Life At CNN – What To Expect As An Intern

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Artur Osinski at the Foreign Office ahead of a press conference

In his latest update for journograds, graduate Artur Osinski answers some questions about the day-to-day duties of a CNN intern …

What internships does CNN have on offer, and where is yours based?

CNN International regularly offers London-based internships in four different departments. They’re paid and last for three months (four in the case of sports).

I work across two programmes: Quest Means Business and Connect the World. This involves shifts from 12-8pm, or 2-10pm respectively. After six weeks on this attachment I switch with the news desk intern.

How did you prepare for the internship?

Fortunately CNN organises a handover day a few days before the start of your internship, which is really helpful.

This includes a tour from the outgoing intern, who shows you the newsroom, introduces you to people, fills you in on your tasks and (hopefully) shares a tip or two – like the fact Richard Quest likes a tall, one-shot, skinny latte at 4.15pm (It’s up to you what you’ll do with this knowledge – but it’s worth having it!)

On my handover day, Richard told me that CNN hired only the best, that I’d take from it as much as I’d put in and that a lot of people working there had started as interns – very motivating words and, from what I found out from asking around, it’s true.

What does your role involve?

It all starts with the 12:30 meeting (or 14:00 if you’re on the Connect The World shift). In the meeting we discuss the day’s stories and what we’ll be focusing on in the programme.

It’s a good opportunity to pitch stories – it’s always appreciated when you provide something useful and it’s rewarding if your idea ends up on air.

In terms of duties, my main role is research – fact-finding, making phone-calls and emailing people.

Sometimes Richard has specific needs, like notes on South Korea before his trip there (he flies A LOT).

Quest Means Business also involves the fun task of writing the “Currency Conundrums.” These are daily questions about a currency which present some interesting, relatively unknown facts.

It’s great because what you write goes on air and it also adds a light, fun moment to the programme.

I’m also responsible for the official Quest Means Business Twitter account, so many @questCNN tweets are written by me (although the tweets you’ll see from @richardquest are most certainly his!)

What tips would you have for others about to start the scheme?

My advice would be to always do whatever you are asked to do, and do it as quickly as possible. Avoid mistakes, obviously – but if you make them, make sure you learn from them. And don’t complain.

When others see that you deal with the small but vital tasks, they’ll start giving you more responsibility. I went out a couple of times with a cameraman to shoot some vox pops and I also did an interview via Skype for Connect The World. All of that made it to air.

There are times when there isn’t as much to do and you have to deal with that. Always ask whether you can help anyone with anything and be ready that suddenly you may be packed with tasks.

Would you like to intern at CNN? The broadcaster is currently looking for a digital features/special projects intern. If you want to share your own experiences as an intern, send us an email or get in touch via Twitter @Journograds

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