Work experience

Find your ‘what’s next?’

Feed your curiosity and develop the skills you need to start a successful career, on one of our paid two-week work experience placements.

With us, you’ll find support and a deep sense of purpose. You’ll help us drive our shared mission – to connect more people with great stories and ideas.

All 250 of our work experience trainees across the year are chosen via random selection and paid the National living wage for the duration of the hybrid placement.

You’ll learn from and listen to those around you, becoming a part of the team, joining meetings, and trying out new tasks. Opportunities to connect with your department and colleagues from around the business will give you an insight into how we do things.


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

Marketing and Publicity:


Are all about breaking through the noise to get books to everyone, because a book can change anyone. It’s how you get (and keep) people’s attention.

Our marketing and publicity teams form relationships with journalists, festival directors, radio, and TV producers. They build creative promotions, break through the noise and get our books into the media.

You could support with:


  • -Coming up with creative campaign ideas
  • -Hooking potential readers by contributing to our sales brochures
  • -Capturing what makes a book or author unique by writing flyers, adverts and posters
  • -Building mailing lists to help spread the word about what we do
  • -Researching and tracking any hype around our books
  • -Attending team meetings

Skills you’ll develop:


-Campaign creation


-Mailing list maintenance

-Sales support


-Social media listening



Lie at the heart of the publishing process. They seek out and bring new and existing stories to life through books, apps, eBooks, TV, and live events.

They look back proudly on our legacy but keep us moving forward by coordinating with the other teams in the business to get our books out in the most creative and profitable way.

You could support with:


-Exercising your eye for detail by reading submissions

-Writing compelling book blurbs

-Attending team meetings

-Administrative tasks like writing and sending out minutes

-Maintaining book databases

-Putting together spreadsheets

-Sending out copies of our books

Skills you’ll develop:





-Minute taking

-Internal communications

-Book database maintenance


-Book mailing



Sales act as a team of matchmakers, pairing the right book with the right retailer in the UK and around the world. That could be anything from hand selling to an independent bookseller or for supermarket shelves.

They arm the other teams with the best insight and advice about the publishing market, tailored for each specific book.

You could support with:


-Gathering market research

-Analysing data from book sales

-Assisting with pitch decks

-Researching and tracking industry trends

-Working closely with editorial and campaigns teams

Skills you’ll develop:



-Data analysis

-Collaboration and relationship building

-Creative sales ideas

-Trend following

-Market research

Publishing Operations:


If Editorial are at the heart of publishing, Publishing Operations are the lungs. They take our exciting stories and bring them to life in their final forms – whether that’s as an audiobook, eBook, or classic printed book.

Their reach spreads across the business, working collaboratively with our different business areas. The PubOps team help the business achieve their creative goals, deliver books on time, and stay within budget.

You could support with:


-Attending team meetings

-Editing eBooks into shape using digital coding languages like HTML and CSS

-Checking publishing schedules to ensure projects are meeting deadlines

-Reviewing printing proofs

-Ensuring our quality control standards

Skills you’ll develop:




Basic coding


-Project management timekeeping

-Quality control

-Proof reviewing

Black star shaped badge saying 'BRAND'



We are lucky enough to be custodians of the Penguin brand, one of the most recognised and loved across the globe. We are very considerate about how and where the brand shows up in the world, the way in which we use it to attract readers and drive sales, and how it is used as a platform to champion and advance the causes we care about.

You could support with:


-Helping develop meaningful and fun marketing content

-Social impact events and campaigns

-Attending meetings and creative workshop sessions

-Researching cultural trends and reading habits by audience

Skills you’ll develop:



-Relationship building

-Audience insights

-Content creation

-Graphic design



-Event management

Employer Brand and Outreach:

Employer Branding and outreach are how we position Penguin as a top employer to attract the great talent that drives our mission to make great books and stories for everyone.

Just as we are with our readers, we are very intentional with how we talk about life at Penguin – especially when it comes to demystifying publishing for those in underrepresented groups or who may have never considered working for us before!

You could support with:


-Posting to our online social media channels

-Creating engaging content about our news, events, vacancies, and culture

-Supporting our in-person and online outreach events

-Copywriting for our careers site, social channels, and campaigns

-Research projects about what engages our target audiences

-Managing the content on our careers site

Skills you’ll develop:



-Content creation 


-Internal and external communication

-Event organisation 

-Website Content Management Systems 


Penguin Offices (1 of 202)

Eligibility criteria

-You must be over 18 at the point of placement

-You must not have carried out a training programme with us, in any department, within the last 6 months

-You must have access to a computer/laptop, wifi, and a safe and comfortable working space that suits you to enable you to take part in a hybrid placement

-You must have the right to work and train in the UK for the duration of the programme. It is your responsibility to check whether this is the case and we’re afraid that we’re unable to sponsor applicants

-You must be able to join us at our London offices for at least 2 days each week so that you can build relationships across the business

How do I apply?

