27 January 2012

Now I want to become a journalist

It's been increasingly hard recently to see the end of the tunnel for all the piles of re-subs blocking the way, so it was refreshing to take some time out of the PMA office for an afternoon for a job interview. Now I think I can see the light...

I somehow managed to wangle an interview with Euromoney, the international financial news publication, yesterday. I applied for a temporary researcher position with what I understood was their legal magazine; it transpired that the job actually involved compiling an international directory of financial and corporate law firms. It sounded quite a challenge, because many of the regions we would be covering - though each researcher was only allocated 10-12 - would involve getting to know a completely new market and overcome any cultural or language barriers in the process. We were to talk to lawyers in the major firms of that country, and work out what they thought of their peers, as well as major cases they had been involved in, and rank and profile them accordingly.

I was questioned extensively on my previous experience contacting economic experts for an online column I had worked on at the Financial Times. They were particularly interested in how I negotiated hierarchies - something Roberta has coached us in extensively - and extracting information from disinterested PAs and the more senior figures they tried to defend from nosy journalists. I glossed over an embarrassing anecdote about an ad review I tried to write for a Heinz Baked Beans coloring book - everyone thought I was a prank-caller - and stressed instead the considerable training we have been undergoing as part of the PMA course. The magazine we are compiling, "Seaside Business', provided several examples of news pieces of commercial interest, some of which had taken considerable digging to unearth.

The scheme itself sounded very attractive, with generous training provided from the beginning and regular editorial meetings to ensure we were keeping on track with work. I was left under no illusion, though, that this cavernous air-conditioned building fostered an air of rigorous professionalism. The only potential distraction, should I gain the position, would be my highly attractive interviewers. And, of course, the possibility of failing to live up to Euromoney's standards. I would never get bored of writing profiles of commercial and corporate law firms. (guys, if you're reading this, take note...)

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