A day in the life of a graduate intern at Dennis Publishing

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 09:00

Dale Walker by Dale Walker

My name is Dale Walker and I’m currently a graduate intern at Dennis Publishing, which was set up by CoSector's Graduate Recruitment service.

It’s a full-time paid position, working across three business to business technology websites: IT Pro, Cloud Pro and Channel Pro. The brands have their own priorities when it comes to content, although IT Pro covers a range of tech topics that affect businesses directly, such as data breaches, developments in the industry and government initiatives.

As is the case with most recent graduates, I spent the first few months desperately looking for jobs. I passed a few CV stages on some, and secured the occasional interview on others, but ultimately my lack of industry experience was holding me back. Dennis Publishing offered a chance to do a one month paid internship in London at a technology brand, which is a pretty rare opportunity.

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At first I thought the internship would be fairly easy going that would have me in only in a few days a week and covering a few easy tasks. But since starting in October I have worked 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, with the exact same responsibilities as a permanent staff writer. Every morning I am tasked with searching for any potential news stories, typically writing two or three 350 word news stories before lunch, fully fact checked and with quotes from relevant sources.

It’s not always an easy task, as I have to pitch these ideas and explain why the story is suitable for a business audience. The job has already had me contacting UK government officials, worldwide technology firms, and even a German spy agency.

Following the early morning push for stories, the afternoon is typically taken up by researching and writing features, working on any breaking news, or creating newsletters. I love to write, and the varied content allows me to experiment with different structures and styles.

The work also has me leaving the office to attend events, typically once a week. Most recently I was asked to represent IT Pro at the opening of the Winton Gallery at the Science Museum, where I met members of the museum and principal funders. I’ve also had the chance to get a sneak peak at a new smartphone, and attend a swanky party at the office opening of a cloud security company.

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The internship has been massively rewarding, and what started as just a one month October contract has now been extended to Christmas. After the end of the year I’ll be in discussion for a full time role. But most importantly the job has given me a wealth of practical experience, as well as a massive portfolio of published work. What’s great about working inside a publishing house is that you work right next to other brands, giving you the chance to chat to other teams and have your work published across multiple sites.

By far the most rewarding aspect of the role is the feedback I’ve received. B2B tech is something that was completely new to me, yet I’ve had compliments from people I’ve never met saying they enjoyed reading my work. Not only that, I feel the work I have contributed has been genuinely appreciated by the rest of the editorial team, content that would have otherwise been missed. Most importantly the role has given me confidence in my ability to work as a journalist, and help me understand my strengths and weaknesses – which will be invaluable at future job interviews.

I can’t recommend graduate internships enough. It’s a great way to test an industry, and gets your by-line out there. But being an intern is just a technicality, and you should expect to work exceptionally hard.


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Posted in Recruitment