Publishing work experience
Unrivalled access to work experience through our connections in all parts of the industry
All our publishing students have the opportunity to do work experience during their course. This enables them to apply what they learn in a real environment, gain a greater understanding of how the industry works, and develop a network of contacts that will be invaluable to them in their career in publishing. Typically they have the chance to do a variety of work placements in a range of departments or market sectors.
We have two members of staff with responsibility for work experience and internships. In the academic year 2016/17 over 50 employers have offered work placements to our students in Oxford, London and elsewhere. There are also opportunities for work placements in other countries, including in the publishing divisions of international NGOs. For example, over recent years Oxford Brookes students have won places on the World Bank Publishing Internship Prize; in each of the last seven years, two of our students were awarded prestigious internships at the International Labour Organization in Geneva; and in 2014 a student went to Paris for the first time to work at the OECD. International students can do work experience alongside their studies, and many publishers welcome their skills and knowledge.
The following is just a selection of companies and organizations offering work experience to our students:
A&C Black, Barefoot Books, Black Dog Publishing, Bloomsbury Publishing, Boardworks, Cambridge University Press, David Fickling Books, Dorling Kindersley, Elsevier, Faber & Faber, Felicity Bryan Literary Agency, Edinburgh University Press, GTI Publications, Guardian Books, Gullane Children's Books, Hachette, HarperCollins, Hodder Education, How To Books, Infinite Ideas, International Labour Office, Macmillan, Mitchell Beazley and Conran Octopus, New Internationalist, W.W. Norton, Oneworld, Osprey, Oxfam, Oxford University Press, Pearson, Pegasus Theatre, Piccadilly Press, Quadrille, Routledge, Simon and Schuster, SPCK, Story Museum, Sweet & Maxwell, Taylor & Francis, Walker Books, Wiley, and the World Health Organization.
Feedback from Students
Vasundhara Puri, MA Publishing
Internship at the International Labour Office in Geneva
About halfway through the MA publishing course, in January 2016, we were informed of an opportunity to intern at the International Labour Office in Geneva for a period of six months. I jumped at the chance, having heard about the internship previously and having been waiting for a chance to apply since before I had even arrived in Oxford. What followed was an interview at the fabulous 2016 London Book Fair, and voilà, six months later, I was in Geneva.
The ILO produces many publications, including reports detailing their research and their work all over the world. I arrived at a very interesting time, when the Publications team was trying to participate in various online libraries and provide them with thousands of titles. Apart from working on metadata curation, enhancement, and creation, I did intensive research for the Publications unit on asset management systems. This was an aspect of publishing I had not been exposed to previously and it was great to learn about the importance of data, how to create the relationships between various data sets, and how crucial this work is for effective and successful publishing. The Publications team is intelligent, encouraging, supportive, and willing to pass on their knowledge to the intern. ...
Nina O’Reilly - MA Publishing
In autumn 2015 I made the move from Dublin to Oxford for the MA in Publishing at Brookes. I decided that, rather than my original plan of pursuing a career in academia, I would like to work in academic publishing instead. A year and a half on, after first working as an intern, I am now an Editorial Assistant for Bloomsbury Academic’s Digital Division, a an exciting position that I really enjoy.
As well giving me a strong foundational knowledge of publishing, the MA at Brookes also crucially showed me how strong the competition for entry-level positions is in this industry. Thus the Editorial & Digital internship at Bloomsbury really opened a huge door for me.
Sophia Podini, MA Publishing
After taking both a bachelor degree in publishing and a two-year publishing master’s in Italy, I still felt I was not ready to put myself forward as a valuable addition to any publishing company. I felt I needed a very practical, business oriented course that would help me understand the industry and prepare me for a ‘real job’.
I was not sure in which area of publishing I wanted to work – I only knew it must be in book publishing. I started checking degree programmes around Europe, searching for the one that combines all the elements that I was looking for: a creative and business oriented course that has an overview of different departments of a publishing house; and a course that is not only UK oriented but gives an international background. When I discovered the programme of the MA Publishing at Oxford Brookes, I knew this had everything I was looking for, plus the amazing location of the city of Oxford – and all the ratings and feedback from previous students online were highly positive. ...
