Life of a Fresh Chapters Intern: Kat
27 Jul 2017
Meet Kat! Kat started at Hachette UK as a Fresh Chapters Intern with John Murray Press in the Publicity and Marketing departments and here she tells us what is was like being on the internship scheme…
Of all the things I have learnt during my time as an intern with John Murray Press, it has been most encouraging to realise that there is no ‘one’ way into publishing.
The foundations for my own typically convoluted, as-yet unfinished path into the industry were laid as a bookish kid and a frantically keen literature student. Like anyone who works with books, I have lived and breathed them for longer than I can consciously remember. The more I read, the more I wanted to read, safely ensconced in a wordy bubble.
The end of my undergraduate degree last summer, however, signalled a semi-awakening. Whilst I wish I had been more proactive in terms of work placements and internships during my university summers, the reality is that I had no sense of what I really wanted to do - other than study. Nevertheless, the fear of being spat out of the world of academia with little to no practical experience beyond an innate ability to navigate the library successfully meant that I chose to study part-time.
So I fled the Midlands, moved to London and began to study Comparative Literature course at UCL. Meanwhile, desperate for greater financial security and a weightier CV, I took the first job that came my way. Antisocial hours, excellent experience, but I was impatient to get something to do with books. And after two truly helpful weeks of work experience with Michael Joseph, literally thousands of highly speculative emails and a few failed interviews, I was – astonishingly – offered a placement as a publicity and marketing intern with John Murray Press as part of the inaugural Fresh Chapters scheme.
Two months in, this has proved to be the most rewarding experience. Thanks to the support of an incredibly talented and seemingly tireless team, I have been made to feel useful, welcome and wanted. The chance to explore the role and responsibilities of a publicist has been enlightening, and the insight into the potential impact of an effective marketing campaign similarly so. I’ve been involved in research, mail-outs, meetings, event planning, design and social media: all this and more. I have been lucky enough to work with the publicity, marketing and editorial departments, as well as meeting with colleagues in sales, rights and production, all of which has reassured me that publishing is exactly where anyone with good sense and a love for books would want to be.
If I could pass on any advice to future interns, it would be to remember why you’re doing this: because books matter, they matter because they are like a fixed point in a fairly mixed-up universe - a fixed point around which a galaxy of editors and publicists and designers and production managers are all frantically orbiting, admittedly, but it’s worth it.