Our alumni from the Publishing undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are working in a range of jobs in the publishing and creative industries all over the world. Do get in touch and let us know what you are doing, and whether you would be willing to advise our present students on their future career.
You can also join our Oxford Brookes Alumni group on LinkedIn - we have over 550 members - and we post there regular messages about events and activities. For example, we host an alumni party at the London Book Fair each year.
Here is what our alumni say:
Sophie Hall, MA Publishing
In making the decision to do the MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes, I was really convinced by the international aspects of the course. Working with students from all over the world was a great social experience and allowed me insight into publishing and reading cultures in places as diverse as China, India, and South Africa, to name just a few.
Posted on 25 Mar 2013 around 12pm •
Jan Crosser, MA Publishing
Jan Crosser is a Global Business Development Manager at Oxford University Press. Her role is mainly focused on developing new business relationships and translation opportunities for OUP’s Academic, Medical, and Higher Education lists throughout Eastern Europe, the Nordics, Holland and South East Asia.
Applying for the MA course was really the next logical progression after Uni – I’d recently graduated with a BA in English Lit and had no idea what I’d be doing with that, and I was one of those stereotypical Americans who had never left the country. A publishing course in England seemed to tick all the right boxes: far away from my hometown? Check. Something even remotely connected to my BA? Check. A chance to meet the dashing Englishman of my dreams? Check.
Posted on 11 Mar 2013 around 11am •
Aurelie Noirbent, BA Publishing
Aurelie Noirbent is Head of Production at the Osprey Group, an international publishing company focused on producing the best content for enthusiasts across a broad range of specialist areas including military history, heritage and nostalgia, transport history, crafts, antiques, science fiction and fantasy.
Exactly ten years ago, I was preparing to move to the UK from France in order to start a BA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes. A slightly unnerving prospect, especially since my English was shaky to say the least! Once classes started though, I soon found my feet, thanks in no small part to the support of my tutors. I came to relish the opportunities for independent study, and particularly enjoyed the spirit of co-operation between the lecturers and students. Being foreign was a challenge at first, but it soon became a strength, as it afforded me a different viewpoint on some of the topics we studied – again, my lecturers helped me considerably to grasp this insight!
Posted on 12 Sep 2012 around 3pm •
Renae Haines, MA In Publishing 2010-11
Life after the MA
I am now a project manager with the Quayside Publishing Group, which is part of the London-based Quarto Group. It's an editorial position. We're located about 20 miles north of Boston. Quayside is primarily a trade reference publisher, and if you'd told me while I was at Brookes that I'd end up in trade reference, my mind would have filled with thoughts of dictionaries and I would have told you you were insane. But we don't publish dictionaries, we publish books for enthusiasts: subjects like cooking, crafts, hobbies, backyard blacksmithing, relationships, health, and even The Chicken Whisperer's Guide to Keeping Chickens. I work with four imprints: Rockport, Quarry, Fair Winds, and Quiver. Rockport is the oddball at Quayside: while the focus of the imprint is on various types of design (graphic, fashion, etc.) and fits in with the enthusiasts theme, it's much more academically-oriented than the others. The other three imprints cover such diverse and niche areas that I'm constantly learning new things (not just about publishing, but also about completely random subjects like how to make marshmallows) and meeting authors from a truly diverse array of backgrounds. "Monotonous" is the last word I'd use to describe my job.
Posted on 11 Jul 2012 around 5pm •
Emily Hunter, MA Publishing
Emily Hunter works as an editor at Oxford University Press. She writes about her job search:
I started finalising my CV and applying for jobs about 2 months before the end of the MA course, thinking that it would give me plenty of time and some opportunities for interview practice. However, 3 months and about 25 applications later I hadn’t heard back from a single one and was feeling quite disheartened. I kept trying though and soon afterwards I got a job at Oxford University Press doing exactly what I had hoped for. I was considering stopping the job search and looking for other study opportunities for another year, but I am really glad I kept going as otherwise I would never have got this job. When I did get to interview, the MA was a major part of my success, and it has prepared me brilliantly for the job, which meant that learning the ropes in my first few months was much more stress-free.
