Why I applied for The Scheme
I applied for The Scheme because I’d always been curious about working in publishing but I didn’t think I had the experience or connections necessary to beat the high competition and get a role. The fact that The Scheme didn’t require any experience and that the first round was completely blind was highly influential in my decision to apply. As was the 6 month structure of The Scheme as I’d already started a career in a different industry so I was attracted to the idea of trying something for a short period before committing to a permanent role.
What I got from The Scheme
The Scheme gave me a thorough understanding of how the publishing industry works and what my future could look like there. Much of this was achieved through The Scheme’s excellent training programme which provides workshops on a range of areas incl. how a book is made (from manuscript to finished product), proofreading, how to pitch a book and confidence skills. These sessions gave me a very clear idea of what being an editor really entails and helped me develop highly valuable transferable skills such as communication and attention to detail.
If you do choose to stay in publishing after The Scheme, the traineeship also gives you an invaluable support network across the industry. I still keep in touch with much of The Scheme cohort and the team where I originally did my traineeship. To have a number of familiar faces around the company is really encouraging and helpful.
What surprised me
I couldn’t believe how enjoyable and informative the assessment day was for The Scheme. I was expecting an utterly terrifying The Apprentice-style interview process and a hostile competitive environment. Rather, it was a really thoughtfully-planned and supportive process. I genuinely felt like everyone wanted us to do well, not catch us out, and working with other candidates felt collaborative. You also get to meet a lot of editors and participate in editorial tasks so it’s a great opportunity to learn as well.
What I’m doing now
I now work as an editorial assistant in a lifestyle imprint called Vermilion which is part of Ebury, one of PRH’s non-fiction divisions. From Marie Kondo to Steve Peters and Brene Brown, we publish highly-respected experts on a range of topics that aim to help readers make positive change in their lives. I’m loving it!
Why should you apply?
You should apply to The Scheme because the publishing industry needs you! There are still so many stories and voices that are underrepresented and we need curious, creative and diverse minds (aka you) to change that. As for what The Scheme will give to you? A chance to experience an incredibly exciting and creative industry and work out whether it’s for you whilst gaining invaluable transferable skills along the way.
My top tip
Be proud, vocal and specific about your tastes and interests because Penguin want to know who you are and what you can bring.