Google+ Jack Leslie F1: A summer of learning in London

14 August 2016

A summer of learning in London

I haven’t posted a proper blog-style piece on here in a little while but I thought, with F1 on its summer break, it would be a good time to update you on what I’ve recently been up to. 
It’s been a different summer to the one I expected to have, but in a good way. I’ve learned a lot, pushed myself out of my comfort zone and gained plenty of new experiences.

Following a trip to Canada in April with my dad (undoubtedly one of the best weeks of my life), it was back to London to finish the second year of my Journalism degree at the University of Westminster. 

A tough but encouraging year concluded mid-way through May and overall, it went pretty well. I was pleased with my results and now I’m looking forward to seeing what my third and final year will bring. 

There was little time to rest after my final hand-in, as the first thing on my summer checklist was a week of work experience at Autosport and Motorsport News – a hugely valuable experience and one that has helped me immensely. 

My week consisted of transcribing, updating spreadsheets and writing news stories, which gave me a great look at how the magazines and website are run and just what it takes to work there. I also had a number of fun skills tests on a variety of topics. I really enjoyed it so a big thanks to Matt and the team for putting up with me. 

Some of you may know that I have recently joined the Autosport junior programme. Along with regular classes, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with the team and write for Autosport too – covering IndyCar, DTM and Formula 3 in one weekend was a lot of work but I had so much fun. Seeing my words in the magazine for the first time was a real pinch-me moment. 

Swiftly following my week at Autosport was a three-day placement in the digital department at Richard James – a tailors on Saville Row. Now, I know what you’re thinking, what does this have to do with motorsport? Well, nothing. But I’ve really been looking to burst out of the racing bubble and this was a great opportunity to do so. 

It was a completely new experience for me but I learned a lot about the industry, picking up new skills and getting a fascinating chance to see some of the suits being made and chat to the people who expertly create them. 

I headed home for some much-needed time to catch up with friends and family, but I was soon back in London at the start of July for the Formula E races at Battersea Park. It was my first taste of the all-electric championship and was great to be back in a motorsport paddock, this time reporting for Grand Prix Times. 

The championship finale sparked plenty of big stories and drama, plus it was a good chance to catch up with familiar faces too. I was pleased with my content output, maybe I could’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone a bit more but I enjoyed the experience – it’s certainly a very different world to F1. 

Getting asked by Car Throttle to cover the Aston Martin/Red Bull Ring AM-RB 001 hypercar launch at the Aston Martin factory was a nice surprise, I was a little nervous about it, because it was a bit different to anything I've done before, but being there when the covers came off the car and getting to hear about its development made it a really special day. 

After a brief stint back home in Norfolk I then returned to London for work experience at a wearable tech website called Wareable. I’m a fan of the tech industry and keep up to date with what’s going on but it’s not something I’ve written about extensively, so it was a challenge but I had a great time. 

I wrote a number of articles for the site and was happy with how they turned out. The small team at Wareable were so friendly and welcoming, I had a great time learning about the website and the tech sector. A big thanks to everyone there for having me. 

The summer of new experiences doesn’t stop there though, as I’m currently mid-way through a three-week internship with the content team at carwow. You may be familiar with the website from its TV advert! I’ve had a great time so far and have written several articles for the site already.

All of that, plus my freelance work with Car Throttle, Grand Prix Times and other outlets. So, yeah, it's been a pretty busy few months, but I'm really proud of what I've achieved so far and thought it was the perfect time to reflect on what's happened.

I felt it was crucial for me to try new things, push myself out of the motorsport bubble and embrace some of the other interests I have in the journalism world. The summer of 2016 will certainly be one to remember!

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