Working in Publishing Day 2009

An annual event for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, Working in Publishing Day offers a day of advice and networking with industry professionals, including Brookes alumni. This year 30 companies from all sectors of publishing participated in the speed-dating session in the afternoon. Cathryn Steele, an MA Publishing student, writes about the day

So, you want to be a publisher?

Well, I do, so I went along to Working in Publishing Day, partly for my own benefit, and partly because of the multiple emails and reminders from the publishing staff. And it paid off.

The day started with a panel of previous Brookes students talking about their experiences in publishing since leaving both the BA and MA Publishing courses. These varying experiences were interesting, and the panel emphasised the need to apply broadly, and stressed the fact that having a degree in Publishing from Oxford Brookes will hold a great cache in itself. While this panel was useful, I found that I gained more from talking individually with some of the participants later in the afternoon.

After this panel, we heard from a number of different work agencies, specialising in helping people to get employment in media and the arts. These were particularly useful, as it is very easy to forget that agencies will help to put employers and employees together and will do a lot of work for you. This was very encouraging, and I signed up for several agencies later that day.

The afternoon was taken up by ‘speed-dating' appointments with a number of companies from Oxford and London. There was a wide range of different companies: from big companies like Random House and Harper Collins, to smaller ones such as Profile; children's publishers, Usborne and David Fickling, to magazine companies like Haymarket and Oxfordshire Life Magazine. This assortment of publishers meant that every student could speak for 15 minutes to the individual companies and decide if they would be interested in working for this particular company. Although Working in Publishing Day is not a day for publishers to employ students, most of the companies seemed happy to inform the students about upcoming positions and current openings. This was invaluable, as was the time to ask questions and make contacts. One of the key things to remember throughout the day was that these people may well be our future employers and colleagues, so it was an opportunity to make a good impression in a fairly informal setting.

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