Alumni - Rhianna Jones, MA Publishing

I had no publishing experience when I began my MA at Oxford Brookes but by the end of our visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair at the beginning of the course, I was sure that publishing was the career for me. I now work for Elsevier in Kidlington, living in Oxford with three friends I met on the course. I had the best year of my life doing my Publishing MA at Oxford Brookes, both in terms of how much I learnt and the people I met. ...

I would recommend that anyone who wants to work in publishing tries to get a variety of work experience. I did a week working in Editorial Production at Manchester University Press, indexed Richard Charkin's Macmillan blog as part of a team effort, acted as the administrative assistant for the British Book Design and Production Awards (working with Adrian Bullock and Caroline Hamilton from Oxford Brookes, which was really fun), and most significantly worked for Elsevier.

Around Easter 2008 I was checking the masses of emails from the Publishing Department when I spotted one asking people to apply for a paid, week-long project for The Lancet journal at Elsevier. With a background purely rooted in the humanities, I confess that I had no idea what The Lancet was, and if I had known it was one of the leading medical journals in the world, I probably would have been too intimidated to apply. Thankfully, I was clueless and keen to do some paid work experience so I went for it. The work was based in their Research and Academic Relations department, which I loved, and when they offered me the opportunity to work for the summer I jumped at the chance. This was a fantastic department to start in as it gave me a really good foundation of knowledge of the journals industry, and I find it really exciting when I now receive company projects to which I had contributed.

At the end of the summer, my boss put me forward for a position as Marketing Communications Manager in Social Sciences. The job, managing the marketing to authors for over 100 journals and travelling all around the world, specifically asked for a minimum of three years experience and if I'm honest, I didn't think that I had a chance. However, the education I received on the MA course, especially the Journals module I took as an option in the second semester, combined with my work experience meant I got the job. My bosses told me that my enthusiasm for journals and my thorough knowledge of the publishing industry convinced them I could do the job, even without the requisite qualifications and experience.

Posted on 05 Jan 2009 around 11am