Posted 17.07.19 by Alex Watson
Getting an opportunity to work at Penguin Random House is one that everyone should definitely try their chances at. Whether you are interested in publishing or not, it is a good experience that opens your horizons to a new way of working, and it’s a different, fun industry to explore! I tried three times and was successful on the third…. the third time is the charm! I would encourage people to not give up when applying, as other people I met had also applied three/four times!
When I first arrived at 80 Strand, an induction presentation was first up. This was also where I was introduced to others who were doing work experience. I automatically felt less nervous as I knew I wasn’t alone. Throughout the two weeks, I also always had someone working alongside me, and it was nice to know there was always someone you could relate to or speak to…and go to lunch with! Our host immediately made us feel welcome and gave us a brief overview of the company and an introduction to the departments and offices, what they do and what they publish. She also settled our nerves and answered any questions we had.
Once this was done, the work began! Immediately, I was given several tasks, ranging from research tasks, using the media software, mailing out books and shadowing meetings. Throughout the placement, it was exciting seeing all the new books that were going to be published, even 10 months from now!! My reading list for the next year is now extremely long. The office is also full of different, exciting titles that help with inspiration and motivation while working.
Overall, if I was going to give any advice to someone about to start work experience, it would be to enjoy it and appreciate it while you’re there, and don’t be afraid to just email someone if you’re stuck or to ask questions about the publishing industry. Make the most of it!