12 February 2013
Last Monday I started my latest work experience placement with The Spirits Business Magazine in London. As ever, first day nerves were rife but I swallowed my worries and tried to walk into their offices as confidently as I could.
This was my first bit of experience writing for a publication with a very specific target audience. The magazine focuses on all things spirits; vodka, whisky, gin, new releases, competitions, the works. What surprised me even more was that deputy editor Becky was pretty much running a one woman ship. I was told the editor contributes various pieces but overall, she was the editorial team wrapped up in one.
Teamed with the knowledge that I was their first student in for work experience the pressure was really piled on for me. I knew I had to step up to the mark and make sure that I got to grips with the publication's style and (to an extent) the spirits industry as quickly as I could. One of the first things Becky asked me on my arrival was what did I want to get out of this week? I knew the answer right away - as many bylines as possible to add to my portfolio, and that is certainly what was provided.
My first task was to compile the monthly round up of the 'top 10 spirits' featured in the previous month's publication. Now, I like a drink as much as the next person but I would by no means consider myself to know anything about spirits. Cue frantic Googling and searching their archives for any scrap of information I could lay my hands on. However, I managed to meet the deadline which I am hastily learning is crucial in this industry.
In the days to follow I was sent an abundance of press releases to write into worthy news stories, I searched the web to find new stories that had not been sent through to us and learnt the basics of photoshop. (I don't mean to brag but I'm now a dab hand at cropping photos.)
Friday was supposed to be my final day however, due to a cancelled work placement I was able to stay on for another week at the Spirits Business with the added bonus of working from home (allowing me to save some much needed pennies.) Friday afternoon certainly came with its perks including a trip to a local pub, being gifted with a bottle of vodka for my contributions to the website and a cheeky cosmopolitan in the office.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Spirits Business Magazine and would definitely recommend it to anybody looking to build their experience and portfolio. It was certainly challenging at times but help is provided on tap and what I have learnt over a short amount of time will undoubtedly prove useful in the long run.