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Experience that works

My journey to CPL started with a Google search. Like many hapless arts students who graduate without a clear vocation, I thought publishing might be worth a shot. I like reading. I like writing. Sounds good.

I dutifully searched ‘publishers in Cambridge’, and got a fair crop of results, one of which, of course, was Cambridge Publishers Limited. Stands to reason, although they badge themselves much more as a content marketing agency these days. Browsing the website, it all sounded very promising, so I got in touch.

Having popped in for a chat with Phil Minett, head of editorial, I was all set to come in for a couple of weeks and find out more.

Jurgita Sukaityte is one of the friendliest front of house people I’ve ever met, and greets me warmly as I come in. I’m offered a drink, taken on a tour of the office, and repeatedly told to ask anything. Within half an hour, it’s down to business.

Forget all preconceptions of work experience. From the off, I’m writing content about India for a prestigious client. TripAdvisor becomes my new best friend as I write pieces on cities, attractions and hotels across India. Tracey Lattimore, who’s heading up the project, gives me briefs and is on hand to help.

I’m given the chance to write, sub-edit and proofread for a range of CPL’s clients, with tips and tricks of the trade coming in from all sides. People regularly check how I’m doing, and are so friendly that I feel totally free to ask questions and join in with conversations. No matter how many times I interrupt Louise Parfitt to ask about a Parking News feature which I’m editing, she replies with a smile. People take a genuine interest in what I’m planning for the future, and are quick to offer advice.

The set-up is professional and the work high-quality, but this doesn’t compromise the relaxed atmosphere. People clearly like their workplace, and chat and laugh together across their desks.

The communal feel is helped by everyone checking everyone else’s work. No one is above proofreading: accuracy, grammatical writing and clarity are a must for a content agency, so it’s not worth running a risk. Even as someone who’s here for a very short amount of time, I can help with this, so I can see that my input is actually making a difference.

I leave the office having had a great time. I’ve been offered ongoing freelance work, and know an awful lot more about content marketing and publishing than when I first walked in. Much more from work experience than what I’d expect.

Anna Nye

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