10 Things I Learnt Interning at the Guardian

10 Things I Learnt Interning at the Guardian

If you’ve partly kept up with my life on here, you’ll know that I am a 20 year old student who has one year of University left… Meaning that it’s probably time to start getting my life together and figuring out what I want (Let me know if you want a separate post on that process in general).  Therefore, you’ll probably see a lot more career related posts on here in the next year, as I struggle through that terrifying transition from studenthood to adulthood.  Kicking these posts off happens to be a list of 10 things I learnt from my two weeks at the Guardian.

 

Background: How, what and why?

I’m doing a whole Youtube video talking you through how the week went, how I ended up there in the first place, tips and tricks etc.  (So subscribe here so you see it when it’s out) But, for the purpose of providing context, I will give a quick rundown below:

The Guardian is a large British daily Newspaper that (obviously) stretches to online and social media.  I applied for their summer internship scheme back in February (It was a pretty detailed application process, but more on that in the video) and heard back in May that I was one of the 20 out of 300 applicants to make it to the group interview stage.

After a strenuous group interview in which everybody in the room seemed 10 times smarter and more aware of current events than me, I had accepted that I’d done all I could and if I didn’t get it that was fine.  However, amidst all my exam revision, I got an email saying that I was one of the 10 they chose, and had secured a chance to work at the Guardian for 2 weeks over the summer.  I spent my time there on 5 different desks, spending 2 days in each, and get to choose one to come back to for a whole week at some point in the next year.

 

10 things I learnt…

 

1) Work days are more exhausting than they look

I only have around 8 contact hours a week when I’m at uni, so tend to blame my constant tiredness on the fact that I balance that with so many other side projects.  However, I planned to dedicate my two weeks of work just to work, with nothing else going on on the side, hoping that I’d finally be a little more relaxed… I was wrong.  Work days, regardless of how fun they may be, are incredibly draining, and the first thing I wanted to do everyday when I got in was sleep (Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to do this once).  How am I ever going to be a real adult?

2) Regardless of how often I write, I’m still full of doubt

I’ve been writing on this blog for just over 1 and a half years, been writing novels since I was 8, and have been working on my student paper for a year.  I even had to submit a piece of writing for the application program for this scheme; I got chosen for a reason, and yet I’m still not confident in my ability to write.  Everytime I pitched a piece or got told to write something that was actually going to be featured in the Guardian, I had genuine doubt that I was good enough.  Am I ever going to believe that I’m a somewhat “good” writer?  I mean, there’s always room for improvement, but I’m hoping that I’ll soon believe in myself.

3) Coffee is a lifesaver and caffeine does more than you think.

I’ve never been a coffee drinker, but when you’ve got a straight two weeks of early starts and late nights (Due to some personal things going on) coffee is your best friend.  Scared of falling asleep at your desk, despite the fact that your work is actually interesting?  Get yourself a coffee.  Want to make a good impression by being all bright eyed and alert?  Coffee.  I’m going to get into making cappacinos during Uni, honestly, that stuff was a lifesaver.

4) I am more resilient than I thought

Two days into my internship, I came home to some pretty bad family news.  Everything was (somewhat) okay, but it meant that the next few days of work involved coming home to help out more than usual, and a looooot of emotional head stuff.  Part of me wanted to email and tell them I couldn’t continue/I’d have to reschedule – I clearly wasn’t being myself  and it was a good enough reason for me to stop working.  However, after quite a few peptalks from my parents, and a reminder that I am stronger than I think, I made it through the two weeks in spite of everything.  I knew that I was resilient, but it was interesting seeing how far that stretches.

5) It’s better to explain what’s wrong than to keep it bottled up

Following up on the last post, I eventually emailed my mentor to tell him what was going on with me, and honestly, it was such a weight off of my shoulders.  I suddenly felt like I wasn’t under this massive pressure to be perfect and smiley, and I no longer felt like I was letting people down.  Even when we think noone will care about our problems, it’s better to let them out into the open because people are more understanding than you think.

6) I’m still anxious in social situations

I have amazing friends at home and at Uni, and since starting my blog I’ve been pretty good at emailing brands, meeting bloggers at events, so sometimes I forget that I am, in fact, a painfully awkward person.  I used to be incredibly anxious when it came to meeting new people in any sort of situation; it used to genuinely terrify me.  So, when I was walking into work everyday and felt that oh so familiar bubbling in the pit of my stomach, I was reminded that a part of me will always be that person.  However, the difference is that now, I am able to get past that feeling and rise above it.  That’s a massive step for me, and it’s weird noticing how far you’ve come.

7) I like to be busy

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I moved to a different desk every 2 days, each bringing their own program of tasks for me to do.  I found that the desks I liked the most were the ones that always had work for me to do, because, even though it’s been killing me recently, I really like to be busy.  I have a feeling that part of that derives from my constant need to help people and feel useful.

