I started working as an apprentice at Cambridge University Press in July 2015 having just finished my A Levels at a Sixth Form College in Cambridge. My first role was in our HR department where I learnt the structure of the business and gained an understanding of publishing. Shortly after that, I moved to customer services to learn the needs of the customer, products and markets for our education publishing division, as I felt closest to this publishing area. I gave myself six months to learn as much as I could before deciding to look for different roles, which timed nicely with an opening for a marketing administrator role in the education publishing division.
In April 2017, I started my role as marketing administrator in the Cambridge Learning for Schools (Education) marketing team. The main aspect of my role is to provide support to the leadership team as well as the four teams within marketing: brand, product, digital and insights. My role is really varied and I get to work on many different projects so no two days are ever the same. For the brand team, I coordinate our attendance for UK Exam Board events. This entails working with our colleagues in sales for attendance as well as sending literature for teachers to read. I took the opportunity to attend one of these events in London and had the chance to talk to teachers about the challenges and rewards of teaching; it was great to see their engagement with the publishing representatives that were there.
I am currently coming to the end of a merchandising exercise, which, although challenging, was great fun and most importantly a key learning moment. I had to coordinate with suppliers the creation of merchandise that our customers would remember us by in time for our annual conference. This taught me that marketing is all about intricate decisions. Having done this activity, I went to a local merchandising event and knew exactly what I was looking for. I returned to the office inspired with ideas of how to present our ‘Brighter Thinking, Better Learning’ concept in a giveaway. I support the product team with the running of data/stock reports on marketing material so we know volumes of how much marketing collateral we have available to send out around the world.
I also support the team logistically with the movement of materials. Currently, I am coming to the end of a project, which involved sending merchandise to our sales colleagues. This required regular communication with our sales representatives across the world and working with supply chain and compliance colleagues to ensure our materials get to our staff quickly and securely. Afterwards, I will check in with them all to see if they received everything and are happy.
There are also small projects and platforms that I lead on for our team. Sustainability is a new one I picked up recently this week. I am being trained on the PREPs tool. The PREPs tool is to ensure the paper we use in marketing for flyers and posters come from a sustainable environment. It is a tool that identifies key areas where deforestation is an issue and will flag to us if the paper we are about to use is from an approved mill/source. I am also an SAP Champion for the team, which means I can support and guide the team on the movement of materials, paying and warehousing logistics. This links well to the role I play in ensuring a good relationship with our supply chain/warehouse team.
A key part of my role within the team is business support, which includes purchasing, meetings organisation, supporting new joiners to the team through their induction process and other general administrative duties.
Having been through the apprenticeship route, I have now attained experience in HR, customer service and marketing. Each of these roles has provided me with a deeper insight into the publishing world and at the same time, the journey has allowed me to grow as an individual. I have grown in confidence in certain areas, developed new skills and adopted a new mindset for tackling new challenges. I have not just learnt loads, I am constantly learning here and that for me is invaluable.
Published in November 2017 as part of #workinpublishing week.