Confessions of an O’Brien Press Intern



Last week our wonderful intern Catherine finished up her five month internship with us. Here she writes about her experiences …


The word ‘intern’ often comes with more than a few negative connotations. And, after hearing some of the internship horror stories from America, many friends automatically questioned my sanity when I told them what I had voluntarily put myself forward for. Not only would I be getting to grips with my new job as a publishing intern, but being in my final year of college, I would have mountains of reading material and essay deadlines looming at every corner. I can see now why most thought I was absolutely mad!

However, after nearly five months working as a marketing intern for The O’Brien Press and although I will willingly admit that it was tough, I have absolute no regrets about my decision. From day one, it was obvious just how rewarding the experience of working here would be. Once introduced to all the staff, I was warmly encouraged to ask questions about the job I would be taking on, the department I would be working with and about the publishing industry as a whole. I was always invited into the different meetings, whether they related to editorial, production or sales, which gave me such a wide perspective on what the different roles in publishing actually are. I found the production meetings particularly fascinating. You never realise how much thought goes into the minute details that essentially create the books in front of you.

My day to day job usually involved a variety of tasks as well as long term projects that included everything from designing invitations for book launches to researching blogs, preparing mail-outs and organising author events. As part of the marketing team, my job was to do what I could to make sure the widest possible audience was aware of the new up and coming publications. Although that seemed pretty straightforward at the beginning, I was surprised at how flexible and creative the job really demands you to be. The marketing officers, Clare and Ruth, were constantly bouncing ideas off each other about their many on going and future projects. They treated each book in a uniquely specific way, changing small details to suit each particular publication. It made the learning process a lot easier (as I could actually listen in to all their good ideas!) but also really interesting as each different project really came alive. It made the atmosphere in the office really enjoyable as well since there was rarely a quiet moment!

A definite highlight of my time here was an event that took place in the National Gallery where The O’Brien Press celebrated the launch of Brandon, now an imprint of The O’Brien Press, in conjunction with the launch of two new books. It was fascinating to be at an event that was attended by so many influential people from the publishing industry, although admittedly, a little over-whelming as I’m woeful at names and could barely remember who was who. Nonetheless though, the experience was so motivating. It made me realise just how much I wanted to stay involved in this industry. Looking back on my time with The O’Brien Press, I can definitely appreciate just how worthwhile the experience of working here was, not only in terms of discovering the industry’s different roles but exploring which of these I would be best suited to. I’ve learnt as much about myself, my work ethic and what I want for the future as I have about the industry and that is what has really made this experience a rewarding one.

For now however, all I need is to finish my college year, pass my exams and then begin my search for the dream job every publishing intern dreams of!