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Please list your past experience here

January 13, 2011

Have you experienced a placement like this?

As a trainee journalist, or indeed a trainee in any area, work experience placements are a vital part of any career development.

Whether you spend your time bent over countless cups of tea, trying to remember how many of your colleagues ordered decaff, or you are lucky enough to snag a front page splash on your second day, completing work experience placements will provide you with an invaluable insight into your future career prospects.

Regardless of our individual experiences, one thing remains certain – these placements will help to shape us into skillful and well-informed reporters. Despite the frustration and the boredom, it is essential that we each strive to gain as much as possible from every minute spent on a placement.

Even those among us who have been used and abused as nothing more than a tea and coffee delivery service should strive to take something useful away from the newsroom, be it a greater understanding of office politics or perhaps a more intricate knowledge about the complexities behind the perfect cup of tea. Whatever experience you have had during your time as a meagre and lowly intern, learn to make the most of it in any way possible.

At the very least your time spent on work experience placements will help to demonstrate to future employers that you had the grit and determination to fight back the frustration and battle on with the inevitable boredom that comes with writing countless NIBS and picture captions. Every one of us will have spent many minutes, hours or days dreaming about our potential for journalistic greatness but, for some, this front page fame may not happen right away.

Consider each placement as a test – whether you are presented with tough challenges and exciting opportunities or you are forced to demonstrate your humility by accepting with grace assignments that you think are only for the most inexperienced of reporters – how you perform on each test will determine how much you are able to learn from your time as an intern. Embrace every task that is given to you with an open mind, complete it to the best of your ability and go above and beyond what is required of you. In this cut throat world of journalistic desire, standing out and making a difference is all that will guarantee you a post-placement career.

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