Emily Labram - The Game of Thrones app and more
by Samantha Jacquest
Taking initiative was the main theme behind Emily Labram’s talk during the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies’ Lunchtime Seminar. Emily explained her career path from graduate student to Publishing Technologist at Bibliocloud, focusing on 10 “insights” she learned along the way.
As a postgraduate student, hearing how people have achieved success is always inspiring and reassuring; one common theme I seem to hear is that even when someone does not travel the career path they expected, the unexpected journey they take ends up being the right choice. Emily Labram was no different.
Originally seeking any career to do with books, Emily was new to the publishing industry when she graduated with an English degree. After sending out countless CVs and emails, Emily landed a few short-term internships. One of those work placements was at HarperCollins, and that opportunity led to a job later down the road.
After about a year, Emily realised if she was going to be successful she would have to take charge of her career, and so after proving her worth to the company by showing evidence of the success she had in her position, more opportunities within the company were opened to her. This eventually led to a position being created specifically for her, product manager, because the company found Emily’s innovative administrative and project skills invaluable.
After getting thrown into technology projects she didn’t feel confident leading, Emily learned on the job and eventually realised she loved this side of publishing that she had never previously been exposed to. This passion led to the award-winning Game of Thrones app which Emily was in charge of. “Do the work you want to do, then get hired to do it”, Emily advises. And that’s exactly what she did: after her success with the Game of Thrones app and sharing her passion with a FutureBook audience, Emily met Emma Barnes, creator of Bibliocloud, and turned her newfound passion into her career.
Hearing about a story of a young woman who started out with a simple love for books and has ended up with a career she had never thought possible proves the possibilities within the publishing industry. As technology advances, companies are embracing change and looking for innovative ways to keep customers happy and interested while still staying true to the love of storytelling.
During her talk, I found myself relating to Emily. I too started out thinking I would want a stereotypical commissioning editor job, but after everything I have learned on the Publishing MA course at Oxford Brookes, I find myself interested in so many different areas of publishing. Now my task is finding a way to make those interests into a career and as Emily proved, taking the initiative, taking control of your life, and being open to new opportunities are the first steps to landing your dream job – even if you don’t realize it’s your dream at the time.
About the author of this article
Samanta Jacquest is studying for her Masters in Publishing at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing studies. Her interests in the publishing field include children's and young adult publishing, as well as trade lists at academic presses.
Sam is from Chicago and has a background in journalism. After completing the MA Publishing course, Sam plans to return to the States and get a job in editorial or marketing in either Boston or Chicago.
Last edited: 30 03 2016