Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Letter from the editor: Work experience isn't the wisest move

Thousands of teens all over the country have used nepotism, bribery and giant cojones to land themselves work experience this past week – it's part of the GCSE syllabus. But don't bother asking any of them how it went, unless you are fluent in grunt.

We have a rotating gang of older, post-grad “workies” here at i and The Independent. The good can manage "hello". The thing is, I am not convinced that doing work experience in your proposed career is actually the wisest move –- especially journalism.

Day one as a blushing lone student male in a sea of terrifying be-bobbed, blackclad, Filofax-toting, apple-and-yoghurt- for-lunch grazing fashionistas at Company magazine scarred me for life. Naturally, I was asked to write about my specialist subject: the Top 10 facepacks. (That Top 10 construct is clearly timeless). Much more Univerity of Life was working for British Gas, calculating customer gas bills (it was way back!) which confirmed to me maths had no role in any future day job.

A tiny mail order hosiery company taught me that a, an office could be crippled by politics even when there are only two people (and a blushing workie) in it, and b, that women really, really care about their stockings. Waiting tables in Covent Garden taught me smiles mean tips and that if the staff drink the profits in Beck’s every night after service your restaurant will go under. Croydon Next gave me a life skill: how to fold shirts and sweaters neatly, while at Exeter Next I learnt how to froth a cappuccino with a flourish.

But reading Deborah Ross's all-too- true account of life in Selfridge's beauty department (p26) brought back with a cold sweat the single worst moment of my working life. The Edinburgh crystal and Denbigh china concession in the iconic giant Allders store of the pre-hoodie era taught me to never, but never, accuse the confused, loitering OAP in the corner of shoplifting, and make her turn out her bags and pockets, unless you are 150 per cent sure you saw her steal something first!

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments