Dominic Baldwin is currently on a work experience placement at Bauer, having applied and got the position through GoThinkBig. He wrote for us about breakfast pastries, FHM models, and working hard. 

For the past week, I’ve been smuggled behind the scenes at FHM and Bauer Media, on a work experience placement that I applied for through GoThinkBig – seeing first-hand what makes the guys (& girls) there tick, questioning how they got started themselves, and understanding just why they stick around…

But that’s not all I’m good for here, compared to some other work experience placements I’ve been on (cough). It’s not just observe, make tea, and keep your hands in your pockets at Bauer. You’re encouraged to get your hands dirty and offer your ideas.

And although I’ve handed a caffeinated drink of some kind to my superiors on more than one occasion (as was expected), I’ve mostly written articles and jumped into meetings that included pastries and other delicious refreshments, with important questions being asked and even more important answers given. Confidential stuff.

But, for some unknown reason to me now, at the beginning of the week I had a totally different idea on the outcome of my time working here. Honestly, I originally thought this would be an empty, but nevertheless huge name to put on my resume for future employers. Big mistake.

My lecturers at uni had advised us that after we finished, with few jobs available for recent graduates, to give work experience a try. Now, I have a fair few names, the multiple and varied skills gained from them under my belt and am that little bit more qualified than everyone else in my position. Overall, I’m glad I chose to hold out and develop an understanding of what goes into making a men’s magazine; as opposed to diving straight into a paid job headfirst and making a fool out of myself after doing nothing but part time bar work. 

There’s real truth in the idea that there’s no limit to how rewarding experience in your desired industry can be, and similarly it’s true all roads do in fact lead to Rome, eventually. You just have to find those worthwhile opportunities, be patient, and make the most out of the time you have with the professionals. That’s what I was prepared to do.

I’d written several emails to several magazines and media publishers as well as FHM, but they were the first (and only) to respond. A couple of replies later I was directed towards GoThinkBig’s opportunities section and not long after applying was asked to attend an interview.

It was an amazing turnaround in such a short amount of time and was totally unexpected. Never for a second did I think I’d later get the opportunity to tag along on photo shoots where I’d overhear talk that could provide content for one of more magazine’s features, meet a rising YouTube star turn celebrity, and interview glamour models on set, eventually scoring a number (even if it was for work reasons and just as “another contact in the industry”).  

My time spent here so far can be summed up by one word, the name of Everything Everything’s hit single, “Kemosabe”. Not because of meaning, but simply because of how many times it’s played daily, which is at least four: morning, afternoon, evening, and while playing Mario Kart. Oh yes, I play Mario Kart, and it’s work experience.

Want to get work experience at Bauer Media? Opportunities currently include:

MATCH magazine, starting 18 February

Practical Classics, starting 18 March

Empire, starting 13 May