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8 September 2011

MJ Internship Leads to Job at Bloomberg

Maha Shah (MJ 2011) has been employed to work on Bloomberg TV’s Assignement Desk in Hong Kong following a summer internship.

Maha Shah (MJ 2011)

Shah worked on the News Desk at Bloomberg TV Hong Kong over the summer. Hong Kong is Bloomberg’s head quarters for the Asia Pacific region.

Shah wrote scripts, created touch screen animations and graphics, sourced videos and sound bites, gathered and researched news, edited videos, coordinated reporters’ schedules and the day’s agenda (news stories from Asia) with London and New York. She also conducted one-on-one interviews and carried out field reporting.

She recounted her experience:

“Beware of the pantry! That is what draws you to Bloomberg at first. The first time I saw the office, I was with my classmates from the Financial Journalism course. Jeff Timmermans had organised a trip for us.

“I wondered how nice it would be for people to work there. There were rows and rows of snacks and drinks for the employees!

“But ever since I started work at Bloomberg, the pantry is the last thing on my mind. Working in a breaking news environment has been a roller coaster ride. No one-day is the same at my job. There were days when I was called in at 4 am and those when I worked until midnight.

“Just after two weeks into my internship, I was sent as a Bloomberg field reporter for the money laundering case of Birmingham City owner, Carson Yeung.

“I stood outside Hong Kong’s Eastern Courts with my camera for five hours. I fought for space with experienced reporters from AFP, CNN, TVB, Icable and many more, to get a glimpse of Yeung on tape.

“Whenever Bloomberg reports on Yeung, they still use the footage from that day.

“Other breaking news stories I covered were the US ratings downgrade, Steve Jobs and the Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan’s resignation.

“I’ve realised that for TV one has to act faster than for print. One has to anticipate changes and try to get video, interviews, graphics and other TV elements as soon as possible.

“I loved the work environment at Bloomberg. Everyone is approachable and helpful. I learned all aspects of TV by going up to people and asking them questions.

“My time at the JMSC helped to prepare me for the role. The TV News Writing & Video News Production course got me interested in television news and the Financial Journalism class helped me in understanding financial news.

Jim Laurie, Rob McBride and Jeff Timmermans are legendary at Bloomberg. I was surprised to learn that my manager had even heard about the ABC News on Campus! I was the Deputy Bureau Chief for the ABC News on Campus team and did two videos for ABC. Working on video packages was a fun outside the classroom working experience that equipped me with reporting, editing and script writing skills.”

Bloomberg was so impressed with Shah’s work that they have kept her on. This goes to show how important the internship experience is and how, for many graduates, it can lead to employment.