Tell us about yourself:
After five years of study, and armed with an MA in Psychology and Maths and an MSc in Health Psychology from the University of St Andrews, I thought I’d be left with a definitive path in life and a concrete career plan. Not the case. Despite a vast array of work experience (tour guide, drama leader, assistant psychologist, research assistant, and as senior staff member of a summer school), I was still no clearer as to what I wanted to ‘be’. Immediately following my MSc, I took a year-long contract at a boarding school which included pastoral work and tutoring a range of subjects but it still wasn’t what I was really looking for.
Tell us about your role:
I applied to CGP because I loved their books when I was doing my GCSEs. After a rigorous application process (which I actually really enjoyed as I could fully utilise my creativity), I was offered the job! My first project was a Psychology text book which involved writing material, drawing diagrams, compiling copyright information and formatting pages. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a variety of projects, including apps, revision guides, workbooks and a brand new online Maths product.
Initially I found the most challenging part of the job ensuring that my writing was appropriate for the target age group (not as easy as it sounds). However, the guidance and support of other Editors within the department has been invaluable in helping me adjust my style to suit each project.
Tell us about your industry:
The educational publishing industry is incredibly dynamic, as weekly newspaper articles and news reports show. But this just makes the job so much more exciting. Working at CGP itself can feel like working within one big family — it’s small enough to settle in quickly and as there are lots of like-minded individuals, colleagues soon become friends outside of work too. We’re encouraged to provide suggestions and ideas to anyone within CGP — and we feel quite comfortable doing so.
Tell us about your future prospects:
The next stage is ‘Senior Editor’ which would give me the chance to oversee the production of an entire book from start to finish. As CGP continues to grow new roles are being developed all the time so there are also opportunities to move into departments other than Publishing.
What advice would you give to graduates looking for jobs now?
My main piece of advice for every applicant is to have a positive attitude with an open mind. Each interview is an opportunity for you to explore what you can offer to each company and reflect on your own skills. Even if it isn’t an obvious career path, just give it a go. I feel so lucky to be able to work at CGP — there are not many people in the world who get excited on a Sunday evening because they have work the next day!