Posted on 30 May 2012 around 11am •
Ian Campsall, MA Publishing
When I began the Brookes Publishing MA in 2011, I had a background in media sales and education and was looking to make a career change into publishing. Before the course began, I was worried that my previous experience would be wasted and would not be relevant to my newly chosen field. However, I found that my business experience was very relevant to the work I was doing at Brookes and that the people skills I had developed as a teacher were critical to the group projects. Despite the fact that I was older than the majority of the students, I found that I was learning as much from them as I was passing on my own experience.
Posted on 30 May 2012 around 11am •
Elizabeth Brennan, MA Publishing
I did the MA in Publishing at Brookes in 2003-2004 and am now working in Dublin as Commissioning and Managing Editor at Orpen Press (www.orpenpress.com). Orpen, the trade books division of Blackhall Publishing, publishes informative, practical and relevant Irish non-fiction, focused on what affects people’s lives in Ireland now. The subject matter of our books ranges from the political to the personal.
Posted on 24 May 2012 around 4pm •
Laura Gibbons, MA Publishing
Like many other students, I had as my main motivation for taking the MA Publishing course at Oxford Brookes the aim of landing my first job in publishing. Oxford Brookes has excellent connections with the publishing industry and has such a brilliant reputation that a lot of publishers, such as Pearson Education, actively recruit students from the course.
Posted on 17 Feb 2012 around 11am •
Marije de Bie, MA Publishing
Marije de Bie
Eight years after I finished my MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes, I’m exactly where I dreamed of arriving when I started the course. The year after I returned to the Netherlands I started my career in publishing as a desk editor for a Dutch literary publishing house in Amsterdam. After three years I moved over to one of the most distinguished Dutch literary publishing houses, The Busy Bee (De Bezige Bij), and started working as a junior acquiring editor. In my present role, I take care of the translated fiction for our house together with another editor. As I read English, German, French and Italian, I try to acquire Dutch translation rights to the best novels published originally in those languages.
My year at Brookes was of great value, giving me an overview of the international publishing world, giving me insight into the daily work of all the departments in a publishing house, and teaching me practical skills for jobs in all these departments. One of the special aspects of the MA at Brookes is its international character. I’m still in touch with a lot of my fellow students all over the world, and some of them have become friends for life.
Posted on 26 Jan 2012 around 4pm •
Femke Posthumus, BA Publishing
Before I came to Oxford as an exchange student on the BA programme, I had never been away from home for a long time. I had no idea what to expect, and it turned out to be incredible. My classmates and lecturers were incredibly welcoming and made me feel at ease from day one.
Posted on 17 May 2011 around 4pm •
Kay Peddle - MA Publishing 2006 - wins Kim Scott Walwyn Prize 2011
Kay Peddle, the woman behind Bodley Head’s innovative Brain Shots audiobooks, was last week named the winner of the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize 2011. The accolade, which recognises the professional achievements of women in publishing, was announced by Prize Committee member Kate Jury at a ceremony at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon. Helen Fraser, former Managing Director of Penguin UK, delivered the keynote speech on women and success.
Born and raised in South Africa, Kay Peddle came to Britain in 2006 and studied for an MA in International Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. She graduated with Distinction and started her publishing career as a Marketing Assistant at Random House. In 2008, she moved into editorial and, as Assistant Editor at Vintage, conceived and produced the Bodley Head Brain Shots, which launched to great acclaim in 2009. The success of this industry-first series shows her ability to explore new formats and to respond to the fast-changing market with great agility and flair.
Posted on 12 May 2011 around 10am •
Brianna Corbett - MA Publishing
I decided to be part of the inaugural World Book Night in November 2010 when I saw a few friends posting the link on Facebook (yes, social media marketing works). I filled out the application and browsed the selection of 25 books chosen by a spectacular committee led by James Naughtie. The authors included Margaret Atwood, Kate Atkinson, Toni Morrison, Sarah Waters, David Mitchell, Yann Martel, Mark Haddon and more. It was hard to choose! I wrote my Major Project book for the Brookes MA on how marketing and design work together to add to and create a cultural landscape. During the research phase of this project, I was lucky enough to attend The Bookseller's Book Cover Design Conference at the British Library in June, where I got to hear from professional cover designers, marketers and editors on the subject of design, from practicalities to social understanding. One title stood out that summer and its cover was praised. That book was One Day by David Nicholls.
