Meet Demelza, Publicity Assistant and former Summer Intern

Posted 10.04.17 by prhcareers

“It was amazing to feel so welcome in such a close team. I also loved the flexibility of the internship.”

Hi Demelza, let’s start at the beginning: where did you do your internship, and what was it about?

Last summer I had the amazing opportunity to work at Cornerstone as their Digital Intern. My main project was to help the marketing and publicity teams develop the James Patterson and Stars Wars brands. I’m definitely not a Star Wars expert so I was initially unsure about applying for this internship. I was intimidated by the size of these huge commercial franchises. However, I knew that I would love working creatively with social media. Besides from researching and engaging with new audiences, I also assisted the marketing and publicity teams with a wide range of tasks such as researching event venues and designing graphics for Twitter.

And what made you apply for the internship?

I had known for a long time that I definitely wanted to work in books. With graduation and impending unemployment looming, I was already juggling my degree with getting as much copy writing, bookselling and social media experience as I could. I was notorious for my Twitter obsession. I had alerts set up on my phone so every time @PRHCareersUK tweeted, I knew about it.  I couldn’t choose between the internships so I ended up applying for nearly all of them. Can you tell I’m keen?

What was the application process like?

I’d never done anything like it before so it was a completely new experience. To apply, I had to answer a set of questions in a cover letter. The next stage was a HireVue interview. HireVue is a non-live video interview where you record yourself answering questions. It’s deeply strange to be interviewed without anyone interacting on the other end but it’s a great opportunity show your personality and enthusiasm for the book industry. After weeks of anxiously checking my inbox, I was invited to a face to face interview at Penguin Random House HQ.

What was the best thing about the internship?

Everyone at Cornerstone! It was amazing to feel so welcome in such a close team.  I also loved the flexibility of the internship. My projects were adapted to use the skills I already had and to help me learn about areas that I wanted to know more about.

And… the worst?

Watching time fly by and knowing that my position wasn’t permanent… yet.

So, you interned with Penguin Random House, and then got offered a permanent position with us. How did that come about, and what are you doing now?

I still can’t believe how lucky I am. About halfway into my internship, an entry level position in Cornerstone Publicity became available. I was encouraged to apply and I was offered the position soon after. My internship helped me clarify the differences between marketing and publicity so I knew exactly where I wanted to start my career. As a Publicity Assistant, my days are even more varied. Having a permanent position requires a lot more multi-tasking and team work but my internship gave me a hugely useful understanding into how a large publishing house works.

And finally, for the people applying, do you have any tips?

  1. If there is any space to be creative or to do something different in your application, always take the opportunity to showcase what makes you stand out. For example, I chose to make a video rather than write a traditional cover letter.
  1. Remember that everyone finds video interviews really hard. The chances are that it didn’t go as badly as you think.
  1. Make sure that you have a reliable, strong internet connection for your HireVue interview. Running around my student house halfway through my interview to beg my housemates to stop watching Netflix was not ideal!