I found this blog really helpful (and also quite terrifying) when I was doing some research before I started the course, so I thought it'd be a good idea to write an overview of our experience here for fufture PA-journos.
- News writing with Roberta is the hardest and most rewarding skill you'll ever learn. We can bang out stories like pros now (because we are pros, kind of)
- Feature writing with Roberta is slightly less frustrating because there's a bit more freedom to write in your own style, but you'll have to do a lot of research. Also, Roberta is right – obituaries are probably some of the most fun things you'll ever write.
- Video editing with Tom is an intense three-day experience in which you'll probably get shouted at for not getting enough B-rolls, or, in the case of Rory and Pim's team, forgetting the microphone and winging it on the audio front for the rest of the day. But it's really fun, and Tom's lovely really.
- If you get Darshan for social media, you're a lucky, lucky person. In the two days we had with him I learned almost too much social media and SEO for my brain to hold. PS – he likes chocolate milkshake, but only the brands that come in glass bottles. Probably because he's employed, rather than a poor trainee like the rest of us.
- Media law is an acquired taste but it's really very useful. It's also the butt of a lot of jokes that are only funny to us because we're trained journalists now and we have a sad sense of humour.
- Richard is the president of the Shorthand Society and he likes writing shorthand to songs, which is all you need to know, really. Also, the 8.30-10 shorthand lessons in the morning will become a respite from the rest of the course. It's fun, but don't worry if you don't get to 80wpm (but speed is a very useful skill, so try if you can).
- Make sure you research your placement thoroughly before you organise it. As much as you'd love to intern at Vogue or Elle or Top Gear magazine, listen to Roberta – some of us have learned first-hand that big consumer mags give horrible placements. I personally recommend Sticky Content if you're into content marketing: I've never had so much to do on a placement before, plus there's a free bar on Fridays.