English undergraduate and member of the School of the Arts (SOTA) Student Press Team, Jack Graysmark, has been discovering how English Department alumnus Amy Minshull progressed after graduation and how she got into publishing at Wiley Life Sciences Journals:
What did you get involved in at University which helped you to secure your job in publishing?
“I was Co-Editor of the student magazine Ellipsis, and I also wrote reviews for the local music magazine Bido Lito!, along with undertaking a work placement there. I think my other extra-curricular activities definitely helped to showcase my skills and dedication in interviews, in particular time management as I managed to balance everything with coursework and exams!”
What work experience did you undertake while at university?
“The most experience I gained at university was my placement at Liverpool University Press, as part of the work experience module run by the School of the Arts. I have no doubt that working in various departments of an academic publisher really contributed to my successful interview last summer.
“As part of the module, I wrote a report about the issues facing the publishing industry. This gave me a fantastic insight into the sector, which really helped when it came to deciphering publishing jargon in department meetings!”
What skills did you learn while doing work experience and your internship?
“Specific to publishing, my time at Liverpool University Press gave me first-hand knowledge of how publishing organisations are organised, and the issues currently facing the industry. My experience in journalism and running Ellipsis really honed my writing and editing skills, as well as preparing me for the demands of managing multiple projects at once to strict deadlines.”
Pictured left: English Department alumnus, Amy Minshull, now works in publishing at Wiley Life Sciences Journals.
How did the work experience and internship help you to get your current job?
“It made the interview process a lot easier. Rather than simply promising I would be able to do a job well, I could give examples of times when I had successfully undertaken similar tasks and activities. Additionally, Alison Welsby, who was in charge of my placement at Liverpool University Press, has been an invaluable source of advice, especially while I was looking at various jobs after graduation.”
What is your advice for students looking to get into publishing?
“Try to get industry specific experience and do your research, as different publishing companies vary wildly. Getting the first job is tough, so it helps if you have already worked in a publishing environment.
“Stay focused on any career plans but do what you love. When I started university I was interested in journalism, so I took every opportunity to gain experience. Although this was not exactly relevant to what I have ended up doing, each activity I was involved in helped me get the next job or internship.
“Finally, always be enthusiastic, and make the effort to actively seek out what you want. If you want a placement, go and ask for one!”
By Jack Graysmark