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The Perfect Publishing Internship - Intern Wardrobe

The Perfect Publishing Internship
Pippa Smithers

I’ve written for Intern Magazine before about my dismal experience working for a hotel, so I thought it only fair to balance things out with a really positive experience I had last summer.

How I got the placement was all down to luck. While I was waitressing at a wedding, I got talking to another waitress, and the subject of future careers came up. “I’ll probably end up working for my parents publishing company” she confessed.

My ears pricked up. I swallowed my fear of sounding pushy and I asked her, outright, whether her parents might take me on for some work experience. At this point I was in my second year of University doing English Language and Creative Writing; this was my shot to wheedle my way into the publishing industry. It would do wonders for my CV and give me an insight into the type of job I could pursue after graduating.




To my delight, she gave me her parents email address and a month later I was nervously walking up the office steps for my first day on the job.

I was given my own little area with a desk and computer within the open plan office. My temporary title was “Marketing Assistant” and I got a little thrill every time I was allowed to put it at the end of an email!


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I got to see how the books were made, starting from meetings with the authors, through to the editing process, and ending with piles and piles of the new glossy books ready to be sold. The jobs they entrusted me with ranged from the simple (filling in spreadsheets), to the complex (organising their event of the year; a party for all their authors and contributors). I got to write reviews for their website, was taught how to comprise extracts for magazines, and even got to model for some pictures in one of their books.

The best thing about it was that I knew the work I was doing was valuable to them. I never wanted to be one of those interns you hear about that get in the way, or are assigned made up tasks just to give them something to do.

The small, family run company had such a friendly vibe. I never felt embarrassed asking for help, even if I had already done so ten times before lunch. They created an encouraging atmosphere, and regularly gave positive feedback to reassure me I was doing well.

I couldn’t have hoped to work for a better bunch of people. The scrumptious cherry on the top of all this, was that I was being paid!


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Two weeks extended into two months of the most valuable experience I’ve ever had. I left with a new, positive outlook on working life, excited at the prospect of starting a career instead of dreading it.

I guess the moral of this story is to keep your eyes open for opportunities, even if it means creating them yourself.

After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

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