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Inspired by the written world

At CPM we get many work experience requests and love having new people in the office eager to learn. Over the Easter holidays, we’ve had English Literature student, Ellen Northrop, undertaking a work placement with us before she finishes her degree in the summer. Here she tells us about her experience and highlights during her time with us.

I am currently studying for a Masters in English Literature with the view to starting a career in publishing. Over the Easter break I have had the opportunity to gain some work experience with Cambridge Publishing Management (CPM).

I want to work in publishing because I am inspired by the written word and the effect it can have. Whether it is the education that comes from reading, or the community that is created through sharing the same book, literature can have a powerful influence. Creating these experiences through the process of bringing a text to life and delivering it to its intended audience is what I want to be a part of.

CPM is comprised of a small and very friendly team. I was nervous about starting work experience because I didn’t have any previous experience in publishing, but I was made to feel welcome and able to ask for help at any time. I have been given some interesting and insightful tasks to complete which has made the experience invaluable. This, along with the variety of the workload that CPM takes on as an agency, is what I really like about the company. What I like most, however, are the five dogs who come to work with their owner, the Managing Director Jackie, and who greet you like a long lost friend every time you go to make a cup of tea.

Thanks to CPM being a smaller company I have been able to gain an overview of how the whole company operates and help out in different departments. I have been involved in checking proofs, compiling glossaries, undertaking picture research and researching content for the newsletter. There is also always the opportunity for the editorial team to write content for the blogs and newsletters, such as book reviews. Working at CPM has felt like a lightbulb moment, as I am able to work on things that are relevant and important to me, and after working on the school textbooks I even feel like I could add a few more GCSEs to my list!

Publishing is a varied industry and has many different roles within it. Whilst working at CPM has consolidated my interest in book publishing and the editorial side of the industry, I have also had the opportunity to gain an insight into the other areas within publishing. Although I am particularly interested in proofreading and copyediting, it has been equally fascinating to learn more about marketing and design.

The diversity at CPM is also a reflection of the publishing industry in general as it is constantly changing and evolving. I would be entering the industry at a time when digital is increasingly important. Although there will always be a market for books, the ever-growing emphasis on digital means there is room for innovation and expansion, and reaching a wider audience. I am looking forward to completing my degree in the summer and beginning my career in this exciting industry.