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Friday, September 26, 2014

Editorial internship - the highs and lows



Us interns are coming towards the end of our time at TARGETjobs now, and it seems that we’ve experienced the full range that this placement has in store. So I thought I’d offer a quick taster of what we’ve been doing for anyone who’s interested:

The highs – interviews
Every now and again we interview industry practitioners, to give our readers a glimpse into what it’s actually like to be an intern at an investment bank or trainee doctor...
Once we’ve got a name and a date in our diaries we’ll do some research into the company and industry so we can frame some questions. We’re always looking for an interesting angle or storyline. There are usually some industry trends to talk about – sustainability comes up a lot in construction and civil engineering, for instance. But you don’t really know how the article’s going to turn out until you’ve actually done the interview. 

Some of the interviews they do here are more structured – sometimes you’re trying to find out about a particular sector or area of practice and there’s a very detailed set of topics you need to cover. But other interviews tend to go off piste – if someone’s got an interesting story to tell it’s better to follow that up than to cut them short so you can get through the forty remaining questions on your list.

Doing the interviews is one of the more enjoyable aspects of the job – it’s always nice to speak to someone who’s really enthusiastic about what they do. And it’s great to see the article when it gets laid up for print once you’ve gone through the approval process.

The lows – job descriptions
Long ago, in the mists of TARGETjobs history, there lived a wise woman who was the font of knowledge about all jobs. Determined to pass on her learning to younger generations, she worked long and hard to produce approximately 330 job descriptions . Thanks to her noble efforts, we students panicking about our job hunt (or lack thereof) can educate ourselves about the options out there.

But we live in a changing world, which means that the job description database often needs updating. Professional bodies, trade magazines and exam boards have a habit of disappearing or changing their names and it falls to us interns to work out what’s new.
 I’ll admit it’s not the most exciting work, but at least it means that when I meet automotive engineers, accountants and biomedical scientists , the ‘what do you do?’ conversation won’t be quite so awkward.  That said, if anyone with a job title starting with a letter other than A, B or C tries to talk to me I’ll be completely lost – my quota stops with “courier”.

By Elizabeth Bingham 
Editorial Intern