My first week of work experience

Monday 21 January 2019

8.11am – London here I come.  As the train leaves Huntingdon, the carriage is almost empty.  Completely the opposite to my Brighton commute last year!  Along with the cheaper fare I’m on a win, win!

9.35am and I’m here, The House of Hearst.  I’m not expected until 10.00am, so a quick stroll around the block.  Quite a tourist I am, camera out, William Shakespeare statue, snap, along with Charlie Chaplin, snap.  Off to the right, Chinatown, snap.

Stroll around House of Hearst, Leicester Square
Stroll around House of Hearst, Leicester Square

10.00am I’m in!  Yay, they are expecting me.  How nice is this place!  Very swish.  My new best friend, Arielle, picks me up from reception.  I will be on the fourth floor with the features team for Good Housekeeping, Red and Prima magazines.  

Inside the House of Hearst
Inside the House of Hearst

My first daily job is to sort the newspapers every morning.  I need to collect them from the library on the second floor and put the old ones in the recycling – I think I can manage that! Arielle shows me around – kitchen, toilets, ‘Ideation’ area.  I know, that was a new one for me!

Shortly I get to meet another new friend.  Cyan, she is a features writer across the three titles.  She has an interview that needs transcribing.  It is for the April cover of Red.  An interview with actress Vicky McClure.  Cyan apologies as the interview is over an hour long.  No problem, I think to myself.  Little did I know!  So, on with it I get.

My first day ends with an email welcoming me from the team, and how they may have some work for me.

After a sleepless night it is now Tuesday.  On the train I send my new colleagues a quick email and tell them a little bit about myself. I get an email from Ella, a features writer, asking if I would like to transcribe her interview with the author Lynda La Plante.  Absolutely, as she is one of my favourite authors.  It drops into my inbox and I let her know that I will get on it as soon as I have finished Cyan’s interview.    

11,626 words and 15 pages later, I’m finished!  This is eight hours of my life I am not getting back!  My fingers don’t know what has hit them!

I crack on with Lynda La Plante, and this one is a doddle only – 3227 words!

My new friend today is Bethan.  She is the intern and has been at Hearst since December.  Just after 4.00pm Bethan stops by my desk and we go off to do my other job, sorting and delivering the post.  Simples, ehh!

Wednesday.  I’ve got this now.  Coat off, empty the newspaper holders, recycling, down two flights of stairs to the library, new papers, back up two flights of stairs and fold new papers into their holders.

So, whilst I was downstairs, I thought to myself what is in the library?  My new friend today is Katie.  She tells me that all the books in the locked glass displays are the original copies of the magazines.  The large blue books labelled ‘The Queen’ are what is now known as Harpers and Queen magazine.  Apparently, Harpers bought the magazine The Queen, which is now called Harpers Bazaar.

You can visit the library if you want to do research or just a quiet place to work.

House of Heart Library
House of Heart Library

Back at my desk I am interrupted by Jess, who is the PA for the Group Editorial Director, Gaby.

Jess explains how they have a visit coming up and she is trying to sort boxes of the three publications into an archive.  So, we spend the rest of the morning counting copies, filing, and creating a mountain of cardboard recycling!  By the time my lunchtime rolls around, mission accomplished.  Jess tells me to take a few complimentary copies for all my hard work.

Tidy archive files
Tidy archive files

Wow, Thursday, and there are a lot of unfamiliar faces in here today.  Too many people and not enough places to sit.  I guard my desk like a Rottweiler!

I don’t have much to type today, so I get on with some research Arielle wanted help with.

Mid-morning and Jess is back and we are off to empty the cupboards which house all the books that are sent to the magazines.  Katie from the library also joins us.  As a perk for doing this job I am allowed to have first pick on the books before the department is let loose.  I pick three. Later on, when everyone else has had time to take what they want, I find a few more I would like to read.  Just as well I have a spare carrier bag today!

Come the afternoon I email my new mates to let them know that my workload is getting low.  Karen, features editor for Prima, pings me an email straight back, then wanders over to explain it.  I spend the next few hours doing research on interesting doggie facts.  Love this!

5.30pm is here before you know it and it’s back on the underground.  I made good time tonight and was on the Peterborough train at 5.52pm. Just as the train chugs out of the station my happy bubble is burst as the driver explains we will be late due to a fatality on the line.  My 57-minute journey home turns into a two-hour ordeal.

Yay, it is Friday, but how did we get to Friday so quickly?  I’m early today as I discovered that I can get off the train at Finsbury Park, straight onto the Piccadilly line.  I grab myself a coffee from Costa.  I decide to go in and sit at my window and watch Londoners go to work.

9.30am and I’m off, down to the library for the papers.

Before and after, my daily newspaper job
Before and after, my daily newspaper job

I am fast running out of work again, so will have to do a shout out for more.  Before my lunch break I pull up Google maps to find out how far I am from Covent Garden.

Covent Garden
Covent Garden

Coat on and I’m out the door.  I stumble upon Nars without even trying to find it.  In I go and inquire as to whether Beth is in today.  She is, but has nipped out to get lunch.  I’ll be back!  Not ten paces more and I find Tom Ford Beauty.  Now, there is a brand I would love to try, but don’t have the funds to buy!  This however doesn’t stop me walking over the threshold!

I meet Hollie, and explain that I would love to try one of their foundations.  Hollie is kind enough to explain them to me, colour match and give me a sample to take away and try.

Aware that my lunch hour is marching, on I call back at Nars to be greeted by a warm hug from my old colleague.  After a quick catch-up and a chocolate muffin for her birthday, I sprint back to Leicester Square to my desk with a view.

I must admit that the office is busier than I expected for a Friday.  All my work completed for the week, and Ella asks me if I am all transcribed out.  She has another interview!  ‘Send it over and I’ll crack on’ I say.

Where did my week go? To be continued on Monday.

Tracy x


    January 28, 2019 / 9:05 am

    Sounds like you are enjoying yourself! Xox

    • tracybeautychick
      January 28, 2019 / 8:33 pm

      I am. I’m loving being in London. Just wish I had more time to go up to the shops!!!

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