Intern Diaries: Sunday Times

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Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed I headed up to the City of Smoke to make my fortune, which I hoped was going to materialise out of a two week placement at The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. Having only ever had experience at the small pod which constitutes the Devon Life Magazine offices, I was rather petrified when confronted with this glass monster rising before me.

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Nevertheless, I attempted to adopt what I thought of as a nonchalant stroll, and joined the stream of high heels and leather loafers swanning in through the revolving doors of the News International headquarters.
Most of my days was spent fact-checking, liaising with press offices and undertaking research tasks. The first time I rang somewhere and adopted my phone voice was rather exciting, doing the smooth murmur of ‘hello-this-is-megan-revell-calling-from-sunday-times-travel-magazine…‘ However, I think it was around the tenth time of ringing up the Czech Republic trying to find the price of salmon by the kilo, that the novelty soon wore off.

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The offices are located near Tower Hill tube station, across from the Tower of London and London Bridge, and through St Katherine Docks. Yeah, I know. Not too shabs. Being on the budget tour, instead of joining the suits munching cooked lunches at the likes of Cote and Cafe Rouge nearby, I sat on a bench most days, with my packed lunch of tinfoil-wrapped sandwiches and yoghurt fruit flakes. And I was trying to conspicuously blend in…

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I took my hour lunch breaks as an opportunity to explore the surrounding area. There’s no point in lying and pretending I’m a cool London kid, most days I felt like I could have stepped out of a Hardy or Gaskell novel. I could have easily played the part of the blushing country milk-maid moving to the dirty city of smog because of some family misfortune, standing star struck in the busy streets looking at majestic and domineering relics of governments and states so much bigger than I.
Pahhh. Well I don’t blush, and maidstone is hardly a twee pastoral hamlet, so I doubt I’ll get the casting for the new Mary Barton BBC adaptation anytime soon. But it did feel uber exciting that London Bridge was round the corner!

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On one of my more energetic and ambitious lunches I walked to Leadenhall Market, which dates back to the 14th century and has some pretty cute shopping spots. I especially liked the signs of all the trades above the doors.

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The commute from Kent everyday wasn’t too bad. It was quite nice having a few hours each day to read the newspaper (free perk of the job), think my thoughts and watch the world go by.

Everything ran pretty smoothly all in all. Last Wednesday Maggie threw the spanner in the works a bit, and I had to wait a while for crowd control to open the tube. But I let her off, it was her funeral after all.

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Eventually the two weeks were over, and my last day was rather sad as I had began to grow fond of the place and was enjoying getting into a bit of a routine. However, I had a nice surprise visit from these two lovely ladies to cheer me up in my lunch break.

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Plus I managed to keep my security lanyard, maybe I can blag having a press pass in the future?

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Revs

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