Alumni - Jan Crosser, MA Publishing

Jan Crosser is a Global Business Development Manager at Oxford University Press. Her role is mainly focused on developing new business relationships and translation opportunities for OUP’s Academic, Medical, and Higher Education lists throughout Eastern Europe, the Nordics, Holland and South East Asia...

Applying for the MA course was really the next logical progression after Uni – I’d recently graduated with a BA in English Lit and had no idea what I’d be doing with that, and I was one of those stereotypical Americans who had never left the country. A publishing course in England seemed to tick all the right boxes: far away from my hometown? Check.  Something even remotely connected to my BA? Check.  A chance to meet the dashing Englishman of my dreams? Check.

Turns out, the MA course was much more than I could have hoped.  Not only did I gain valuable industry knowledge and contacts, I made some amazing friends, and my work placement was the key to getting my job. In the second term, a good friend from my course recommended that I take a placement in the Rights Department at OUP, where he had spent his first term. I started a couple of weeks later in the Translations Department. I really enjoyed my time with the team, and the placement taught me invaluable hands-on experience.

As soon as I finished my dissertation, I began applying for rights assistant positions, and after a few disappointing interviews, I applied for a position at OUP.  With all the knowledge I gained from my placement and Bev’s Rights Management module, the two interviews went really well, and the next thing I knew, I was the new Translations Rights Assistant. 

I’ve now been working for OUP for nearly five years, and since then I’ve been fortunate enough to have been promoted twice – first to Rights Executive and then to Global Business Development Manager. Our department has grown significantly since I started and the nature of rights selling has changed considerably, but it’s one of the parts of the job that I love the most. Rights are at the frontline of the Publishing Industry, even if many in the business don’t quite understand what we do! This is especially true now that publishing is becoming much more of a service-providing business.

I’m still amazed at how my ‘logical’ decision to leave home and start a course in an area of business I knew nothing about ended up being such a life-changing experience:  I now have a great job with wonderful team mates who saw my potential as a work placement student. But I simply couldn’t have done it without the excellent opportunities offered to me by the MA course, not least the guidance and support from the Lecturers!   And, to top it all off, I did meet that charming Englishman … he was a fellow student on the MA, and we’re to be married next year!

Posted on 11 Mar 2013 around 10am