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Case Study: Charlotte Coulthard

Personal details
Degree:French and Latin Profile picture
School(s): School of Modern Languages
Year of Graduation:Jun-2013
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Aurum Publishing Group part of Quarto Group
Job title: Editorial Assistant, Aurum Press Ltd
Occupational Sector: Publishing
What has been your route to getting your current position?
Internships and work experience.
What does your job involve ?
Copy editing, picture research, proof reading, contacting authors/agents.
What are the best bits of your job ?
Learning something new every day.
Why were you successful?
Work experience and internships seem to be the only way into publishing. Knowing someone who is willing to pass on contacts etc is immeasurably helpful as the publishing world is one big network. The Society for Young Publishers is a great way to stay on top of what is happening in publishing and to hear about job/work experience opportunities. The Bookseller Jobs is a great site to check for the latest vacancies and there are two main recruitment organisations that work specifically with the publishing industry, Atwood Tate and Inspired Selection. Try Hachette careers and the Random House careers site. It is worth looking at who publishes your favourite books and contacting them for work experience. Many literary agencies have internship schemes that are often paid, if minimally. It is a slog but a lot of it is about being in the right place at the right time, which can only happen if you get work experience or internships.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
Language skills in terms of attention to detail are incredibly helpful as is the general desire to learn that everyone takes away from their degree.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
It is a job you have to really want. The pay is typically low and it is incredibly difficult to get a foothold in the industry, but stick at it as once in, it's great! The people who work in publishing are all friendly and easy going as we all are driven by our love of books, not to be too clichéd. The interning and work experience do pay off, but try to start during your summer holidays and not once you graduate!