RealJobs: David Benoit

David Benoit’s work day on Tuesday, February 9, 2010.

Today started out well, since the Journal picked up my story from Monday, and ran it with little editing. (Here’s a link, but since the paper is largely behind a pay-wall you might not be able to access the whole story. Page C2 for those of you still getting the print version.)

Everyone loves getting in print. That’s not to say I don’t like getting published on the wire, it’s just a bit different to be able to see your name in what’s now the biggest newspaper in the country. (Even if it’s buried way back in C2) Working on the Heights or any other place, it’s just as much fun. Everyone I know says the same thing, even the people that have been doing this forever fight for their bylines.

As for actual work today, things were much more laid back. Everyone is really freaking out about this snow storm of doom on its way, and the editors are trying to make plans. I live in Brooklyn and right on the subway, and I’m assuming it won’t be a big deal. But even so, I’m taking the laptop home. (That would make for a pretty boring blog post, though, since I don’t have anything as cool as a blog about busing to Antarctica.)

And that’s also assuming the tech department brings my laptop back since it crashed this morning. (Luckily my boss is away so I’m just sitting at her desk for the day.)

I wrote two full stories and did some other small stuff. My stories were a cancer-treatment company named Oncolytics Biotech, and a mortgage-processing company named Lender Processing Services. That sounds kind of awful in one sentence, but really the stories were interesting. Oncolytics is working on a new way to treat throat and neck cancer that people are excited about. And Lender Processing Services reported a really good quarter, but its stock was down because of worries that foreclosures would slow, which actually make them money.

When I’m reporting on stories like these, I’m usually calling research analysts who follow the companies closely and give me quotes and tell me whether my ideas make sense. Sometimes it takes calling a lot of people to get an answer. I spend my day on the phone and taking notes, and even more of it leaving voicemails. That can be dull, but I do talk to a lot of different people.

One thing I get asked by is if I have any hot picks for them to go make a fortune on. I really really don’t. Not even close.

Because I write about a stock moving, someone already knows the story and made the trades. There are times I get to explain something out of the ordinary or get some CEO to tell me something they hadn’t told anyone else, but mostly if you are following my stories, you’ve missed the chance to make your buck.

So sorry about that, but you can feel free to shoot me any emails about work, or anything else.

And I forgot to include yesterday how I landed here, which was pretty lucky. I did work hard at BC, writing for the Heights, the Boston Globe and the Dorchester Reporter, and I had a ton of clips. But I applied for dozens of unpaid internships and jobs before I got this one. The real reason I’m here is because of a guy from a class on journalism (sadly one no longer being offered) who works here. He gave me a heads up about an opening and I managed to convince some people I could write about things I had never heard of.

So if you have any questions, feel free to email me at benoitda { at } gmail.com, or post some comments below, I’m always looking to pay the favor forward if I can.

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