Tom Bonnington, MA Publishing
After applying for more or less every work experience position in Scotland with little success, I decided to do the MA in Publishing course at Oxford Brookes. Originally I saw myself in editorial, but soon after starting our marketing class, I found I was more suited to this work. Soon after, I managed to obtain work experience in Trade Marketing at Oxford University Press, before moving on to Oxbow/Casemate, a brilliant archaeology and military history publisher in Oxford. Even while doing work experience two days a week, I found the course both challenging yet manageable, and thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience.
In May this year, I was fortunate enough to be offered a full-time position as a Marketing Executive for Casemate and it is my dream first job in publishing. I have an undergraduate degree in history and a lifelong interest in the history of war, and I am selling books that I would also like to buy myself, which must be a big advantage. I have worked with The Times, BBC History Magazine, All About History Magazine, and many others. I also work with some of the best military experts in the country and, since the team is so small, I am given more responsibility than I would have in a larger company, which I find very rewarding. ...
Kirsten Cozens, BA Publishing Media
As soon as I visited the Oxford Brookes campus and met some of the Publishing Media lecturers, I knew this was the degree for me. I still was not too sure what publishing exactly entailed, but I loved reading, writing, and creativity, and that is what I got on this course.
The Publishing Media degree is tailored to give students the best professional skills they need to succeed in the industry, both in business and creative aspects, which have been invaluable throughout many of my internships and interviews. I felt that not only was I learning about creating content for different audiences, identifying the right markets for different publications, and understanding the business behind the creativity, but I also developed those all-important team work and leadership skills.
Tik Dalton, BA Publishing
I had an unusual entry on to the course – half way through an English Literature degree at Bolton I had an epiphany of sorts, that I wanted to go into book publishing. After researching what was the best course around I came across Brookes.
What excited me most was the broad range of modules on offer, everything from industry technology, to the history of print culture. My three years on the course have been amazing, I think what really makes it is the friendly and open atmosphere created by lecturers and students.
Elena Bianco, MA in Digital Publishing
I am really happy to inform you that I have got a job at Bloomsbury as an International sales assistant. I can't stop smiling since yesterday when I had the interview; it's my dream job in a publishing company that I really like and respect for its current strategy and I think it's one of the most interesting and challenging publishers at the moment. It is a maternity leave cover of 12 month and I will start next month. I know that I have to work on my major project in weekends over the summer and it is going to be hard, but I really couldn't say no to this amazing job and I am really, really happy.
The course made the difference as you may know, and the head of sales told me that everyone in publishing knows that graduates from Brookes have an excellent preparation and knowledge of publishing.
I just wanted to let you know about my new job and thank you again for everything - I am so glad that I applied for this course one year ago, my dream is becoming real and I changed and learned a lot in these months.
Cameron Sclater - MA Publishing 2014-15
Working at Pan Macmillan
When I had the epiphany two and a half years ago that publishing would be the ideal job for someone like me who feels slightly uncomfortable without a book within arm’s reach at all times who likes to dabble in some creative writing I was incredibly naïve about how many people felt exactly the same way.
Living in Scotland at the time armed with nothing more than a Bachelor’s in English Literature and a slight journalistic background I optimistically fired off my CV at every publishing opportunity I saw. Cue to a few weeks later and feeling extremely privileged to just to earn a response reading ‘Thank you very much for your application however…,’ even for an internship, I became aware that a different tact would be necessary.
Fernanda Dutra, MA in Digital Publishing
Internship in Geneva
It was the digital side of publishing that first persuaded me to come to Oxford Brookes for an MA in Digital Publishing, after years working as a journalist in Brazil. The same reason made me apply for a six-month internship in the Publishing unit of the International Labour Organization (ILO) - an opportunity available to students at Brookes. I was lucky to arrive in October, mid-way through two major projects for the unit: the adaptation of InfoStories, first launched as an iPad app, into a responsive website; and a new generation of Checkpoints, an app which allows companies to carry out analysis of their workplace and promote change. ...
