31 August 2015

Enjoying a prime opportunity

It’s a Bank Holiday and a rare day off, time for another (horrendously overdue) blog.
Our magazine, Prime Opportunities, is nearly ready to launch! Getting to this point was rather stressful  as we had little over a week to put together a finished app and print product, but we managed it (although a few deadlines were admittedly stretched to their limit). While there are some things we could definitely have done differently along the way, I think the end product is far better than any of us would have expected a few weeks ago. A thing of beauty!

And so on to our placements and the big wide world. It’s been pretty odd to be working away from the group after spending so much time together these last few weeks. I’m missing our Wetherspoons coffee runs, shorthand giggles and Slack-initiated team meetings (still only about 50% of the group are aware of what Slack is).

It’s been nice to get away from London for a while though. My placement is in Cheltenham, which is just lovely (albeit unspeakably posh) at a consumer magazine called GL.

I’m halfway through the placement and it’s been great so far. Everyone is pretty friendly and I’ve had loads to do, particularly involving features writing which is exciting. Most of this has required me to interview people, which is a skill I really wanted to develop. The catch? Most of the interviewees are celebrities (of sorts).

After weeks of dedicated B2B lines of questioning, it’s been a bit tricky to adapt and try and get famous people to say interesting stuff rather than the usual “the project has been a joy to work on” spiel. To counter this I’ve been reading some of Lynn Barber’s advice on Roberta’s recommendation. It’s fascinating and illuminating stuff, but also a bit disheartening (she’d strongly disprove of my fairly tame questioning style).

The range of interviewees has been enjoyably eclectic: a pair of Strictly Come Dancing dancers, a former Corrie actress, a popular local drag queen and the Grammy-winning blues musician Robert Cray, who might just be the most effortlessly cool person I’ve ever spoken to. Next week I’m skyping Rhydian from the X Factor, which is not a sentence I thought I’d ever write. So all pretty random.

While it’s not all been plain sailing – today I missed out on a music festival by mistakenly catching a bus to a place called Winchombe rather than my intended destination of Witcombe – I can’t really complain.

All in all I’m feeling pretty happy with how things have gone. Whether my positivity survives beyond my placement and into the final exam week remains to be seen (ohgodohgodohgod).

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