I had been accepted to work with the team at Michael Joseph, a department that specialises in women’s fiction, crime, thrillers, cookery, memoirs and lifestyle books and has published authors from likes of Jojo Moyes, Clive Cussler and Stephen Fry.
I’m a very organised person and don’t tend to do well with being thrown into unknown settings where I have no idea what I’m meant to be doing, so to say I was nervous is an understatement. But everyone there was so lovely and welcoming and I instantly felt like I was apart of a team. I had the added bonus of starting alongside a lovely woman who was starting her new job as an editor and was someone who was the literal embodiment of a ray of sunshine! She made my experience so memorable and by the end of it I didn’t want to leave, (and just between you and me, I may have shed a few tears!).
Whilst I was there I was reading submissions, sending books out to authors and agents (including Diana Gabaldon who wrote the Outlander series!), and lots of other secret projects! Here I was able to gain an insight into the world and process of publishing as well as trying my hand at everyday tasks. After spending two weeks in such a stimulating and creative environment, it was clear that publishing was an area which I could see my future-self thriving in. Fast forward 18 months and I’m still constantly applying for lots of graduate schemes and entry level jobs in publishing, and the drive and ambition to fulfil my career aspirations still hasn’t faded. Those two weeks taught me so many different skills and was an experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it is one that I’m endlessly grateful for.
If you have any questions about work experience at Penguin or my experience then please feel free to leave them in the comments!
You didn’t do work experience at a publishing house if you didn’t come home with as many books as you could fit in your handbag, so here’s a mini book haul!
- The Chalkman by A.J Taylor – When I was working down in London I kept seeing so many posters on the underground advertising this book so I thought it would be fitting if I took this one home with me. Now every time I see it on my shelf I’m reminded of my wonderful experience. Plus I’ve also just realised that its a signed copy!
- McMafia by Misha Glenny – I picked this book up because I remember watching the trailer for the BBC series and thought I could read the book before I started watching; how wrong I was! The book/tv series follows Alex, a legitimate businessman, who tries to evade his family’s dark past. However, a murder exposes his family’s mafia ties and he has to enter the world of crime to protect his loved ones.
- The Greatest Love Story of All Time by Lucy Robinson – I couldn’t resist picking this one up, I’m a sucker for a romance novel and this one sounded like a good laugh. It’s Fran’s thirtieth birthday and things are good…She’s bluffed her way into a very posh job and her outlandishly handsome and talented boyfriend Michael is escorting her to the Ritz with a bulge the shape of a ring box in his pocket. But something has gone wrong. Very wrong. By the end of the evening Fran is howling in bed with a bottle of cheap brandy and one of Michael’s old socks.