After graduating from college in Rome, all I knew was that I wanted to work in publishing. I had no experience, but I did have passion. I knew that if I wanted to succeed in making my dream come true, I had to choose the right place to start. What made me set my heart on this course at Oxford Brookes was that the professors help and encourage students to build connections in the industry, whether through work experience or the many events hosted by the faculty. I had a gut feeling that this was that ‘right place’ I was looking for at which to begin my career. ...
Adrienn Jelinek completed the MA in Publishing by the part-time route over two years.
I now work as a Marketing Assistant at an independent international academic publisher in Oxford. I received an offer before submitting my major project, which meant that immediately after finishing the MA, I had a full-time position waiting for me. I am convinced that my part time office-based job, which I was doing for almost two years, as well as my varied and extensive work experience within the publishing industry were all essential in securing my current position. ...
Tanya Ashfaq, BA Publishing
I graduated from the undergraduate degree in June 2014. I am happy to say that I am now a Marketing Assistant for BioMed Central, an open access academic publisher, working on the journal portfolio in biological sciences. I manage the marketing activity for over 50 journals, in what is a very busy and fast-paced environment. It is extremely rewarding and great fun!
Kristen Scott, MA Publishing
Now settled in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I am currently working as a Digital Copywriter and Editor for a marketing and design company in the city.
Embarrassingly unexperienced before my MA, nonprofit publishing peaked my interest through an internship at New Internationalist in Oxford. The internship in Geneva at the ILO was not only an eye-opening experience but it opened doors that I otherwise wouldn't have even been able to knock on. I had the pleasure of spending the six months with Sophie Hall, a fellow MA student. I was lucky that she had the same sense of humour but different strengths which was the perfect recipe for stressful times.
Brianne Bellio, MA Publishing
Since March, I have spent two days a week at Osprey Publishing in Oxford as an editorial intern. My biggest task has been to be in charge of the Editorial inbox. I read through all the emailed proposals and forward them on to the relevant editors. Communication is a big part of my job, whether to the editors or to the potential authors. I have also been utilizing the proofreading skills learnt on the MA programme as I upload corrections into their CMS database. These corrections have to be updated so that the most correct version of the manuscript is available. Attention to detail is definitely a key aspect of this job. I also mail back rejected manuscripts and return artwork to the artists. I help with checking texts for correct and consistent spellings, sourcing images, and generally pitch in where assistance is required.
Fiona Bradbury, MA Publishing
I found out I’d gained a children’s publicity internship at Oxford University Press during a quick email check at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and had to restrain myself from jumping into the air. On return to Oxford, I started at Oxford Children’s Books and began learning the ropes of working in a busy children’s publishing office.
Nadia Garcia, MA Publishing
During my work experience in Bloomsbury’s academic marketing division, I gained a great insight into all aspects of marketing and publicity. During these three months I was part of the day-to-day activities within a leading publishing house. My tasks included creating email newsletters for direct marketing campaigns, proofreading campaign copies, and designing posters and fliers for book launch event and conferences. I learnt how important it is to know who your target audience is and to know how to reach it. Also that it is crucial to have up-to-date contact lists in order to promote your books successfully.
The team at Bloomsbury was always friendly and supportive, providing me with many different and interesting tasks. I felt immediately part of the team and that my work was useful to them. It was also a great opportunity to make new contacts within the industry, who have given me great support and useful advice on how to progress in my career.
This work experience taught me how creative and varied a job in marketing can be - I can say without a doubt that my work experience at Bloomsbury was extremely valuable and I highly recommend it.
Katherine Pitt, MA Digital Publishing
During the second semester of my MA in Digital Publishing at Oxford Brookes, I have been lucky enough to spend two days a week in the publishing department of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
In addition to giving me a behind-the-scenes look at my favourite museum, my experience at the V&A has provided invaluable insights into the world of museum publishing.
I have learnt a lot; from the important role publishing plays in supporting and promoting the V&A’s collection, to just how informative image licensing costs are in determining which illustrations can make it into a publication. It also served as a good reminder that the skills we learn in class are applicable in the real world, and I felt very satisfied whenever I got to use my proofreading techniques.
