Recently I’ve found myself leaving the house earlier and earlier in the morning; I never thought I’d have a job that I couldn’t wait to get to, and Designer with Special Sales at Penguin Books is it.
The simple fact is that everyone at 80 Strand says hello in the morning, and I get smiles from people in the corridor (sometimes having no idea who they are or what they do). I don’t know where that impression of ‘people in London are so miserable’ came from; learning from my simple life up North, I even started talking to people on public transport! And found that anyone will chat back.
This, and the fact that I really love what I’ve been doing. Sitting on InDesign all day is a dream job; I play around with existing book covers and make actual books, I’ve designed a presentation, which will continue to be used in the future; I’ve amended book covers that have actually gone to print, and brought profit into Penguin. It’s all very exciting.
What I have really loved over the past two months is the fact that I’m treated like a part of the team. Jobs come in quickly in Special Sales, sometimes with tight deadlines, and I do them and so contribute to the team. I get invited to all the meetings, and all the (paid-for) breakfasts and lunches. And drinks and dinners. This has been a great opportunity to get to know people outside of work, and experience the world of publishing with Penguin. I’ve been doing a Masters degree in Publishing in Edinburgh, and the Scottish publishing industry – though I’ve always known it was small – is like another world. Although feeling like a tiny fish in a massive pond for a while, I’ve liked getting to know the structure of Penguin and where I fit in.
As I knew I was moving to London for two months from Edinburgh, I brought a couple of books with me. I now have three massive piles sitting on my desk, and scattered all over the floor. Walking up the corridor on Floor 7, a telltale crowd give away the fact that things have been added to the pulp shelf. The pulp shelves often harbour some rare find, or a book that ‘I’ve been meaning to read’. Going along to sales meetings has also meant getting to see new releases that won’t be on the shelves until Spring 2013, and just when I’m getting excited about something (like Emily McKay’s The Farm) I get given a proof copy. Being a book-lover and hoarder, that’s another thing I love: the books that are around the office, piled on desks and spilling out of bookshelves, being proudly displayed as a top seller. I love the shouts of excitement (and the celebratory prosecco) coming from sales when a book is at number 4 in the Amazon charts.
Most importantly, this internship has reaffirmed the fact that publishing is what I want to do, and Penguin is where I want to be.
Pearson Diversity Summer Internship Programme