8) London rush hour is the worst and WHY DOES EVERYBODY WALK SO SLOW AND NOT KNOW HOW TO MOVE DOWN TO ALLOW MORE PEOPLE TO FIT ON THE TRAIN COME ON COOPERATE HERE.

And I thought slow walkers made me angry before…

9) I still don’t quite know what “smart casual” means

I thought after the two weeks I’d have some idea of what the infamous phrase means, yet here I am, still back at sqare one.  Honestly, considering I had little to no money to buy a new wardrobe, I just attempted to throw together things that I had and hoped for the best.

10) Journalism is cool

I knew this before (Or at least, imagined it to be in my head), but this only confirmed my suspicions.  This made me want to go into journalism more than before, and I can’t wait to keep working towards it.

 

And there you have it, 10 things I learnt while interning at the Guardian!  I’ll be talking about and breaking down the whole week in a video over on my Youtube channel, so make sure that you’re subscribed to hear more about that.

Lots of love,

Jas xx

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54 Comments

  1. Vimbai Mufunde
    July 16, 2018 / 7:39 am

    I love this! You were chosen FOR A REASON. It’s okay to have self doubt sometimes but I’m so glad you’ve got such amazingly supportive people around you to remind you of your talent Jas. you are super duper! And I am so proud of how far you’ve gotten xx

    • July 18, 2018 / 8:59 pm

      Thank you so much Vimbai <3 Honestly your constant support means the absolute world to me
      Jas xx

  2. July 16, 2018 / 9:51 am

    The best of luck, Jasmine, you really deserve it. You are full of insight, but far too hard on yourself, I’m sure you’d be much more understanding and supportive of a colleague who confided they felt the same lack of confidence.

    • July 18, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m getting better at believing in myself.
      Jas xx

  3. July 16, 2018 / 11:57 am

    Wow, that’s amazing that you interned at the Guardian! What an achievement 🙂 And these are some super important lessons you’ve learnt too, which you can definitely take with you in your next phase of your journalism journey! I’m also a pretty awkward person haha and I’m so thankful that I work from home because I couldn’t hack rush hour xxx

    • July 18, 2018 / 9:01 pm

      Thank you so much Jenny! Honestly, I hate rush hour, you’ve got a pretty good thing going working from home 😉
      Jas xx

  4. July 17, 2018 / 12:32 pm

    I can relate to so many things mentioned here-like journaling, the obsession with being busy, and so much more-apart from the internship in itself!Lovely post!xx

  5. July 18, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    This is so cool! And clearly shows how good your writing is, and why you got chosen to intern. I’ve always been nervous of not being good enough for internships, but if you never apply you never know, right?
    Cordelia || cordeliamoor.squarespace.com

    • July 18, 2018 / 9:05 pm

      Thank you! Honestly just keep applying, I feel like perceverance is key!
      Jas xx

  6. July 20, 2018 / 9:17 am

    Great tips!
    Your comment on London rush hour is funny as…but this seems to be the norm world over!

  7. July 20, 2018 / 10:03 am

    Well done, Jasmine. You can certainly be proud of yourself. Who wouldn’t be after being selected out of so many? Have fun discovering yourself [it’s a lifelong thing] and just be open to view all opportunities as they come your way, and, they will! 🙂

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:43 am

      Thank you so much! And yes, I’m ready for a long life of discovering myself
      Jas xx

  8. July 20, 2018 / 10:55 am

    I take the bus part of the year and yes to people not making room for others to get on. I see seats past the back door and the bus driver drives by thinking full. I think people think life ends at the back door and can’t take the extra steps. So I am so with you with that!!

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:42 am

      It’s so irritating! I don’t understand why they can’t just move down!
      Jas xx

  9. July 20, 2018 / 11:05 am

    Sounds like a wonderful experience. And London rush hour is the worst. I don’t know how people do it.

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:42 am

      Honestly, I don’t know how people do it on a regular basis either!
      Jas xx

  10. July 20, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    It’s amazing that you were chosen it is such a competitive process. Good luck with the rest of your studies. The skills you learn as a journalist you will carry with you forever. It is a brilliant job. Very hard but amazing!

  11. July 20, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    Smart casual is the most confusing thing for me 😂
    Amazing post, and sounds like an incredible experience!
    Elize @ YouTube Channel

  12. July 20, 2018 / 8:11 pm

    I totally agree on the self-doubt part, and I try to remind myself that there’s a reason I was selected. Part of that doubt, however, comes from knowing that there is always room for growth!
    | RogueCouture.weebly.com |

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:37 am

      Yeah, hopefully I channel that doubt into growing more!
      Jas xx

  13. July 20, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    This is such an interesting post – and how incredible that you were one of ten chosen out of THREE HUNDRED. That’s ridiculously impressive. It sounds like you had a really eye opening time! And it showed real strength to carry on through personal difficulties. You should be so proud. 😊

  14. July 20, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    Sounds like a great opportunity and worth all the time and energy you put into it.

