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.
View this video of Briana Haguewood who completed her MA in 2015 and is now the Publisher Relations Manager for Redshelf in Chicago
You can also join our Oxford Brookes Alumni group on LinkedIn - we have over 700 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. In 2014 we also hosted an alumni event in Oxford - 'Alumni stories - Emma Bourne'.
Analysis of our alumni network in 2015 shows that 32% of our graduates are working in senior management positions around the world; 20% are in management positions; and 14% hold board level positions or own their own company.
Here is what our alumni say:
Jennifer Krebs, MA Publishing
When I started my undergraduate degree I was enrolled as a Politics major. Going in, I already knew this wouldn’t be the place for me but it took me an entire year to realise that I should major in what I liked – and that’s how I ended up with an English degree. I was lucky that my university didn’t lock the English majors into future teaching careers – they encouraged exploring all aspects of the discipline (I declared an editing concentration), evoked interest in other careers and, most importantly, introduced me to the Brookes MA programme. I did my research and, just like all the statistics said, Brookes was the best publishing MA to get – and as a bonus I would get to head to Oxford. There is truly no better place to study books.
Posted on 24 Jun 2014 around 10am •
Frankie Mace - MA Book History and Publishing Culture 2012-13
Frankie Mace (currently Assistant Editor, Bloomsbury) writes:
I had initially intended to come to Brookes to study on the mainstream Publishing course, but I was concerned that I would not enjoy some of the more vocational or technical elements. I was really excited when I realised that I could take the Book History MA, study the modern history of publishing in a more academic way, and still take all of the elective courses and business elements that had appealed to me in the first place.
I found the MA reading engaging and fascinating, discovering a rich world of cultural, historical and sociological topics, which gave me a firm understanding of the economic and political history of the publishing industry, along with insight into the present day, and future, business of books. For anyone who enjoys writing creatively and undertaking their own research, I cannot recommend the course highly enough. The access and resources available are incredible, with excellent support from the academic faculty and the assignments encourage innovation and originality; I particularly enjoyed creating, along with my peers, our own online journal, in which we each published an article on a 20th Century publishing topic of our choice.
For me the MA was a life changing experience. I feel that the Book History MA equipped me with all the abilities I needed to enter into the job market and gave me the confidence to pursue a career in publishing. I was able to move straight from studying into an editorial position at an independent publisher in London and, thanks to the course, I believe that I was given a competitive edge.
Posted on 30 May 2014 around 8am •
Ross Fraser, MA Publishing
I originally applied to the MA at Brookes armed with nothing more than my undergraduate degree and a passion for storytelling. I was devoted to narrative in all of its forms and I was seeking for a way to channel that passion – for me the MA was a route into turning that into a tangible and productive career.
Posted on 27 May 2014 around 1pm •
Louise Butler, MA Publishing
The MA in Publishing at Brookes equipped me ideally for my career – not only did it provide me with the strong practical knowledge base and skills I needed early on, it helped me to build connections with the industry (I gained my first role before the course had finished after making contact with a guest speaker at a lecture and hearing about the opportunity!). The MA exposed me to the range of different publishing jobs out there and ultimately helped me to determine my own career path. I also made some fantastic friends!
Posted on 04 Apr 2014 around 3pm •
Brynna Gabrielson, MA Publishing
After completing my BA in Creative Writing in Canada, I decided to pursue a Master of Arts in Publishing. Located in a city seemingly built on a foundation of famous literature, Oxford Brookes seemed the perfect place to do it. Attending Brookes was an amazing experience. I learned a great deal and met a vast array of fantastic people. As a big fan of ebooks and the evolving world of digital publishing, when it came time to select a topic for my major project, I decided it would be both a fun, and somewhat scary experiment to self-publish a novel I had written for my undergrad: Starkissed. I undertook every task a publisher would in the creation and publishing of Starkissed. I was the editor and designer, as well as the marketing and sales team. My initial goal was to sell 75 copies in the first month, but instead I sold 773 copies. To date, exactly 13 months later, I have sold just over 6,500 copies. Studying at Oxford Brookes gave me the skills and knowledge I needed to succeed in the publishing of Starkissed, and showed me that I could be a successful author and publisher all on my own.
You can buy the ebook here
This is Brynna's website
Posted on 12 Sep 2013 around 2pm •
Louise Swannell, BA Publishing and English
Louise Swannell works at HarperCollins as a Publicity Director having spent thirteen years in the industry.
I started my career in Publishing straight out of university. The BA Publishing course provided great insight in to the industry, and I was lucky enough to be offered a job as a sales assistant on the day my degree results came in. Having spent a year working at Mitchell Beazley I quickly realized I favoured marketing and publicity; and my career really took off from there. I've worked on high profile non-fiction and fiction campaigns to launching debut authors - this is a job where no day is the same, and the experiences are second to none. Highlights for me are being on tour with an author, achieving a Sunday Times Bestseller and widespread media coverage on publication after months of pitching. No book or campaign is the same and this enables you to keep learning, challenging yourself and keep motivated, pushing yourself to achieve the best results possible every time. Having taken a brief sabbatical to try my hand agency side, I can honestly say that once you’ve worked in-house for a publisher there is very little else that will give you equal enjoyment and career satisfaction.
Posted on 05 Sep 2013 around 12pm •
David Bailey, BA Publishing
If someone had told me whilst studying for my degree in publishing that I would end up working for a bathroom company, it is fair to say that I wouldn’t have believed them! The fact that I am demonstrates just how well the degree equips you with skills that can be transferred to a job in what might seem an unlikely sector.
Whilst I don’t directly work in publishing, I feel that my experience of following an alternative career path would benefit others considering or undertaking the degree as I know that I would not be where I am today without it.
Posted on 02 Sep 2013 around 1pm •
Antonia Eraud, MA Publishing
Inspired by living in a fast paced world, former MA Publishing student Antonia Eraud has collaborated with fellow writers to produce Quick Stories Volume One, a collection of short short stories designed to be read on the tube, train, waiting for that friend who is always late, under a tree in the park on a rare sunny day … anywhere you’ve got five minutes to spare.
The scintillating and eclectic collection of stories includes tales of lost innocence, stolen kisses, awkward dinner parties, nutty professors and much more besides. The book is the first volume in a series. Over time, the group will publish more and more volumes of Quick Stories, all very affordable and available to download from Amazon. Profits will be donated to the Literacy Trust. You can download the first book now from here
Posted on 17 Jun 2013 around 1pm •
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 11am •
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 10am •
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 2pm •
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 4pm •
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 10am •
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 10am •
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 3pm •
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 10am •
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 3pm •
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 3pm •
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 9am •
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 8am •
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 12pm •
Aaron Oâ€™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 5pm •
Heather Benn â€“ 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 10am •
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 11am •
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 9am •
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