Jessica Tackie, 08 December 2014
I began my yearlong publishing traineeship at HarperCollins, facilitated by Creative Access in July, in the Corporate Communications department. I work under the much esteemed Communications Director, Susanna Frayn and more immediately, Sam Missingham, Events Manager, with accolades including launching the first digital publishing awards and the world’s first virtual romance festival.
Sometimes it is easy to forget the role is an internship; my swift integration into the team, the award of real responsibilities and purposeful involvement in the work of the department have all given me invaluable experience and understanding of working in a large trade publishing house.
One of the first enterprises I had the fortune to work on was the #GeorgeandRobin event. Held at the Freemasons’ Hall in central London, the event featured respected authors George RR Martin and Robin Hobb in conversation with HarperCollins’ Publishing Director, Jane Johnson. Winner of the HarperCollins 2014 CEO Award for Digital Innovation, mentioned in Rolling Stones, trending on Twitter and Buzzfeed and nominee for a FutureBook Award, the event was an undoubted success.
My involvement in the event spanned a number of different areas. In the run up to the event I was tasked with ensuring that the event received the appropriate coverage, arranging features on event listing websites such as Time Out, allinlondon.co.uk and Skiddle. My responsibility for contributing to the official HarperCollins UK social media accounts also saw me spend a lot of time posting on the Twitter feed, encouraging engagement with and a buzz around the #GeorgeandRobin hashtag.
Logistical work regarding the event included the organisation, advertisement and sale of merchandise, designing and organising signage for the event, briefing staff helpers and coordination of the security pass system. On the day of the event I acted as a point of contact between the Freemasons’, security and other event staff and the HarperCollins team and following the event organised the payment and reimbursement of entertainment at the event.
This type of valid and significant inclusion in the execution of the event has provided me with invaluable insight into and understanding of not only the publishing, but also the events and communication sectors. It is the knowledge of these type of experiences which makes being a member of Creative Access and having access to their impressive role of available internships and help and support in applying for and completing them so attractive to BAME candidates in the Creative Industries. I believe my experiences at HarperCollins so far have already helped craft me into a better candidate for a job in the industry and will continue as I carry on with the programme which the HarperCollins as a whole has been fantastic in helping craft to suit my individual interests and ambitions.
I look to the rest of my traineeship and transfer into different areas of the company with great anticipation and an enthusiasm to learn more about one of the most forward thinking publishers in the industry from the best place, within it.
Jessica Tackie - @jesstackie
Publishing trainee - @HarperCollinsUK
Creative Access intern - @_creativeaccess