Internships

Got plans for the summer?

Make your mark by spending eight weeks in summer working with the best, at one of the largest publishers in the world. You’ll work on a paid independent project made especially for the internship – making decisions for yourself and contributing to our shared mission.
With us you’ll find support and a deep sense of purpose. Whatever project you’re placed on, you’ll gain universally applicable skills that will equip you for wherever you go next.
All nine of our interns are paid the London living wage and we offer financial support to those commuting from outside of London.

5/5

Average rating by interns asked to ‘rate the programme as an opportunity to learn about publishing and gain practical experience’

4.7/5

Average rating by interns asked to ‘rate the communication from the programme team during the placement’

5/5

Average rating by interns asked to ‘rate the recruitment workshop and support at the end of the programme​’

Strategic Projects

Make your mark by helping us achieve our strategic goals alongside the strategic projects team. By working with stakeholders from every arm of the business you’ll come away with a great understanding of how teams like technology, finance, and sales work with the creative publishing teams to make business decisions around books. You’ll support the company by giving greater visibility to the use of data to make key decisions about how to buy books creatively and effectively. You don’t need to know anything about tech – we’ll show you how to use communication to empower your colleagues and encourage them to independently view and analyse their data. You’ll gain sought-after, universal skills around planning and delivering an important project, influencing change, organising workshops, and creating written materials.  
 
Skills you’ll develop: project management, change management, internal communications, workshop organisation, office administration and the Microsoft suite, presenting, Power BI data, WordPress

Michael Joseph Marketing

Help us reach new audiences by supporting the PR and Marketing of our growing non-fiction (factual) book list. You’ll support the team in getting the word out about these books by owning the creation and planning of a communications calendar for our social media channels, press opportunities, and events. We’ll show you how to find and plan around key calendar moments (like World Mental Health Day for example) that we can use to promote our book titles and our expert authors. Flex your creative muscles by thinking of creative promotion ideas, helping make content, writing and scheduling posts for social media. You’ll build a great network amongst the wider Michael Joseph business area including publicity, marketing, editorial, and our group sales team.
 
Skills you’ll develop: public relations and press release creation, social media management, content creation, copywriting, internal communications, event organisation, time management, marketing platform usage.

BBC Audio Editorial

You’ll work with the partnership between two huge brands – Penguin and the BBC – and the fastest growing area in the publishing industry, audiobooks. Spend your time immersed in our varied catalogue of BBC Audio programmes ranging from factual, comedic, drama, and TV soundtrack releases. Have an impact on the success of our BBC audiobooks by reporting on the success of older titles and coming up with creative ideas about how we can refresh them for better sales. Working with the world’s best loved authors and works, you’ll proofread writing about our audiobooks for any errors and, with help, even start writing your own blurbs.

 

Skills you’ll develop: proofreading, copywriting, sales, catalogue reviewing, backlist management, reporting, internal communications, organisation, team work, prioritisation, attention to detail.

Brand / Social Impact 

Seek out a crucial new reader audience alongside the brand and social impact team, who are driving a project to engage under 25 readers. Create lasting impact as you support the team with projects that grow our brand relevance with teen readers between the ages of 14 and 18. Focusing on the 2023 Young Adult Literature Convention, you’ll help devise stall concepts alongside designers, organise volunteers, and buy stall merchandise like fan art and branded goods. Flex your creative muscles by thinking of and creating content ideas for our social media channels including Instagram and TikTok. On the side, you’ll also bring our Lit in Colour programme to young readers as well as its previous teacher audience – finding guest TikTok hosts, providing admin support, and coming up with content ideas.

 

Skills you’ll develop: content creation, audience insights and analysis, social media management, branding, event planning, marketing, production, administration support.

Vintage Marketing

We’re the home of great stories. Find yourself in the middle of one of our biggest campaigns of the year.  Through this major publication you’ll support on setting up all parts of the book campaign lifecycle, from bookshop materials, social media promotion, and collaborations with partner organisations. Walk away with experience in working collaboratively across many of our business areas, and facetime with the marketing team and senior stakeholders. With a clear deadline and goal, you’ll find satisfaction in seeing key elements of a book campaign come together.

 

Skills you’ll develop: prioritisation, campaign management, internal communications, bookseller partnership coordination, audience-specific marketing, social media planning.

