Posted 23.09.19 by Ellie Harlow
“I applied in my last year of uni – It was probably the most worthwhile procrastination I’ve ever done!”
Hi, I’m Emily! This summer I’ve been working at Transworld as their Editorial intern. My internship involved looking at the metadata for different books – that’s things like the keywords, categories and blurbs attached to the books that feed out to sites like Amazon – and investigating how changing these affected book sales. If that doesn’t sound like Editorial, that’s because Editorial actually encompasses so many different things – and one of these is making sure the books are as visible as possible online.
I’d known publishing was something I wanted to try for a while before I applied to the Penguin Random House summer internship scheme. I applied in my last year of uni in the library one afternoon with my final project deadline looming. It was probably the most worthwhile procrastination I’ve ever done!
“Every stage of the process felt really relaxed and friendly”
The application process was really well thought out – I just had to answer three questions online, and then do a HireVue video interview. A few weeks later, I was invited to an interview day. Every stage of the process felt really relaxed and friendly, and the interview itself felt more like a casual conversation than an interrogation. I was over the moon when I found out I’d been offered one of my two preferred internships, the Editorial internship at Transworld.
One of the best things about the internship was that I also got to meet people from all over the industry, either by sitting in on division-wide meetings or having one-on-one meetings with people from other areas like Marketing and Sales to learn more about those aspects of publishing. I even got to spend half a day with some Data Scientists who showed me all the amazing things they were working on.
Everyone was unbelievably lovely and happy to talk about their roles with me. And, even though I was new to publishing and learning so much, I never felt like ‘just’ an intern. It was really rewarding to give advice on promotions, suggest changes to blurbs and present reports on author backlists while feeling that my work was respected, genuinely appreciated and actually useful.
My advice to anyone thinking about applying would be to go for it! Don’t worry if you’re not from London or don’t know anyone in London, there are some schemes and grants that can help you sort accommodation. And don’t let a lack of experience put you off – I jumped straight into publishing from a physics degree, but having skills in data analysis and coding actually set me apart a bit and were so useful to me during my internship. So even if you don’t have any publishing experience, you’ve probably got something unique that will help you stand out!