Whenever anyone asks what I want to do after university, my immediate answer is ‘publishing’. But of course, everyone tells you how difficult it is to get into. Work experience is the way forwards – but even that can be difficult to find. That’s why, when I got an email from Sweet Cherry Publishing, I was incredibly excited. I finally had an opportunity to see what my ‘dream job’ was really like.
Of course, on day one I was full of nerves. But as soon as I walked into the office, I relaxed. I was welcomed with a chorus of “hello’s” and smiling faces. The whole team at Sweet Cherry has been nothing but friendly, and they were more than willing to answer any questions I had. It was easy to feel at home there – I really felt like part of the team.
My week began with meetings, which allowed me to get a feel for how a publishing company is run. I was then set some tasks by Jess, the Publicity and Sales Executive, to complete throughout my time with the company. The first thing I did was log onto the IPG Skillshub, which was incredibly useful. It not only allowed me to look into the aspects of publishing that interest me most, but also those I am least familiar with. With Daniel, the Sales and Marketing Executive, I visited a primary school as part of the Sweet Cherry Book Club. It was great to see how the company works with local primary schools to encourage reading.
During my time with the company, I have seen how they use social media, by scheduling tweets and writing blog posts. Another thing I had the opportunity to do, was learn about how editorial works. I came into my work experience being particularly interested in editorial, and so Cecilia, the Managing Editor, gave me some tasks to look at. These involved checking if a manuscript was suitable to its audience and doing a line edit of four chapters of a novel. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this process, and am glad to have had the opportunity to do so.
Everything I have done, I have enjoyed, and my love for the industry and desire to work in it has only increased. I am gutted this week had to come to an end – it has been a thoroughly rewarding and fun experience. As a second-year university student, I still have some time left before I can actually work in publishing. But it has made me determined to finish my degree as best as I can, then dive into a life full of books.
Eleanor Maher is a second year English and Creative Writing student at the University of Leicester.