Friday, August 30, 2013

Time to say goodbye

And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain. But, before it falls, the fat lady needs to sing.

It’s her day off, though, so you’ve got one final aria from me. I’d like to give you a peek into what a TARGETjobs intern gets up to, and share with you what I’ve learned from my time on this job before I head up north again to don the red gown of St Andrews.

Like Laura, Hollie and Harriet, I too have spent time working on TARGETjobs print titles, Law and IT & Technology. Work involved liaising with representatives from the companies that feature in the titles to obtain editorial content, occasionally writing this content up for publication. The most useful thing I learned from this work was how to conduct telephone conversations in a professional manner confidently. I’ve had experience of handling business-related telephone communications before, but in that previous job I was acting as a first-point-of-contact: I would direct calls to the appropriate person, do my best to answer them, or politely decline to give any details over the phone. In this job, however, I was starting off a conversation that needed to bear fruit at the end, and it felt like a lot of responsibility! The calls went well, and I obtained the permission or copy that was needed. There were one or two slippery fish, but they were eventually netted, and I now feel confident that I can handle these calls and maintain client relationships.

I have also had the opportunity to write articles for the TARGETjobs website, honing my researching skills so that I can complete relevant research efficiently within a limited time frame, a completely different skill to finding the right text in long research stints in the university library!

My time spent on the Guardian UK 300 and RECOVERY magazine was beneficial in more ways than one. From the first, I learned how to write up recorded interviews into an 800 word article, and handle the feedback from the interviewees. In the second, accurately summarising news stories into short formats and then reacting to breaking news and incorporating those developments into existing articles has enhanced skills gained through my journalism experience and applied them to a professional situation, which was very helpful.

One of my major developments here, however, has been in my ability to tailor my writing for different audiences. After three years of academic essays and factual news articles my writing style had grown very formal and academic, which is not appropriate in certain circumstances. Writing articles for the website and blog posts has softened my style somewhat, and re-invigorated my creativity. It’s a great idea for anyone who finds writing difficult: start a blog, or, if you, like me, need a strong nudge to start you down the creative road again, put yourself in a position where blogging is required of you. You will soon find that it limbers your creative muscles.

I have also received some fantastic CV advice from the editors here (honestly, check out what they have to say about CVs and covering letters on their website – it’s gold-dust), and advice on my future career, for which I am immensely grateful. All that remains is for me to say thank you to everyone at TARGETjobs for a fantastic three months, and to bid you all farewell.


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