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A MONTH INTO F1 INTERNSHIP FOR BCOMS STUDENT


BY NADIM BART-WILLIAMS

I started working at Formula 1 on the 24th day of January, and on the 24th day of February,
I was walking through the pit lane at the circuit in Barcelona. So, I guess it is fair to say it has
been a pretty good month.

But it has not been all glitz and glamour. I have not spent every day in Barcelona, most of
the time I spend in the office. I am in the office before nine o’clock usually, and while I am
there my day can range from content meetings, writing articles, transcribing interviews,
building articles to be placed on the website and much more. Then I leave at 5:30 to do it all
again the next day. It is hard work, but it is enjoyable.

I do get a little bit frustrated though, not frustrated with the job role just frustration with
myself. I am someone who takes immense pride in my writing, but I have always written in
my style. Grasping Formula 1’s style has been tougher than expected and at times I have got
it a little wrong which is why I can get frustrated. However, each time I get feedback it is a
learning experience and the main thing I do is try not to make the same mistake twice. My
writing has improved recently but I have been told it takes a while and been assured by
many that I am doing just fine.

Along with learning a new writing style, I have learned a lot of other things during this last
month. I’ve seen how a major corporation is structured, learned about the role allocations,
the financial implications and benefits of certain decisions, the revenue generated through
advertising, and learned about the ins and outs of how a digital media division works in a
large entity.

I have also had the benefit of sitting in on meetings to plan content, sometimes chimed in
with the odd opinion or so but largely for me it has been all about learning about the
process of it all.

In Barcelona, I did some writing, transcribing of interviews, live blogging on the website, sat
in, recorded, and made notes on press conferences, acted as a runner for the video
production team and I think I even broke the news that Sergio Perez was leaving the pits
and his red bull car was fixed. I’m claiming it. 

All in all, it was a great learning experience but something I made sure to appreciate. I’ve
seen the F1 paddock on television all my life and to walk through it on the first morning was
like an out-of-body experience. While I did appreciate it, walking through the paddock all
three days and seeing barely anybody that’s my skin colour was not a great feeling. To be
honest, it can be a bit of a lonely place at times, so I hope that changes quickly.

I am here to learn as much as I can.

I am scheduled to go to the Bahrain test in about a week and half where I’ve been asked if I
wanted to sit in some film production days. I said yes and I also let it be known that you will
rarely hear the word ‘no’ come out of my month for the next few months. I am here to learn
as much as I can.

The people have all been very nice. It has taken me a while to come out of my shell. In fact,
I’m probably still in my shell a bit but the people have been very open and welcoming. From lunches to coffee meetings, to simple introductory lectures, especially the one I had on
advertising, it has all been really good and enjoyable.

With one month done, that means there are five left on my contract. The plan is to head
back into the office on Monday morning and to just work. Of course, the conversation has
come up a few times about what will happen after the six months, but I am not too worried
about that. Right now, my main focus is simply to ensure that Sir Lewis Hamilton and I
become best friends. Wish me luck.

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