06 March 2017

What to do when you don't know what to do on placement

After spending six weeks in a cramped room in front of a computer with no natural light, producing Prime Opportunities magazine, I was a husk of a person. So going to my work placement was a revelation.

I had an actual desk, several windows, the coffee was free! It was fabulous.

The only problem was, I had no idea what to actually do for the first few days.  Here's how to handle that so you don't look completely hopeless -

- Constantly pitch story ideas to the News Editor. If you're not being given stories to write, prove you can do it by coming up with some decent ideas yourself. It's important to make sure you get to write stuff so you have a load of clippings you can show to prospective employers. And also so you're not sitting there doing nothing.

- Ask anyone and everyone if they need help with anything. I felt pretty needy at first, but chances are in today's newsrooms, staff need all the help they can get. I ended up doing some random stuff, like researching video projects but it was all good fun.

- Research the beats. Make sure you get to grips with what the publication covers. I spent a lot of time reading up on the different sectors they write about.

- Work on your feature. We had a feature to write while on placement, so I was always working on this in the background. This was a good thing so I did not look completely hopeless!

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