Lucy’s 2 Week Placement at the Daily Mirror

Italian Studies student, Lucy, tells us about her recent editing and marketing placement at the Daily Mirror…

Day One

On the first day of my placement I was incredibly excited yet nervous about it all. I had looked up where the offices are in Canary Wharf and realised that they are in One Canada Square which is the second tallest building in the UK and the big building they often fly past on the Apprentice! At first I had to go over all the boring stuff like health and safety, but afterwards I got to go into the offices. The whole floor was open plan with row upon row of shiny Macs. As we were on the 22nd floor, the view was stunning. I have no idea how people manage to get any work done with a view like that!


My first task was to read over the papers that morning so that I could be aware of what was going on but also get used to the style and tone of the Daily Mirror. My next task was to do some research for an article for the next day on how Easter is becoming the new Christmas. I had to find products with a direct link to Christmas, for example Easter crackers. I then had to write a small piece about Easter becoming a more celebrated festival. It was published the next day in the paper. They had cut what I had written down massively and my name was not on it, but I have taken credit for it!


Day Two

Again, I read the papers until I went into Daily Conference (this is where all of the editors decide which stories will make it into the paper). This was very interesting as I learnt about some stories that no one would have known about, and it felt very strange the next day when I was watching the review of the papers in the morning, whilst already knowing what would be in there! I was given my first task of the day a while after the conference had finished. I would be helping another team write an article about the difference between low fat and standard food products. Despite asking if I could help throughout the day, there were several periods where I hadn’t got anything to do. I managed to plan the whole of my Italian oral exam during this day, so I could say that I was productive, just not in the way that I was expecting. I spent a lot of time thinking about how my peers in smaller companies were probably getting way more experience than I.


Day Three

On day three, I felt worried that I would spend my day doing not very much when I could have been finishing assignments. However, when I walked into the office and spoke to my supervisor she told me that she had managed to secure me a day with the Fashion department. Luckily the fashion team kept me busy throughout the day. I first had to look for leather trousers to accompany an article about how they had come back into fashion. This was perfect – I was online shopping (one of my favourite pastimes) for work! I then had to make a mood board for the shoot they would be doing the next day which featured jeans and blazers. I spent the day doing odd jobs like this but I enjoyed it because I felt valued for the first time since I arrived at The Mirror. At the end of the day I was asked if I would like to attend the shoot the next day – how exciting!


Day Four

The shoot was at Holborn Studios in Shoreditch. I helped with all of the basic jobs such as steaming the clothes and writing down all of the different combinations of garments. It was very interesting watching how Didi and Amber (the fashion editors) put outfits together so easily. I had a really good day at the shoot – the only downside was the fact that by the end of it I wanted to buy so many more clothes! The next day was Good Friday and editorial still work on a bank holiday but I was told that they did not need me in the office, so I had a lie in to look forward to!


Day Five

After a relaxing Easter weekend, I prepared myself for a new week in the marketing department. I felt relieved when I received a friendly welcome from marketing and was given a task straight away. I had to look through the competitor papers and see what offers and promotions they were doing over the Easter Weekend, for example the Daily Mail were giving away a free motorhome. My next task was to come up ideas that The Mirror could do to advertise the new show ‘Judge Romesh’ which is a “micky take” of shows such as ‘Judge Judy’ with the comedian Romesh Ranganathan. In the afternoon I was with the Insight team. The Insight team do an array of things, amongst them include sending out surveys to the audience of The Mirror in order to better understand them, rebranding other publications under Trinity Mirror, giving feedback to brands on how their advertisement has performed in the paper and how they win pitches to convince brands that advertising with them is worth it. My afternoon here was particularly interesting. To finish my day, I wrote a piece about the opportunity to win a brand new TV in conjunction with a new TV show ‘Deep State’ which FOX have been heavily advertising in The Mirror.


Day Six

The races at Aintree present The Mirror with a good chance to promote their publication, because they can offer free bets which then makes more people buy the paper. Paddypower were offering free bets on each day of the Aintree festival and so I had to write a short and chatty piece about the offers. Another task I had was to come up with ideas for a campaign. Tesco are planning on doing a campaign with The Mirror about body confidence and positivity with the end goal for people to buy F&F bikinis. I came up with many ideas on how to advertise this, for example a spread in the paper of normal people advertising the bikinis instead of a photoshopped models.


Day Seven

Today I went to a meeting called T&T (I’m still not entirely sure what this stands for!) which basically acts as a bridge between editorial and other departments such as marketing, sales etc. They hold this meeting to discuss what each department is doing and so that editorial have an idea of this too. The departments are on different floors and so it becomes easy for them to become separate. Today we also did a wider brainstorm for the Tesco campaign. The main idea that came out of the meeting was to do an ‘anti-page 3’ with normal people in normal holiday destinations advertising the bikinis. In the afternoon I went along to a meeting at the UKTV offices in Hammersmith about a new program featuring Emma Willis. The offices were very cool – they had a balcony and ping pong tables in the office and it had a warehouse vibe going on, as if you were in Shoreditch! The meeting only lasted fifteen minutes so we spent more time travelling than talking! Nonetheless we got back to the office with time to do other things. I spent the rest of the day doing some analysis of the competitor papers’ tablet editions and what each of them offered.