  15. July 20, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    Great post! It’s great that you had such a great experience, that experience will be great for you in the future! Good luck for the rest of your studies x

  16. July 20, 2018 / 8:23 pm

    London rush hour is a nightmare! So glad I am not on the central line! An internship at the guardian sounds absolutely amazing! i love that newspaper!

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:29 am

      London rush hour was the worst, not planning to do that again anytime soon! It truly was an amazing experience!
      Jas xx

  17. hildajow
    July 20, 2018 / 8:31 pm

    Congratulations on securing that position, it sounds like the application process was intense. To get through that and then be selected is such an achievement. I wish I had that tenacity when I was 20! Keep going hun, your on the right track 🙂

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:25 am

      Thank you so much! Honestly I’m still shocked at the fact that I got it!
      Jas xx

  18. July 20, 2018 / 8:32 pm

    This is such an awesome opportunity Jasmine and I’m so happy for you!! This will be an incredible thing to have on a CV too. It sounds like it was a very interesting, eye-opening and emotional time but nonetheless also really good I hope? I hope everything is better at home now and that you start to feel a lot more confidence in yourself and your writing soon. Excited to see where this takes you!
    Alice Xx

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:25 am

      Thanks so much Alice! Honestly, it was such a worthwhile experience, and things at home are calming down now.
      Jas xx

  19. July 20, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    This is such an awesome opportunity Jas, congratulations girl! Ha ha, I can definitely relate to the need for caffeine, my whole degree was fuelled by drinking tea! I wish you all the best with the rest of your studies! 💖 xx
    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  20. July 20, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    This was a really interesting post, what an amazing opportunity!. I 100% agree that caffeine is your best friend, I don’t think I could even face work without a quick cuppa in the morning and sharing your problems is so much better than bottling them up for sure, I’m excited to see what’s to come!.
    Charlie | http://www.charlieswonderlnd.co.uk

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:24 am

      Thank you so much! I’m excited to see what’s to come too
      Jas xx

  21. trousseaudiaries
    July 20, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    Wicked post! As an official adult I can tell you the being tired never stops lol! It can be hard at times, but sharing the emotional load is the best thing you can do. Well done for not bottling things up. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. You have a bright future ahead of you, keep on keeping on xx

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:21 am

      Thank you so much! Haha I’ve pretty much accepted that this tiredness will never stop
      Jas xx

  22. July 20, 2018 / 9:19 pm

    Adulting can plain simple be tough at times, but I guarantee you, it’s a lot of fun too! An internship such as yours is gold worth, don’t just plaster it on your CV, but also on your self confidence! Even though it can be difficult sometimes to see it for yourself, try to look at your accomplishments and strengths from the outside. Believe in yourself, give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself that you’re in charge of getting places. You obviously have talent and as everyone else has already said, you were chosen for a reason! All the best!

  23. BethRebecca
    July 20, 2018 / 9:49 pm

    I’m starting work experience at a magazine next week so I found this so interesting! I’m worried I’ll be constantly tired so I definitely need to try more coffee
    Beth x | https://bethrebecca.com/

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:14 am

      Oooo have fun at the magazine! Yeah, constant tiredness was my worry too – I strongly recommend getting on the coffee!
      Jas xx

  24. josypheen
    July 20, 2018 / 10:22 pm

    Well done Jas! That office is in such a good location too, you must have had a blast!!
    By the way, work days get easier! I found once I’d graduated and started working I had way *more* time than when I was a student. Yes, the work days are longer…but as soon as you clock off you are free. When you’re a student, you could always be studying a little more, so you can never be fully relaxed!!

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:13 am

      That’s so reassuring! Can’t wait for them to get easier, and yeah it’s so true what you said about clocking out!
      Jas xx

  25. July 20, 2018 / 11:16 pm

    I did my internship next door at the i 😂 Nournalism is fuelled by good friends good coffee and the nearest pub I miss that now I’m freelance!

    • July 22, 2018 / 11:13 am

      Oooo what a coincidence! Yeah, I really enjoyed my time there.
      Jas xx

  26. July 23, 2018 / 8:01 am

    Such a lovely post!
    Self-doubt, in my opinion, is good to some extent. I think it helps us try and be even better. But yes, we should not beat ourselves up by thinking “I suck”, because you’re right….you were chose for a reason.
    It’s good to hear you didn’t quit. That’s a challenge in itself; to be able to handle different situations at once, because I think that’s what usually happens in life, whether we like it or not.
    And rush hours are the worst everywhere! I hate it too. And I hate those people who walk slow, and don’t make a way for those who are in a hurry.

    • July 23, 2018 / 8:36 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment! I’m glad I didn’t quit too.
      Jas xx

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