Posted on 06 May 2011 around 9am •
Marrisa Joseph, MA International Publishing
Marrisa completed the MA in International Publishing in 2009, and now works at Osprey as a Rights Assistant.
I came to Oxford because Brookes had the most relevant course to the career I wanted to go into; I knew the course would help me get a job in this tough climate and I knew that I wanted to work in Publishing.
The best thing about the course was the knowledge and wealth of experience of the lecturers, alongside a great range of industry professionals who were fantastic guest lecturers throughout the course.
I was attracted to the MA programme by the course content and being able to study the fundamentals needed to prepare for the industry. I also enjoyed doing Business Studies at A Level and the course had elements of this subject.
One tutor I found particularly inspiring was Angus Phillips; he is the course director and is a knowledgeable and helpful person. He was always on hand to help and his experience could answer every question I had.
Posted on 23 Mar 2011 around 1pm •
Aaron O’Dowling-Keane- MA in Publishing and internship at the International Labour Organization
I did my interview for the Brooke’s MA in Publishing whilst sitting under a mosquito net in a remote village in Tanzania where I’d been working as a teacher in a local school. Evidently, from the outset the international element of the MA was important to me. And the publishing department didn’t let me down, from the diverse make-up of the students, to international book fairs, to the courses I chose for the second semester - International Publishing Management and Publishing and Language - my passion for the global world of publishing was more than satisfied. One of the biggest international opportunities that came my way via Brookes was the chance to intern in the publishing department of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN specialized agency for labour. The ILO is based in Geneva.
Posted on 14 Mar 2011 around 6pm •
Heather Benn – MA Publishing
I have absolutely no regrets about my decision to undertake the Oxford Brookes MA in Publishing in 2010. Despite having previous experience in marketing, and as a children’s bookseller, I was finding it difficult to progress my career forward into the publishing industry, and was concerned I would have to take a step back in order to land a role in publishing. Not content to shoot for an admin or assistant job as a foot in the door, I decided on the Brookes MA as it offered a really comprehensive overview of the industry as a whole, had a focus on cultivating relevant, specialized skills and knowledge – like InDesign and XML – and offered concrete opportunities for work experience at a number of renowned publishers.
Posted on 26 Feb 2011 around 11am •
Jessica Gilfillan, BA Publishing
Working in Sales
If I’m honest, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I completed the Brookes publishing BA. With a lack of knowledge about which area of publishing would suit me best but a great enthusiasm to get my foot in the door, I started applying for a wide array of positions. After around 20 interviews I managed to land a job as a Sales Administrator at Macmillan due to some experience I had previously gained in customer service.
It was a good starting job but I eventually moved on and have now been with Oxford University Press for nearly 18 months. Although I am still a Sales Administrator (working with our professional law and medical lists) I have now been able to take on my own customer accounts, attend a few sales conferences and this year I am looking forward to meeting up with one of my own customers at the London Book Fair.
Posted on 18 Feb 2011 around 12pm •
Miriam Johnson and Victoria Harben, MA Publishing
News from Jargon Media
We just wanted to update you and Brookes on the newest venture that Jargon Media (Miriam Johnson and Victoria Harben) are working on. We are putting together an international literary magazine that we will publish on 1 November 2011.
The Istanbul Review creates a platform for dialogue between authors, new and established, and readers. It gives writers an opportunity to talk about their craft, showcase new work and discuss the philosophical implications of literature and its place in modern society.
Founded by Miriam Johnson, Hande Zapsu Watt and Victoria Harben in 2010, the Istanbul Review began with a simple wish: to bring together writers, critics and those influential people from other walks of life whose lives have been changed by literature and who in turn change the world.
Posted on 02 Feb 2011 around 10am •
Tiziana Zaino, MA Publishing
The MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes has definitely represented a turning point in my life and I am very grateful for all that I have learnt in my year on the programme, for the role that this year has played in helping me focus and clarify my career objectives, and for providing me with the skills and knowledge I needed to start a career in publishing.
