News and nerves: Work experience at The Argus

WORK experience is vital for young people to start their careers these days. I’ve certainly had a great time on my first week.

My first day of work experience at The Argus went a little like this: I’d forgotten how to write, irratated those around me and I’d been sued for libel and contempt of court – and all this before I’d woken up #nightmare.

Setting off on my real first day of work experience at The Argus, I had enough butterflies in my stomach to impress any lepidopterist. I was expecting my first day to be relativly slow, who wants to give a work experience student serious work to do? In fact this was quite the opposite. After a friendly welcome chat from news editor Lee Gibbs, I was emailed over lots of press releases to cut down to 100 word panels, which I spent most of my first day doing.

At the end of the day I said my farewells and was told by Lee that he liked my style – which is good because until then I wasn’t aware I had one.

The next day involved more words, this time with pictures; but first, I had a look through a copy of Tueday’s Argus to spot my handiwork. The sense of acheivement I felt on that Tuesday morning felt really good; and it was only Tuesday.

Then came phones. Somewhere in my life I’d developed what can only be described as telephonophobia; not to be confused with phonophobia which is a fear of loud sounds; or mobilephonophobia, a fear of moving sound or sound hanging from the ceiling. Seriously though, the prospect of calling up complete strangers and asking them questions made me a  nervous wreck.

I was inspired by the confidence and professionalism of the reporters working around me. With the added fact that I would never suceed in journalism if I was scared to talk on a phone. It turns out most people are more than willing to talk to you and my phobia is weakening with every call.

A special thank you must be made to Mike Reinstein, the music teacher I had to call to write a feature on. Mike was very supportive and even took the time to call me to say how pleased he was with my article on page 38 of Friday’s Argus (kaching for me). I’d also like to thank Brighton Journalist Works for arranging this fantastic experience and prospect of oppurtunity.

Saturday was extra special. Flicking through The Argus while at retail work and seeing two by-lines for three stories, with an honourable mentoion on another, left me feeling  sense of achievment

My first week has really helped my confidence. I’ve gone from writing 100 word panels to phoning MPs to ask about their expenses claims. I’ve learnt a lot and enjoyed every nerve-shredding minute of picking up a phone. I’m sure I’ve made a few mistakes along the way, and I apologise now if this is the case.

I can’t wait to see what my last week brings.

Fortes fortuna adiuvat – Fortune favours the bold.