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A week in the life of a work experience student
On Monday 10 July, 13 students, including myself, joined Cambridge University Press for a week of work experience in 13 different departments.
The work experience programme runs every year for mainly local students (with two this year coming from London and Shropshire) to experience the many different jobs Cambridge University Press offers, according to their interests. Each student sent in applications and CVs and from these some were chosen to have an interview with the manager of their chosen department.
The projects we were given were well suited to our interests and similar to the jobs people in the departments do. For example, Amy, who did her work experience in Social Sciences Books and Journals (marketing), scheduled and wrote social media announcements and adverts and did some design work. She said that she especially enjoyed the design work as she loves art. Ellena Moriarty, Amy’s manager, said that as well as giving her projects to do they have also dedicated some time to discussion and observation, to give her the chance to contextualise what they do and see how it fits into the wider business processes.
Isabelle, who did her work experience in the Project Office and Design in ELT, did portfolio budgeting and used excel to create portfolio budget sheets. She said: “I have loved it because I love to use excel to collate information to do with different businesses and companies and the total money that is used. And I absolutely love designing things.”
Students working in the design department and the ELT marketing departments worked together on an interactive resource that would be paired with a textbook for young learners of English. Bella, who did her work experience in Editorial and Marketing, said: “We’re getting started on our own project which involves designing an electronic product to ‘enhance the classroom’ which we will then take through the various stages of marketing and branding. It’s been really great because we are doing tasks that are relevant to what the Press is currently doing and our notes are actually counting towards real things!”
As well as work in our departments, a range of other sessions were organised for us, such as group sessions with graduates and former apprentices about routes into business. We also had a session with Olivia Goodman about ELT Language Research. Bella said: “Talking with graduates and current employees has helped me to see that there are many routes into this line of work, and that university isn’t necessarily the only path. This is really good to know.”
Most of the students are not necessarily thinking of getting a job in their department when they’re older, however they have taken away some very valuable skills and been given opportunities that they wouldn’t have had otherwise such as networking with all different kinds of people in different jobs. Annie-Rose, who did her work experience in the Editorial and Education departments, said that this work experience has taught her a lot about the publishing industry which was very helpful as publishing is a major career option for her.
Chris Hill, manager of the Finance placement, said: “My first paid employment was nearly fifty years ago, there have been a multitude of changes in the workplace during that time as technology has advanced, however, one thing hasn’t changed – the bright hopeful attitude of young people coming into the workplace for the first time.”
I have found this work experience very helpful, especially as I have absolutely no idea what I want to do in the future. It has helped me realise that there are so many more jobs in communications than I thought and that has really opened up more career options for me.
I would definitely recommend this work experience to everyone, even people who know exactly what they want to do. This work experience placement provides so many opportunities and skills that would be relevant in any work place, not just a publishing office.
Tel: +44 (0)1223 326194