Posted on 10 Jan 2011 around 5pm •
Antonia Eraud, MA Publishing
Although I knew I wanted to work in publishing and I liked my job at Hachette in France, I wished for two further things for my career: to work abroad and to have a fuller view of the industry. I had previous experience in publishing especially in marketing, PR and sales. However, I did not hesitate to sign up for the publishing course at Oxford Brookes and I have never regretted my choice. In fact, I have been able to discover more about editorial, production, design, digital and of course about the UK industry. Even the subjects I already knew about were very interesting because I could compare the industry in France with the UK and develop my knowledge. ...
Posted on 15 Nov 2010 around 5pm •
Emma Hawes, BA Publishing
Studying publishing at Oxford Brookes University has been one of the most rewarding, yet fun experiences of my life, and in some ways, the most life changing. Through the variety of lectures and seminars, I was able to develop and build on skills I already had, whilst discovering talents that I never knew I had. In Magazine Publishing, I was able to make the most of my creativity and have the freedom to express myself. Yet it was in Production and Project Management that I was finally able to make good use of my ability to organize and apply it to a publishing environment. ...
Posted on 10 Nov 2010 around 8pm •
Alexa Banks-Lyon, MA Publishing
The best ‘life’ decision I have ever made was to complete my MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes. Having studied Media Technology at Brookes at undergraduate level I was quite design/technically minded and although the course wasn’t design based at all, there were so many opportunities throughout the course where I got to put these skills into practice. The structure of the course is great: demanding at times but incredibly rewarding. The staff are brilliant, enthusiastic and incredibly friendly. The course has well and truly prepared me for working life and the business environment, and I am now working for a Digital Advertising company as a Campaign Manager, delivering advertising campaigns to online publishers. ...
Posted on 29 Oct 2010 around 1am •
PMT walk the Thames (MA Publishing 2008-09)
At the Head of the River Pub, Oxford, 100 miles, seven days later
Jonathan Davis and Gareth Watkins (MA Publishing 2008-09) write about their charity walk along the Thames in the summer of 2010.
On 17 July 2010, four members of publishing Men Together (PMT) - established on a crisp autumnal induction day at Oxford Brookes in 2007 - set off on a 100-mile, 7-day walk along the Thames Path. Journeying from London to Oxford, they raised money for and awareness of Booktrust UK (http://www.booktrust.org.uk) and their programmes to support literacy at all levels of development. It also helped that their charitable activities are vaguely publishing-related, as there’s nothing better than helping support the readers of the future! As publishers we all believe in the importance of higher levels of literacy: not just to sell books, but because it is a lifelong skill that some children (and adults) never get to experience fully.
Posted on 02 Sep 2010 around 1pm •
Amanda Lastoria, MA Publishing
My MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes (2003/04) gave me the skills and knowledge necessary to break into publishing. Originally from Vancouver, I went to Brookes to gain international experience. On day one of Adrian Bullock's production and project management module, I knew that was the area of publishing for me. Before I even finished my dissertation, I started a production job at an academic book publisher in Oxford (Taylor & Francis/Routledge). I went on to produce new media (Macmillan English Campus) and high-end books (The Folio Society) in London. I then moved to Toronto and started a freelance career, working for a local non-profit arts magazine and various UK-based publishers as a business manager, producer, copy-editor and general jack of all publishing. Now back in Vancouver, I continue to freelance and am starting a PhD at Simon Fraser University. In a tailor-made, faculty-wide programme in Communications, Arts and Technology, I am building on my MA roots and focusing on production. Brookes is a brilliant place to discover your niche in publishing.
Posted on 13 May 2010 around 8am •
Kay Peddle, MA International Publishing
Publishing graduate Kay Peddle was featured in the Bookseller (19 February 2010) in the careers section. Kay graduated from the MA in International Publishing at Oxford Brookes in 2007, and whilst at Brookes did an internship at the World Bank in Washington. Originally from South Africa, where she studied at the University of Pretoria, Kay has worked at Random House in London since graduation. She is now an Assistant Editor at the Bodley Head and has been long listed for the British Council Young Publisher of the Year award.
Posted on 05 Mar 2010 around 10am •
Jonathan Davis, MA Publishing
My time on the MA Publishing course at Oxford Brookes was spent in a perpetual balance of work and study. Studying part time over two years and working to support myself during the course gave me a real grounding which helped me to get to know the publishing industry, make new friends, and find my first job within a month of submitting my dissertation. ...
Posted on 27 Jan 2010 around 3pm •
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