Sunday, 26 July 2009

Day 5

Day 5:

My last day at the Evening Standard. Pushing open the glass doors of Northcliffe House for the last time I felt a squeeze of sadness in my stomach. The receptionist greeted me with a smile and a “Hello Libby”. It seems she has become used to seeing me. When I told her it was my last day she asked whether I had enjoyed myself. I replied with an enthusiastic yes, and probably something to do with Rupert Everett!

I planned to leave straight after work, so it was dragging a suitcase that I went up the escalator, into the lift and through the doors marked ‘Evening Standard’ for my last time. When I arrived I was thrilled to see a photo of me and David Cameron, and a short piece about my book in the paper. We had struggled to get much press coverage of the day so this (despite being a few months after the meeting) made me jump with excitement. Everyone usually throws their Evening Standard away in the afternoon, so I went around collecting unwanted copies. I left with armfuls - plenty to show proudly to my family.

In the morning I was given the task of skimming through a biography that they had been given to review. It is safe to say I shall not be purchasing said book. I won’t go into details, but I shall just say that I hope they publish my comments, so that I can save any innocent readers stumbling across it.

Later on I was given a short piece to write which the journalist seemed pleased with. I don’t know if they will use it but I think any writing is good experience. After writing the story I went for my lunch. Sitting in the canteen I glowed with happiness as I thought about the amazing week I have had.

I have learnt so much, and been so lucky. I had expected to be making cups of tea and photocopying, but instead I was trusted to write stories and interview an actor. Not only do I feel I have learnt a lot about journalism, but I think I have learnt a lot about myself as well. Mainly this week has been about confidence. I love writing, but was worried that perhaps when the time came I wouldn’t be able to do it. After the event with Rupert Everett I had a terrible premonition of arriving home and sitting in front of my laptop, frozen. I have never really had to write with such strict deadlines before; although I set myself deadlines for the book it was more a matter of days than half an hour. I have found I actually love the pressure. When you have to write something in half an hour or an hour, you just do it.

The deadline for the evening edition of the paper is at 2, so after lunch I was free to go. I had paid a visit to Hotel Chocolat and bought chocolates for everyone to say thank you. I also gave them a card, and a copy of my book to add to their newly tidy bookshelf. I don’t think they will ever realise how grateful I am to them. After hundreds of letters and phone calls to different papers and magazines, they were the first people to give me work experience. This was also my first time inside any paper or magazine, and has convinced me I do want to be a journalist, so it is therefore something I will remember forever.

I said good-bye and thank you to everyone and left Northcliffe House sadly, but also with a spring in my step after a fantastic week. I got a taxi to Waterloo, where a train would speed me back to my quiet town. As well as a love of journalism, I have discovered a love of London, so it was strange to be leaving. But it is not for long. I am now home for a week before I am back to London to start a month’s work experience at Cosmopolitan. Without a doubt, I am a very lucky girl.

I know I said yesterday that I think I don’t want to work on a paper and that I am not interested in the politics that are mainly written about here, but I also think this has been the perfect start for me. I have been given a real insight as well as being given the freedom and trust to actually write and get my writing in the paper. Perhaps the Londoner’s Diary isn’t the exact place I want to work, but when I think about going to school instead, I would be back there like a shot.



  1. Libby,
    Thanks for sharing your intern week with us! Your writing was excellent and kept me interested in the details of your experience. In a way, it felt like I was reading a novel about a young Londoner starting her first job! (I love any chick lit book set in London).
    I wish you continued success! xoxox

  2. Libby, I have loved reading your blog, it was like I was there with you!

  3. Hi Libs,

    Just found time to read all of your work experience blogs. I'm amazed by your self-discipline to reflect on your daily experiences, on top of the million and one other things that would have been going through your mind each day.

    Enjoyed your readable/personable style, reminded me a bit of Bridget Jones' Diary :D

    You'd be suprised how far the influence of your Love Pink project has reached. You have two very proud Aussie cousins, who now know that they can dream big dreams, and pursue them with great energy and enthusiasm. I have also used both your book and blog in my classroom to encourage and inspire some of my pre-teen writers.

    Would love a copy of the article on your book if you are able to email a copy - I'll print off and show Grandma & Grandpa when I see them next month - not that she'll neccessarily comprehend the enormity of your achievements!

    Good luck at Cosmo - Lauren & I are looking forward to reading about that too!

    Lots of Love, Clayton xx