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Interning and work experience at Gay Star News

Serious about a career in media? GSN could give you the experience you need

Interning and work experience at Gay Star News

Gay Star News believes in finding, developing and harnessing the best new talent so we are happy to hear from potential interns who want work experience with us.

If you are serious about a career in media, including journalism, sales or marketing / PR, we may be able to help you. From time to time we may also be able to offer placements to people interested in other careers essential to our business, including (but not only) film, photography, design, illustration and web / app development.

A work experience placement or internship with Gay Star News is particularly relevant to people with an interest in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, in international affairs and business and in the worlds of social media, marketing and celebrity news.

As a work experience student / intern your time with us will be a chance to develop the skills you need in the future. You won’t spend your time making tea or fetching coffee (unless you happen to like tea or coffee)! Instead you’ll be doing practical hands-on work; like researching and writing your own news stories, speaking to potential clients and spreading the word about Gay Star News. The tasks you do will help you build up your experience and portfolio. There’s virtually no limit on what you’ll be allowed to do if you are good enough.

You’ll get the opportunity to see how we work day-to-day, you’ll attend relevant meetings and outside events and you’ll contribute ideas.

We’ll give you feedback and on-the-job training. Whenever possible we’ll take the time to give you one-to-one advice and guidance. This will tell you what you’re doing right and wrong and how to improve. At the end of your time, you’ll get some feedback on your overall performance and advice for your future career. We’ll also ask for your feedback so we can make our placements even better for future students.

Our internships are unpaid and are usually for one week to a month. You should book as early as possible as work experience with us is very popular and space is limited.

Who can apply?

Anyone aged over 16 can apply. We will judge your application on its merits, whatever your sexuality, gender, gender identity, race, religion, social or economic background, marital status or age.

You will need to be able to speak, read, write and understand English fluently. Your application should be in English.

Sadly we can’t pay our interns.

Most placements are based in our office in London, England so you will need somewhere to stay in commuting distance from us. If this is not possible for you don’t give up – sometimes we may be able to offer you other opportunities but we feel that interns get the most value from working alongside our head office staff.

If you are not a Londoner, you may not realise it can be an expensive place to live, stay and eat so we advise you to plan carefully and budget ahead.

Application and selection

It’s quickest and easiest to apply to us directly. Send an email with your CV and a covering letter to Tris Reid-Smith, [email protected]. Make sure you include a contact telephone number.

It’s useful at this stage if you give us an idea of when you can do a placement. As noted above, we can do from one week to one month, depending on availability. If in doubt two weeks is a good amount of time – it can be hard to settle in, develop and produce your best work if you only stay with us for a week.

We will usually do a short, informal interview with you. If you live or work in London, we may do this at the office. Otherwise, to save you travel costs, we will do it on the phone or on Skype.

One thing we always ask is why you have applied to us. So it’s a good idea to have thought about that! As a minimum, have a look around our site so you understand what we do and think about what you can offer.

Once you’ve been accepted

Firstly, remember that by giving you a placement, we have filled a slot which can’t, therefore, be given to someone else. It is very unfair if you then cancel because you haven’t thought things through or have changed your mind. Luckily this happens very rarely but when it does it is often too late to get someone else in, so you would have deprived someone else of a great opportunity. If you absolutely have to cancel, please contact us urgently by telephone (not email, text or social media).

Our next step will be to send you a load of information about Gay Star News by email so you can prepare yourself for your time with us. This may include information which is confidential or for internal use only and you must respect that.

We’ll also ask you to provide us with basic emergency contact details, including for your next of kin. Don’t worry, we’ve never had to use them so far!

While you wait to join us, it’s a good idea to look at the site regularly. Sign up for our daily news bulletins, like us on Facebook, add us to your network on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter. All this will help you get up to speed quickly when you start your placement.

On your first day

You should show up at 9am on your first day at our offices in central London. We’ll send you details about how to find us.

Casual dress is fine but you may need to dress more formally for some events and meetings. We will give you a copy of the dress code in advance.

You’ll be shown where everything is and given a supervisor. You’ll be shown how to use your computer and any other equipment and told about breaks, lunch, etc. Many interns prefer to bring their own laptop to save having to get used to another computer and that’s fine too. We’ll also explain health and safety and security procedures. We are a small, friendly team so you’ll meet everyone and soon get to know us. You should feel free to ask any questions or get advice or help throughout your time with us.

We’ll give you feedback and advice throughout and at the end of your time there will be an exit interview where we will give you feedback and get some in return. If you need us to complete a feedback form for your college etc, let us know in advance.

The vast majority of the interns we have worked with in the past have enjoyed themselves and feel they have benefited from their time with us. Many have asked to stay on or come back another time. We’re usually happy to do that if we can fit you in (the earlier you ask, the more likely it is).

What we expect of our interns

  • To show up on time (our usual hours of work are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) and to be prepared to work flexibly if required.
  • To let us know well in advance if you need to take time off. To contact your supervisor straight away if you are ill or are going to be late for any reason. You should always contact us by phone (NOT by email or text).
  • To represent Gay Star News in a positive and professional manner.
  • To contribute ideas and use your initiative.
  • To read the materials we give you and refer to them to help you do your work.
  • To follow our policies and procedures.
  • To respect all confidential information, including all company financial information.

All this is a condition of your placement and you will be asked to sign to confirm you agree to it. We may curtail or cancel your placement if we have concerns about this.

Future employment

Work experience isn’t a recruitment tool – it’s about helping you prepare for work by providing an insight into a real working environment and a chance to develop your skills and knowledge.

However, if you want, we can keep your details on file for 12 months and let you know if any appropriate job vacancies arise. You will then be able to decide whether or not to apply.

That’s it!

We hope you have a good time with us and we’re looking forward to working with you.

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