Penguin General Editorial

Join us as we seek new voices and champion different perspectives. You’ll assist with building new routes for authors from underrepresented backgrounds into book publication. By finding and encouraging these authors to write for Five Dials, our literary magazine, you will help capture authors outside of the traditional route of using a literary agent. You’ll make connections with exciting new authors and could play a pivotal role in the first step of an amazing writing career. Alongside this project you’ll learn universal skills in a book’s conception, like preparing new books for printing, reporting on book submissions, writing blurbs and descriptions of our books, and briefing our art department on book cover design.

 

Skills you’ll develop: Biblio library platform usage, researching, communications and networking, copywriting, proofreading, organisation, teamwork, Bookscan platform usage.

#Merky Books Marketing

Bring your creative skills and make your mark on how we celebrate the 5th anniversary of Stormzy’s #Merky Books, with an exciting social media plan that spotlights our range of authors and book titles. A key part of this celebration will involve your help to take our New Writers Prize to new heights through the programme planning and promotion to 18- to 35-year-old audiences. You’ll also gain an insight into the whole campaign lifecycle with some of our newer or priority book titles. By working with our influencers, planning and creating content, working with retailer partners, you’ll drive awareness of the book for increased sales.

 

Skills you’ll develop: Biblio library platform usage, researching, communications and networking, copywriting, proofreading, organisation, teamwork, Bookscan platform usage.

Children’s Editorial / Sales

Drive our expansion in the UK children’s educational publishing space alongside both the editorial and sales teams. You’ll support our business development by first getting the lay of the land in this area through research and connecting with the team. Once you’ve got all the information, you’ll examine the opportunities for selling English Language Learning products and influence the team on how we might promote these books. You’ll also come up with creative product partnership ideas (like toy companies for example) that will get our books into more hands. After researching and presenting your findings, you’ll have made some key contacts and grown your confidence with the support of your team.

 

Skills you’ll develop: research, analytical ability, understanding and working to a brief, partnerships, sales and editorial collaboration understanding, team working, creative sales conception.

Cornerstone Publicity

We embrace difference, something that ‘Help I Sexted My Boss’ authors and unlikely best friends, William (renowned etiquette expert) and Jordan (Radio 1 DJ), are famous for. Alongside the experienced team, you will help to plan for the launch of a big autumn promotion campaign, including influencer outreach, book mailings, and the planning and delivery of book release events. By liaising with bookshops, writing copy and preparing bespoke influencer mailings, you’ll see all the inner workings of a top-tier platform-driven campaign. Flex your creative streak alongside big brands by planning an exciting TikTok day and involvement in our fiction showcase. You will also immerse yourself in our romance and science fiction book lists with plenty of research and learning opportunities as you go.

 

Skills you’ll develop: campaign management, social media management, influencer strategy, copywriting, content creation, updating databases, partnership coordination.

What will I
be doing?

Eligibility


To achieve our mission to make books for everyone because a book can change anyone, we are seeking out new voices.

If you identify as coming from a lower socio-economic background, this internship is for you. You’ll either have been eligible for free school meals, or at age 14 your highest-earning parent/guardian was not self-employed or in senior management, and was employed in one of the following categories:

-Technical and craft occupations such as: motor mechanic, fitter, inspector, plumber, printer, tool maker, electrician, gardener, train driver

-Semi-routine manual and service occupations such as: postal worker, machine operative, security guard, caretaker, farm worker, catering assistant, receptionist, sales assistant

-Routine manual and service occupations such as: HGV driver, van driver, cleaner, porter, packer, sewing machinist, messenger, labourer, waiter/waitress, bar staff

-Unemployed

*These are broad categories
that may not exactly fit
your family situation –
e.g., if you’re a carer or if
a family divorce changed
your financial position.
Please use your judgement
when self-identifying*

“I gained a strong understanding of the publishing industry and the roles that get our books onto shelves. My manager introduced me to colleagues across the company and I got to grips with how everything works.

It equipped me with skills that helped me move into a permanent Communications Assistant role here. These skills ranged from time and diary management, strategic communications, and platform-specific knowledge (like the publishing platform Biblio).

I am now a Communications Executive in the Brand department. I love being a custodian of our brand and I owe a lot of this to the Summer Internship!”

Chadia AlibertiCommunications Executive 

Holding shape frame 1 (1)

How do I apply?

Applications for our 2023 cohort are now closed.

Application questions

 

No need to spend ages crafting the perfect CV and cover letter – you’ll answer three short questions on an inclusive hiring platform called Applied. We’ll ask you about three of our core ‘qualities’ or universal skills that will help you in the role:

 

Communication

You’ll show us how you communicate well. This could be anything from being able to write clear and engaging emails or reports, to being comfortable talking to a range of people – whether that’s team members, industry contacts, or members of the public.


