention that today I started my third day at the FT. I guess that shows there is not one dull moment. Whatever happens in the future, this was one of the greatest decisions I have made.

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