Day Eight

I felt sad that it was my last day because I really enjoyed my time with the marketing department. I spent my morning doing edits on advertisement for the program Deep State, before I got to go into the Sunday Mirror conference. The people in the department were so lovely and everyone was really sociable which contributed to it being such a nice working environment. At about 5 o clock each Friday they have a “treats trolley” that is wheeled around with treats such as crisps, sweets and donuts for everyone to enjoy. They also have drinks in the office after 5.30 where everyone can catch up and discuss their achievements of the week. All of the above contributed to the fantastic week with the marketing team and I learned a lot. I have also discovered that I would like to go into marketing once I have graduated. I was very chuffed when the marketing director asked me if I would like to go back do to a paid summer placement with them and it massively boosted my confidence to know that the team thought I had worked hard and done well.


Overall, whilst I didn’t have a great first week, my second week more than made up for this. I now feel like I have direction and something to work towards. It has given me a drive I have never felt before to go out and get my dream job and this is something I really value.


Revision Tips for the Exam Period


As the exam period draws ever closer, the need to revise becomes more and more urgent. But as any student will tell you, forcing yourself to revise is no easy task, as the abundance of free time the study period offers most students leads to a high risk of distraction. But there are definitely ways you can keep focused on studying!


Separate your work space from the place you relax

It’s hard to convince yourself to do work when you’re in a room or place you’re used to sleeping or having fun in, so putting yourself in a new environment is a great motivator for ensuring you get your work done. For some, this can be as simple as moving into a different room in the house, but there are also numerous study spaces open on campus if you prefer a starker change, such as the temporary library in URS or the Students’ Union building.


Take focus breaks

Remaining engaged with your work is a struggle of its own. Everybody has their own individual tolerance for being able to focus, and figuring out how long that period is – 15, 20, 30 minutes, or higher – is vital to knowing when to take a small five minute break and compose yourself before returning to your work. During this break, it’s also important to not do anything that will distract yourself longer than your allotted break time. Do something short, sweet, with a strict time limit, to avoid trailing off from your work.


These are two small tips, but both go a long way as far as to ensuring you have a solid revision schedule which keeps you on top of your work and focusing for as long as you need to. It also helps to be healthy, so your mind remains clear and open to new information, so be sure to eat and drink water regularly, as well as not to study too late into the night.


Further information can be found on Reading essentials:




Be sure to keep all this in mind during the exam period. Good luck!



8 Tips On Relaxing And Unwinding This Term


It’s the Summer term – which marks the start of a busy period for a lot of students, however don’t fret because you can get through this! Sometimes it can feel like you have to be working non-stop, but the work/life balance is key. National Relaxation Day is on 15th August, but everyday should have a period of relaxation, even on the really hectic days! Here are some ideas to help you rejuvenate…


  • Release any tension that may be in your body. Stretching, yoga and pilates can be beneficial. Classes for these (and Yogalates) are available at the uni SportsPark.


  • Researchers at the University of Essex have discovered the 15- 20 minute walk at lunchtime can improve well-being and sleep, which as we all know are important areas to look after when we’re studying hard.


  • To do lists and done lists. Some people hate to do lists, or may dismiss the idea, but it can have great benefits! It can help you feel less stressed and more focused. A ‘done list’ can improve your mood and make you feel a sense of achievement – I’ve certainly found both very useful.


  • Adult colouring books. Most of you are probably aware of the recent trend of adult colouring books. I have found colouring really relaxing and a useful activity to do before bed. I want to encourage the men among you, that it’s totally fine for a guy to enjoying colouring and arts and crafts in general! Even if you think you’re not very creative or skilled with arty things, give it a go. You can buy a variety of colouring and craft materials cheaply from The Works.


  • Listen to music. I certainly find listening to music relaxes me, especially when it’s one of my favourite songs and I know it well and enjoy the lyrics and rhythm.


  • Tea and a chat. Sometimes just a quick catch up with your bestie over a cuppa is a great way to have a break from studying I usually go to Coffee Under Pressure (C.U.P) in town, tucked away next to Reading Minster, on St Mary’s Butts. Highly recommended!


  • Eating foods that contain tryptophan, for example nuts and cheese. Check out this article that explains more, and gives other tips for relaxing.


  • Try to go as technology free as possible. This is a tricky one, and one that I definitely haven’t cracked yet, but I want to! It’s not just eye-strain, but screens are so stimulating and our devices are full of distracting apps, that’s hard to switch off. Of course, there is nothing wrong with sitting down and watching something to relax, but sometimes it can be good to try tech free relaxation.


Obviously we all relax in different ways, and what works for one person might not work for another. Some of us find it easier to relax alone and others prefer to relax with others. This could vary from day to day and I believe that trying to get a balance, between time alone and with others is important. If you want more information and advice on relaxing and unwinding, check out the Life Tools talks at the University. If you have tips, post a comment below! Good luck for this term and I hope it will be a happy and health one for you!