Initiative

You’ll show us how you take initiative and solve problems before they’ve even arisen. You don’t sit and wait for opportunities to come to you; you make things happen.


Curiosity

You’ll show us that you’re always looking outward and are keen to learn. You enjoy exploring many viewpoints, and learning about new ideas and concepts.

 

Everyone will find out the outcome of their initial application by 24th April.

Project matching video

 

The highest-scoring applicants will then be invited to complete a short video task on the HireVue platform, where you will answer a few questions about your skills and interests. This stage is not assessed but used so we can best match you one of the available projects.

We’ll ask you to share if you have a preference to work in a particular team, so take a look here before getting started. Along the way, we’ll match you with a department, taking these preferences in to consideration.

Virtual learning and selection day

 

This day is designed to give you an idea of what it’s like to work here. You’ll complete an interview, group task, and independent task in your own time. We will assess the core ‘qualities’ or universal skills that will help you in the role:

 

Communication

You’ll show us how you communicate well. This could be anything from being able to write clear and engaging emails or reports, to being comfortable talking to a range of people – whether that’s team members, industry contacts, or members of the public.


Initiative

You’ll show us how you take initiative and solve problems before they’ve even arisen. You don’t sit and wait for opportunities to come to you; you make things happen.


Curiosity

You’ll show us that you’re always looking outward and are keen to learn. You enjoy exploring many viewpoints, and learning about new ideas and concepts.

 

Attention to detail

You’ll show us that you have a keen eye for detail, working with care, and being able to spot and fix any errors you come across.

 

Organisation

You’ll show us that you thrive on keeping things on track, whether for yourself or other people, taking a methodical or orderly approach to any task.


Shortlisted finalists will know if
they’re one of the nine selected interns by early June.

Penguin Offices (18 of 202)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The recruitment process will be entirely virtual, so you won’t need to travel into London for any interviews or tasks, they can be completed from home.
As with many of our full-time roles, the internship will run as a hybrid programme with at an expectation of two days in the relevant London office per week. This is to ensure trainees get the most out of the programme, office amenities, and can build effective relationships across the organisation.
For anyone based outside of London, we are able to provide financial support with travel into London for the those two days. If you’d like to come into our offices more than this, you are welcome to but please note we’re unable to cover travel for these additional days. Partnerships with charities like the Spare Room Project may also be helpful for you.
Please note- we will accommodate any reasonable adjustments for those with accessibility requirements.

We welcome applications from candidates with a disability and will ask if you need any reasonable adjustments to be your best at each step of the recruitment journey. This could include (but isn’t limited to) using a BSL interpreter or extra time in a task during the virtual Learning and Selection day. 

If you have any questions or want to ask about adjustments or alternative formats, you can contact us at [email protected]. Remember, you only need to share what you are comfortable to for us to support your adjustment request. 

Prior to joining, we ask all employees if there’s any adjustments they’ll need when they start. We’re members of the Business Disability Forum, and have access to support through Unum, occupational health, Employee Assistance Programme, and other specialist providers.

We can consider a broad range of adjustments, including physical adjustments (like furniture, equipment, or software) or non-physical adjustments (like altered work hours, communication preferences or more one-to-ones). 

You might not know what barriers you face until you get to the office – that’s fine too. You can discuss the request with your manager at any time. We also use a tool called the Tailored Adjustment Plan, which can help structure a conversation with your manager about these adjustments. 

We also have a brilliant internal network, AccessAbility, for those who identify as disabled, neurodiverse, or chronically ill, or who are currently coming to terms with a related identifier. 

Our applications are open to everyone over the age of eighteen.

You will need a pre-established right to work in the UK for the entirety of your time with us, and we do not offer sponsorship. 

Our IT team will supply each intern with a laptop to loan for the internship. They’ll be on hand remotely too, to make sure your tech is all set up, and support you with any issues throughout the internship.

The internship is a full time role, and you’ll be working Monday to Friday 9-5 unless discussed otherwise with your line manager and HR.

Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that all trainees will secure a permanent role with us at the end of the internship. We will however make sure to put you in the best possible position to take on an entry-level role in publishing by building your industry and role-specific knowledge, helping you network with the business’ stakeholders, and giving you application tips and tricks.

We have locations across the UK- for more details please see our ‘Find us’ page here! 

Applications for 2023 are open from midday Friday 24th March until 5pm Friday 7th April. If you’re successful at first stage, you’ll be invited to a Learning and Selection Day on Tuesday 23rd or Wednesday 24th May. 

