Posted 31.08.17 by prhcareers
It was a friend who suggested publishing; he too was considering jobs in the field. Once I started looking for work experience, the Penguin Random House program was the most visible, as well as the most reviewed, and so it was from snippets online where I got my first insights into publishing. What I found was a multi-disciplinary field that involved marketing, rights, sales, and a whole host of other functions alongside editorial. In my eyes, this seemed perfect; a collaborative work place that revolved around telling stories.
The application process was straightforward and easy, and there’s great support with any queries you have. I was delighted to be offered a place in the marketing department at Ebury, and living in London was a brilliant bonus! Coming from Ireland, I had a few more technical hurdles to jump to get started in London, but Penguin Random House couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly.
I came into Ebury with some idea of what I’d be getting up to, as before starting I was sent an information pack that familiarised me with the department, as well as the common jargon I’d be coming across. I have to admit, I was a tiny bit apprehensive about going into the marketing division; I dropped business studies in school, and wasn’t envious of my friends who study commerce and plough through Excel sheets. Beyond that, I was looking forward to seeing how the right campaign was thought up, and who the people that implemented this were. At such a big company like Penguin Random House, I was keen to see how the departments worked together and gain an understanding of how publishing is a collaborative effort.
Becky at Ebury was my first point of contact and she was fantastic in showing me the ropes and explaining to me how everything worked. In fact, I found that the whole team were enthusiastic about answering any questions. The tasks were a lot more varied than I expected, and I never once found myself doing the same thing. I enjoyed getting familiar with the different tools and software that publishers use, such as Biblio, Brandwatch or Novelrank.
My favourite part of the experience were the weekly meetings, where different departments would meet and discuss what stage the book is at, and what’s needed for it to meet publication date. I also worked on a certain book promotion that used a new storytelling app, Hooked, which is popular with the book’s target demographic. I adapted a chapter of the novel into consumable content via the app – it was an inventive idea that was fun to do, and shows that marketing is wonderfully wide-ranging and stimulating.
The experience on the whole has been fantastic and has given me real direction in what I want to do after college. If I had any advice to candidates applying from outside of London like myself: just go for it! It’s fantastic that Penguin Random House pays work experience, which is a real help with travel, accommodation and general finances. Living in London was an experience itself, and it really enhanced my time here. It’s a rewarding opportunity, and I’d do it again tomorrow if I could.
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