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Coffee; writing; and a wheelbarrow race – intern India Toomey spends a month at CPL

My first impression is one of overwhelming friendliness; people are quick to introduce themselves and I am offered coffee three times in three minutes.

Seated at one of the clusters of desks in editorial, I immediately begin learning the ins and outs of the publishing process. It’s a far cry from the intern’s nightmare of being stuck in a corner, licking envelopes for hours. Instead, I am set up with projects. The atmosphere is professional and playful. The team scoot over and talk me through various processes, often volunteering interesting work for me to try my hand at.

I’m currently studying English Literature at Exeter University and after I graduate I’m hoping to work within the publishing industry so, with luck, a few weeks’ work experience will help me get there.

With CPL’s managing editor Phil Minett overseeing my internship I learn to sub-edit, proofread, write articles and features, as well as get to grips with the technical aspects of production.

The first publication I get involved in is Inspire, the charity Arthritis Care’s membership magazine. Editor, Tracey Lattimore talks me through the magazine and then supports me as I write a health page story for the next issue.

Next, editor Rob Coston demonstrates the process of sub-editing and, as I work through several pieces, including stories for other CPL client magazines – Parking News and a new Affiliate piece for FIDI –I am struck by the fine detailing and painstaking process that goes into every article or piece of content they produce.  

Learning new skills doesn’t stop after the first week. I spend some time proofreading with Pippa Vine and watching the final proofs sent off for production, which marks the end of the editorial process.

It’s a process I have fallen in love with, and the only interruptions are company trips for ice cream or a beer on Friday afternoon.

At the end of my internship, I am offered some freelance work!

My freelance work starts the same way as the internship: a large cup of coffee and a whole set of new skills to pick up as I venture out of editorial into other parts of the business.

I start off in digital marketing with Adele. She’s busy working on a website CPL recently launched for a client and starts to explain the mechanisms behind search engine optimisation.

After that I bounce around other departments, including marketing, new business, the Darley account team, picking up whatever extra work there is. There’s a wide range of skills around the building, and now I have started to acquire some of them, it’s time to use them.

I hadn’t expected at the end of my experience at CPL to be clawing my way through the dirt, but the company sports day finds me doing exactly that (the wheelbarrow race, ladies and gentlemen…).

My team lost, but I’m counting the experience as a success. 

If you are interested in an internship at CPL get in touch with phil.minett@cpl.co.uk

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