Why I applied for The Scheme

This was actually my second time applying for The Scheme! I had applied (on both occasions) because it seemed like an opportunity that would give access to the Publishing industry, which seemed like an otherwise impossible task as I didn’t have lots of creative work experience, having studied Law at university. I have always loved to read and read broadly, so the chance to combine this love with my existing skill set within a creative space seemed ideal!

What I got from The Scheme

For the first time, I felt I had found a professional space that fit. My work life post university had been characterised by re-evaluating my thoughts on what career would best suit me and my time on The Scheme affirmed my desire to work in publishing. In such a short window, I was able to have days so creatively varied (although be prepared for admin too!), participate in interesting projects and get to know more about how the industry works all while enjoying great lunch time conversations with the rest of the trainees!

What surprised me

Within my first week, I was included in a team that was working on an interesting editorial project as well as being asked to give an opinion on various editorial proposals. I was surprised with how receptive colleagues were to engaging with my perspectives, despite me being new to the publishing landscape.

What I’m doing now

I am now an Editorial Assistant at Penguin Press (where I did my Scheme training) working across Allen Lane, Particular Books (non-fiction) and Penguin Classics. I support two editors, which means I work on an amazing breadth of titles (including James Baldwin, Lucy Jones and Hanif Abdurraqib) and always encouraged by the team to explore and voice new ideas and consider the type of editor I would want to be.

Why should you apply

A definite ‘Nothing to lose and everything to gain’ type of experience. If you think publishing may be for you, this is a brilliant chance to find out and even if you ultimately decide it is not the best fit, within these six months, you’ll have gained so many new skills and pushed yourself creatively.

My top tip

Take up space. This applies to the application, selection day and if you’re lucky enough to get the place. Stay alert, draw inspiration from everywhere, be bold with your ideas and walk with everything you know. Ask questions. Read everything you can get your hands on, even if it wouldn’t be your natural choice (they’re free!) and if you can help it never pass up an opportunity to go to an event as you’ll never know who you’ll be fortunate to connect with.