What I got up to during my 2 weeks of Work Experience in London
I’m finally back from my work experience at Penguin Random House in London! I put up a post on my Instagram @reviewsfromabibliophile to ask if anyone was interested in hearing about my time there as there was plenty to mention and I really wanted to tell other book lovers what an amazing experience it was!
Aside from walking around the office in awe of all the books/colours/posters etc
It was very special to be surrounded by such friendly and talented people. Coming from a very remote area of the country I was very aware that I was undertaking a huge lifestyle change as well as starting a new job. However, the office really didn’t feel like the big scary city outside (something me and another work experience collegue agreed on).
My first week mainly consisted of getting accustomed to the system of things including emails, printing, scanning, mailing and navigating the online intranet (as well as not getting lost in the building)! As I was working with the Penguin General Marketing team there was lots of buzz around the office as lots of campaigns were coming to fruition during the time I was there, including Dolly Alderton’s book Everything I Know About Love and Mohsin Hamid’s novel Exit West. There was also a lot being planned for Suffragists day with the release of the Penguin Women’s writers series which has had quite a big reception online (Instagram loves their pretty covers!). This made my time particularly exciting as I got to do big bookstagram mailings for Exit West before its publication date and saw multiple Instagrammers online receiving their book mail (one of the main reasons I applied was because I wanted to explore how trends and ‘hype’ around books can be generated and interacted with). I was also lucky enough to attend an internal Q&A/reading of Exit West on my second day at Penguin which was a really wonderful experience – having never read any of Hamid’s work before I was really inspired by his reading to do so. Hearing an authors thoughts on what they’ve written was a truly unique experience (and I was kindly given a copy of his book to read while I was there).
As I’d expressed an interest in the trend tracking of various publications, the rest of my tasks focused on research via social media for a new campaign. My second week got off to an amazing start though as I was given the opportunity to help out at the press launch for Dolly Alderton’s book at the Savoy. The evening was magical and exciting and after helping on the door I got to listen to an especially moving speech from Dolly and chat to other members of the Penguin team over a glass of champagne.
I was told however that publishing is not always like this! The events I attended were a result of months of hard work from the various teams at Penguin. While I was there I also attended talks on the Editorial, Production and Rights divisions, which really made me appreciate the amount of effort that is put into a singular publication.
I would encourage anyone who is considering publishing or even just wanting to work with books to apply for work experience at Penguin. I really advise you not to be disappointed if you don’t get in first time as well! I knew in my first year of University that I was interested in pursuing publishing and it took me the best part of a year and 4 attempts to secure my placement. If its something you’re really invested in stick at it, and don’t be put off by the competitive nature of the industry. My experience with Penguin didn’t only help me professionally but also personally, I feel a lot more confident in myself and my abilities after completing my 2 weeks there and I’m really looking forward to the future!
Until next time,