Lea Abot, MA International Publishing
At the end of semester 1, one of our lecturers presented the cohort a project to develop an exhibition catalogue in partnership with the Modern Languages department at Oxford Brookes. She needed a team of publishing students to help with the creation and production of an accompanying catalogue for an exhibition the following April about the Parisian Banlieue. The book would be bilingual in English and French. Having previous experiences in exhibition catalogue creation and being a native French speaker, I jumped at the opportunity! The benefit of this unusual work experience – I was not working for a publishing house! – was absolutely brilliant: Oxford-based, my own time management and a lot of responsibilities. I was not just assisting someone, but I was rather at the centre of the creation of the whole book.
Posted on 01 Apr 2014 around 1pm • Filed Under Publishing Work Experience •
Marianne Cassidy, MA Digital Publishing
When I accepted my offer to study for a MA Digital Publishing in Oxford Brookes, I still had no clear career path in mind, but I knew I wanted to formalize my practical skills in web development, digital production and online marketing. I was also coming to realize that I thrive in mission-driven work environments, where the focus is on smart and effective communication above all else.
So when applications opened for a six-month internship in the International Labour Organization in Geneva, I jumped at the chance. The ILO is one of the oldest arms of the United Nations, and completely unique in terms of its structure, scale and mission. The ILO publishing team is small, sitting within the larger communications department. The team values their interns and the expertise we bring to the table. Digital innovation is currently a priority, and I was lucky enough to start my internship at the beginning of the commissioning process for our first apps. In terms of editing, I have learned about storyboarding and tailoring dense academic material for different audiences, as well as working with authors to produce non-traditional content. On the production end of things, I have improved my grasp of digital workflow and asset management and gained valuable experience collaborating with creative agencies and developers.
Posted on 27 Feb 2014 around 10am • Filed Under Publishing Work Experience •
Lauren Moore, reflects on ‘Working in Publishing’ Event
Working in Publishing Day – OICPS Thursday 7th March 2013
OICPS students, both undergraduate and postgraduate were invited to attend the annual ‘Working in Publishing’ day, which offered not only the chance to speed-date with a whole host of representatives from the publishing industry, but also CV and prospecting workshops with essential job application tips.
Posted on 25 Mar 2013 around 1pm • Filed Under Publishing Work Experience •
Feedback from Companies
Pegasus TheatreGeneration Pegasus, Oxford Youth Theatre's magazine, is now well established in its current format and having the calibre of a student like our OICPS placement on board has been fantastic, he has been professional, creative and committed.
Posted on 13 Feb 2008 around 10am • Filed Under Publishing Companies •
b small publishingWe have been very pleased indeed with our OICPS student. We had never had a work experience student before and were anxious that, as a very small office, we would have to spend too much time explaining things.
Posted on 26 Jun 2007 around 11am • Filed Under Publishing Companies •
A Local Publishing CompanyIncredibly punctual (always early and always left late), conscientious and helpful, with a real gift for writing. Of great use and I would recommend having a placement student to others in the future.
Posted on 14 Jun 2006 around 1pm • Filed Under Publishing Companies •
An Oxford Publishing CompanyHard working, quick to learn and easy-going. A very positive attitutde to the placement and didn’t complain about the more tedious or less glamourous elements of it. They worked hard and we’d have them back.
Posted on 14 Jun 2006 around 1pm • Filed Under Publishing Companies •
HarperCollinsHelpful & eager to do anything, very accurate editorial skills, doesn’t mind mucking in when neccessary, very friendly, punctual, communicative etc. So we’ve been very pleased. And yes, I think it’s a good scheme that should continue in the future.
Posted on 14 Jun 2006 around 1pm • Filed Under Publishing Companies •
Oxford University Press2 work experience students now employed! - It is great to have them both on board, keen, well-informed and bright. You obviously train ‘em well on the MA. We look forward to the next set of work experience students :-)
Posted on 14 Jun 2006 around 1pm • Filed Under Publishing Companies •
Our Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies student has been really great. Most of the work has been web-based research done in their own time and space, and so the success of the work experience is down to their character: hard-working, conscientious, bright, and self-starting.
Posted on 14 Jun 2006 around 10am • Filed Under Publishing Companies •