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.
Here is what our alumni say:
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 (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.
Posted on 30 May 2014 around 8am •
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 •
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 •
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.
Posted on 12 Sep 2013 around 2pm •
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.
Posted on 05 Sep 2013 around 12pm •
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 •
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.
Posted on 17 Jun 2013 around 1pm •
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 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...
Posted on 11 Mar 2013 around 10am •
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.
Posted on 12 Sep 2012 around 2pm •
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.
Posted on 11 Jul 2012 around 4pm •
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 •
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 •
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 •
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 •
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 •
Marije de Bie
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, 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.
Posted on 12 May 2011 around 9am •
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 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 •
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.
Posted on 14 Mar 2011 around 5pm •
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 •
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 •
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.
Posted on 02 Feb 2011 around 9am •
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 4pm •