Monday 4 July 2011, 16:11
This is the first of a short series of blog posts by newcomers to the BBC on the Journalism Trainee Scheme.
I began my online placement with BBC Sport at Television Centre. I expected to shadow some other journalists for a few days, but on my first day I was given news stories to do.
Looking back, it is definitely the best way to learn: being thrown in at the deep end. As there are sub-editors, any mistakes you make will be corrected. Seeing my first story appear on the Sport website was a real thrill, and the more I wrote the more confident I became. I also had ideas for things such as picture galleries, which I was allowed to do myself, and it was a great learning curve.
Given that the home of the BBC is now on the market, I feel very fortunate to have spent some time working there.
In May, I was sent back to my hometown of Glasgow to work at the Scottish Sport desk. The team are fantastic and they have really taken me under their wing.
I had been quite happily writing away and been fortunate enough to have a few feature articles published in the lead up to the Scottish Cup Final. And all of my work up until this point had been conducted in the office. So, when my manager came over to my desk and handed me a press pass, naturally I asked: "What is this for?"
He told me he wanted me to go along to Hampden Park for the Cup Final on behalf of the online team and "add a bit of colour" to their coverage.
"Eh... alright then."
I remember worrying on the day of the game that, when I presented my press pass to the security staff at Hampden, they would laugh at me and the penny would drop that I had been the victim of an office prank. However, they waved me through and I breathed a sigh of relief.
During the game I added comments to the Sport website's live text coverage, appearing on the page as "BBC Scotland's Andy Burke at Hampden says..."
After each update, I got a text from my mum excitedly telling me that the website had used my contributions.
I was given a microphone recorder and told to get some post-match interviews with the players. As I waited in the mixed zone, it suddenly dawned on me that I would be interviewing footballers - as part of my job! That's when the butterflies started.
I conducted five post-match interviews with players, and managed to keep my excitement in check to get some good quotes, which I then used to write a feature article.
Even waiting an hour and-a-half for a taxi from the stadium could not take the shine off my day at Hampden Park.
My online experience has been a wholly positive one, and there are many disciplines in online which will serve me well in other fields of journalism.
Before joining the BBC, Andy represented Scotland at youth-level rugby and had a number of jobs, including at the Ministry of Defence, before his thoughts turned to sports journalism.
The 15 members of the Journalism Trainee Scheme started their year of broadcast training in March. They are offered work in different departments along with career advice, CV clinics and interview practice to help them to find future jobs in the BBC, although there are no guarantees. The scheme has been running since 2007 and the recruitment process for the next intake will start at the end of September. To apply and for more details.