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Top tips after landing that dream placement or work experience

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Work experience, particularly in journalism, is very competitive. Half of the tough part is securing that first placement, but the other half is making the most of it.

When my placement began, I was scared, having never been in a newsroom before. I felt very inexperienced, however, that soon changed. The week was amazing. I learnt so much: what vox-pops were, some shorthand, went to various court hearings and most importantly, got that all-important first by-line.

Here are some top tips to help you make the most of your work experience.

Be persistent

Be prepared to ring and e-mail hundreds of newsrooms until you get that first reply; your first opportunity that is the door to your career. Contact local newspapers, and keep trying.  I would advise all aspiring journalists to get involved in student journalism; I did have this experience and it helped me get a placement.


You should always ask your editor if they need anything. You are not a child; you shouldn’t have to be spoon-fed! Show you are willing and don’t just sit on the computer all day .


Offer to go out on jobs that are being spoken about. This will make you look great and make you stand out, and hopefully they will remember you!

Be enthusiastic

Give ideas for stories, no matter how silly you think they may be. Any idea shows initiative and creativity, and demonstrates what it takes to be a journalist.

Expect anything

I had some crazy experiences on this placement. I spent five hours knocking on doors, searching for an old lady who had apparently hit a burglar with her handbag! I was competing against various other reporters who were also furiously looking for this 83 year old – we never found her!

Make tea

When you do have nothing to do, make some tea. It will always get you more friends!

Enjoy it

This could be your future. If it is what you want to do, you should be enjoying it and having fun. Work experience doesn’t have to be just hard work!

Listen, learn and take notes all the time. There is so much you can learn from this environment: definitely take your own notebook with you.


Try and get as many names and contacts from the office as possible. Make friends and help people out: nowadays, one of the key door openers is having contacts, so you need as many as you can get!

Do you have any more tips for potential work experience candidates on their dream placement? Let us know below in the comments!

Photo: V1ctor / Flickr

Kristina DrakeTop tips after landing that dream placement or work experience

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