We run cohorts every 3-4 months. Our next window is open from 5th – 19th August 2024 for placements between October – December.

Application dates


Placement Dates


12th – 26th February 2024 April – June 2024
6th – 20th May 2024 July – September 2024
5th – 19th August 2024 October – December 2024
18th Nov – 2nd Dec 2024 January – March 2025

Our application process is very simple. Submit an application with a bit about you, your availability, and which department interests you.

We’ve taken steps towards breaking down barriers into publishing by offering places based on random selection. Your and the team’s availability are the only influencing factors.

High demand means we’re unable to offer everyone a place. If we don’t have a place for you this time round, do keep trying.

P Office (6 of 6)

We see work experience as a learning experience – a chance to dip your toe into the working world and see what publishing is like.

As part of our aims to make publishing more inclusive, we want to break down barriers to entering the industry. We offer places based on random selection, but are aware that not everyone can afford to take two weeks to gain unpaid work experience. By paying work experience, we hope that this opportunity will be open to even more people.

Yes, as with many of our full-time roles, this will run as a hybrid programme with an expectation of at least two days in the relevant London office per week. This is to ensure you get the most out of the programme, office amenities, and can build effective relationships across the organisation. 
Please note – we will accommodate any reasonable adjustments for those with accessibility requirements.

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. 


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. 

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

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

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 work experience. 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! 

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 work experience- they are completely open to all.


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 two weeks you are on the programme.

On your application form you’ll indicate which team you’re interested in working on. We then use your availability and the team’s availability and match you to where we think you’ll be best suited. We’ll make sure you’ll get some time to meet others from around the business of course.

No, even though you’ll be paid, there is no formal employment contract or selection process like a CV or interview. You’ll provide your bank details through our application portal and be paid on both of the Fridays you’re with us.

You’ll be paid on both of the Fridays you’re with us.

Unfortunately you’ll be unable to take part as we can only pay into a UK bank account.

Yes, you will need an NI number.


If you’re from the UK, you should automatically have received an NI number just before you turned 16. If you didn’t get one and you’re under 20, phone the National Insurance numbers helpline. If you’re over 20, you need to apply for a National Insurance number.


You should be able to find your NI number on your payslip, P60, or letters about tax, pensions and benefits. If you have a personal tax account you can also view it there and print a confirmation letter.


If you’re still unable to find it or are from outside of the UK, you can apply for one here –

Please speak to your relevant job centre who will be able to advise you on this.

Yes, but you must have the right to work and train in the UK in order to be eligible for work experience, and you must have a UK bank account that we can pay into.

You might be taxed if you have other forms of income. Please contact the HMRC with any tax queries.

Please let us know as soon as possible via [email protected] to amend.

Work experience is a learning opportunity. It’s a chance to dip your toe into publishing and see what the working world is like. You’ll be shadowing the department and have the chance to try out a few tasks. 


Even though you’ll be paid, work experience isn’t a job – there’s no employment contract or selection process like a CV or interview. We offer places via random selection to ensure the opportunity is open to all. 


For a job, internship or temp role, there will be some form of selection involving a combination of: CV and cover letter, competency questions via Applied, video interview with Hirevue, and/or an interview. There’ll also be a contract and a level of responsibility not expected for those on work experience. 

You’ll be paid the National Living Wage.

Payment for your placement is based on the number of hours it lasts. The amount you’re paid will therefore depend on the length of your placement. If for any reason your placement is less than the usual 2 weeks, the pay you receive will reflect this. 


If you cannot complete the full placement, please let us know as soon as possible. Preferably on the Tuesday before you’re paid, as this will allow us to make the change. If we find out after then you’ll be paid too much and we will be in contact with you to arrange repayment. 

A P45 shows how much tax you’ve paid on your salary so far in the tax year, and will be given to you by your last employer. For those who don’t have a previous employer or who are currently working, you’ll have to complete a New Starter Checklist which we can provide for you. 


We need you to provide us with this a week before your placement starts. 

You won’t have a P45 if you don’t have a previous employer or if you’re currently working. In this situation, you’ll have to complete a New Starter Checklist which we can provide for you. 

As you’re not an employee, you will not be entitled to company benefits.