Our mission to make books for everyone because a book can change anyone is really important to us – and we know that to deliver this we need a range of perspectives. In some of our roles you may need to work closely with our products and be an avid reader, in others this will be less important. It really depends on what you’ll be doing with us! Your application answers will help us match you to a team that is right for you.

Absolutely! We know that some of our roles are very competitive and that a rejection can be disappointing, but this doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be perfect for another opportunity. Please feel free to apply to another of our programmes or permanent roles and know that we won’t penalise you for any previous rejections. 

You don’t need to have ever worked in publishing or have any experience to apply to our paid internship programme. We removed our degree requirements in 2016 and you don’t need to be studying or have studied at university to be eligible. You will have to have Right to work within the UK for the 2 months you are on the internship. 

 

In 2023, we have made the decision that are our internships will be open only to those who identify as from a lower socio-economic background.

If you identify as coming from a lower socio-economic background, this internship is for you. You’ll either have been eligible for free school meals, or at age 14 your highest-earning parent/guardian was not self-employed or in senior management, and was employed in one of the following categories:  

 

 

-Technical and craft occupations such as: motor mechanic, fitter, inspector, plumber, printer, tool maker, electrician, gardener, train driver  

 

-Semi-routine manual and service occupations such as: postal worker, machine operative, security guard, caretaker, farm worker, catering assistant, receptionist, sales assistant  

 

-Routine manual and service occupations such as: HGV driver, van driver, cleaner, porter, packer, sewing machinist, messenger, labourer, waiter/waitress, bar staff  

 

-Unemployed but seeking work  

 

*We recognise these are broad categories that generalise from the many hundreds of jobs out there, and they may not exactly fit your family situation – If you’re a care leaver or your family went through a divorce which changed your financial position for example, these may not apply. Please use your judgement when self-identifying. * 

 

Our mission is to make books for everyone. To be able to publish boldly and creatively, for all readers, we need a workforce where a range of backgrounds and experiences are represented – in all teams and at all levels. We collect and track data annually on the makeup of our workforce so we can track our progress against this objective. Based on this data, we can see that people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are the most underrepresented group in our company; hence we have made our internship scheme a positive action programme to better support people from these backgrounds get into publishing.

 

For the past few years, we’ve taken part in the Social Mobility Employer Index and have been included in the top 75 employers for social mobility. The Social Mobility Index recommends that one of the most effective way to improve social mobility is to provide direct opportunities for employment for young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. 

 

We will continue to have The Scheme 23-24 and The Next Editors Programme (currently in pilot) for candidates from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

 

Choosing to focus on socio-economic background for internships is a purposeful way to focus our efforts whilst also including any candidates who may also identify from another minority community. Following the most recent census data, communities such as the LGTBQIA+ community and people with disabilities are not underrepresented across our business, which is great news. Our focus remains on inclusion and how we can best support belonging in these groups for our colleagues. 

There are several other routes into our business for people who would like to begin a career in publishing. For example, we have 250 paid work experience positions open every year, which anyone can apply for.  

 

We also have hundreds of entry-level roles available each year, which are also open to all. No previous publishing experience is required for any of/the majority of these roles. You can keep an eye on our open vacancies on our website, or by following our careers Twitter handle, @penguinukjobs. 

 

Yes, they’ll be paid London Living Wage and candidates will have the opportunity to apply for a travel bursary for the two days required in the office per week, if they are commuting from outside of London. We do not take this into consideration when making the selections, and we will not ask for you to declare your location until after the anonymous marking period and selection. 

If you are invited to a Learning and Selection Day after the initial application, you’ll complete a short non-assessed video on a system called HireVue where we can find out a bit more about your interests and skills and take this into account when we match you to a project. This might not be where you’d first pictured yourself, but whichever department you’re matched with will give you transferable skills that could be an important step in your future career.

For those located outside of London, we can offer financial support with covering commuting costs for 2 days in the office per week and do not ask you to declare this until after the anonymous marking and selection process. If you’d like to come into the office more than this though, we’re unable to fund this.   

If you’d like to relocate to London for the 2 months of the internship, we recommend looking at the Spare Room Project. They aim to provide free accommodation to those from outside London entering the publishing industry, by reducing the barrier of accommodation costs.  

We’ll ask you about three of our core ‘qualities’ or universal skills that will help you in the role:

 

-Communication

-Initiative

-Curiosity

-Attention to detail

– Organisation

We don’t expect you to have prior work experience in publishing, Penguin, or another industry, and you are encouraged to use other experiences in education, extra-curricular activities or part-time work for example to showcase these universal skills.