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Case Study: Emily Hill

Personal details
Degree:Classics Profile picture
School(s): School of Classics
Year of Graduation:Jun-2013
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Oxford University Press
Job title: Senior Production Editor
Occupational Sector: Publishing
What has been your route to getting your current position?
Seeking out opportunities! To get my original role, Assistant Production Editor, this was all about work experience and industry research.
What does your job involve ?
Managing the publishing process for around 15-20 academic journals. Papers are submitted by academic editors and we have them copy-edited, typeset and finally published online and in print. I am therefore responsible for the publication schedules, speeds and quality of these journals.
What are the best bits of your job ?
Building relationships with academic authors and editors, not only to publish their content at a high standard, but also to improve their processes and overall journal performance and standing. It is so rewarding to set an idea in motion and see it through to a finished product or improved way of working.
Why were you successful?
The more you've done the easier you'll find it to get a job - you have more examples to bring to interview and a better understanding of the industries you're applying for. It doesn't have to be all about lengthy internships, though one longer placement at least sets a good precedent; a week somewhere impressive and/or relevant can make just as good an impact. That was my key to success - my manager said to me "we just couldn't believe how much you'd done". Now that I'm involved with hiring in the department, what I look for are candidates who, whatever they've done, wherever they've worked before, are proving that their previous experience will somehow contribute to their ability to fulfil the job they're applying for. Another key point is to make sure you have had a job and/or office role - its hard to know if a graduate will suit an office environment if there's no evidence of hard work.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
Having an academic background is invaluable when working with academic content - so essentially knowing what references are supposed to look like! Any job in academic publishing will almost certainly involve checking or at least caring about footnotes. I have also been lucky enough to be given Classical Receptions Journal so of course my degree is directly relevant there.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
Publishing is a wonderful industry to work in. The people are lovely, the lifestyle is good and your life outside of your job is respected. I have friends at other publishing houses and we all agree that publishing is not generally the sort of job where you'll find yourself working on the weekend! That said it can be competitive to get into initially so do get as much work experience as you can so that you trump other candidates with your CV. There are opportunities at OUP which I'm happy to be contacted about.