Tell us about yourself:
I had a great time studying English Literature at Durham University, but left without any real idea about what I was going to do next. After a further year in Durham, spent working for a church, I headed west to Cumbria and started as a Trainee Editor here at CGP. Publishing wasn’t something I’d ever really considered as a career path, but I was excited to be able to use some of the skills and knowledge I’d acquired doing an arts degree.
Tell us about your role:
Life as an Editor is much more varied than I expected when I started the job, but that means that no two weeks are the same, and each project brings with it a range of new opportunities and challenges. So far I’ve worked on English, French, Maths and RE projects, and have had a wide variety of tasks — from illustrating a French version of The Wheels on the Bus for a digital product, to researching Hindu goddesses for a revision guide. It’s a really great feeling seeing a book you’ve worked on in a bookshop, and it’s also very satisfying watching its sales figures rise!
Over the last few months, I’ve enjoyed working on some new text guides we’re making for GCSE English students. I planned the content for one of the books, wrote material (including the odd bad joke!) for a couple of them and proofread another. For each book, I was part of a small team of editors and I appreciated the opportunities to discuss and develop ideas with the rest of the team. It’s also great to be a part of the wider publishing department, which is full of committed, friendly people who are keen to help each other and utilise each other’s skills.
Tell us about your industry:
Education policy is never too far from the headlines, and as an educational publisher we have to prepare for changes and developments before even most teachers do. Everyone’s favourite GCSE English text, Of Mice and Men, has recently been dropped from the syllabus, so we’ve been busy writing new guides to help the next generation of students. As one of the leading names in our field, we’re also working hard to stay ahead of the game — the digital revolution has had a huge impact on the world of education, and CGP is keen to be a part of that.
Tell us about your future prospects:
Once I’ve gained some more editing experience, there’ll hopefully be the chance for me to progress to ‘Senior Editor’ level. This would enable me to take the lead on planning and running projects, as well as managing the workloads of other editors.
What advice would you give to graduates looking for jobs now?
Keep your eyes open! All I knew about CGP before I saw their job advert was that one of their books had rescued my GCSE biology grade, but I now have an enjoyable, stimulating job in a beautiful corner of the world. Trawling through job websites isn’t the most glamorous of tasks, but the time and effort will pay off. Be confident in your abilities, look for jobs that will utilise them and be prepared to put in some hard work along the way. Good luck!