Laura Larkin was one of our extremely hardworking contributors who landed herself an internship in Independent News and Media this summer in our internship programme. It's been a crazy summer of Gay Byrne, waiting hours in heels for interviewees and landi

Gay Byrne’s anniversary plans, a blind man’s trek in the Amazon, a WWII pilot and stalking The Boss. Three months at a national newspaper will confirm everything you hoped and feared journalism-as-a-job will be like.

It’s hard… It’s competitive and it’s scary. 

But it’s also the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

I should, for the sake of thoroughness, talk you through my interview but I’d rather not re-live it. My mouth was so dry I kept literally losing my voice. I shook. I sweated. It wasn’t pretty- for anyone involved.

My first day approached all too quickly and I can only assume that I didn’t vomit because I was too nervous to eat. But like all things in life you have to bite the bullet and sit at your desk with not a clue where to start.

I was lucky to be placed in a newsroom where there is plenty of work to go around because like with any other job starting at the bottom is, sadly, not an exaggeration. But I was even luckier to be placed somewhere that there is also advice on hand should you need it and you will need it often.

The biggest learning curve in an internship is coming to accept that it is designed to be a learning curve. You don’t know everything and the sooner you accept that and start asking for help the better off you’ll be.

Over the past three months I have learned more on the job than I have learned in two years in a classroom. This has left no doubt in my mind that we should be asking ourselves why we don’t follow the example of other EU countries and introduce mandatory placements.

Every day is different and you pretty much have no idea what to expect which is why you choose this field in the first place, I suppose.

I’ve interviewed great people who have achieved great things, I’ve built a valuable contacts book. I was walked through the process of putting together a front-page story by an extremely patient editor.

I’ve also stood in heels waiting for someone for three hours, I’ve hung out in a nightclub alone and sober and I’ve done my first door-step.

But variety is the spice of life as they say and I wouldn’t take back a bit of it (and I bring flat shoes with me everywhere now).  

My time in the Herald has so far been so good and I’ll be sad to see the summer end- unless I manage to meet Miriam O'Callaghan in my last few weeks at which point my journalism career will pretty much peak either way.

If you're interested in becoming involved in our internship programme with INM, email editor@campus.ie