Alumni - Taylor Okeson, MA Publishing Media

Attending the MA in Publishing Media programme ended up being the greatest decision that I ever made for my career. I had the opportunity to create a network of publishing connections through my course, attend the Frankfurt and London Book Fairs, obtain invaluable skills, and do an editorial internship with Osprey Publishing and a marketing internship with Oxford University Press. These internships were opportunities that I would have never dreamed would have been available to me, and they never would have been without the help of the amazing staff at Oxford Brookes.

My biggest fear was that I was going to do the course and still not be able to get a job in publishing, but I never had the opportunity to worry. In the middle of the second semester, a publishing company in Minnesota contacted me. They were interested in hiring me to work part time while I was working on my dissertation and then move to full time when it was completed.  It couldn’t have been more perfect. ...

When my family couldn’t find me as a child, they knew to look in the closet. It wasn’t so much that I was purposely hiding from them but more that my imagination craved the quiet nature of the closet. With my stack of books and my flashlight, I could send my imagination on different adventures with each turn of the page. My passion for reading was ignited. Although I do not sit in the closet anymore, that passion for the written word continues.

I decided that I wanted to work in publishing while I was in high school. Whenever I contemplated what I wanted my future to look like, I knew that books and writing would be essential to my happiness and that I wanted to share the joy of reading and storytelling with the rest of the world. Publishing was the perfect choice to allow me to have a fulfilling career and meet people with that same passion.

Living in Northern Minnesota, there aren’t a lot of options in the publishing industry. But, I was determined and worked hard to get internships and experience. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, so I ended up taking a job in advertising. The job was good, but it wasn’t my dream. As I struggled to figure out what else I could do to get into the industry, I found Oxford Brookes University on a Google search. I wasn’t entirely certain that I wanted to get my Master’s Degree, so I decided to just apply and if I got in then that was where I was supposed to be. Soon enough, I found myself on an airplane to England with two suitcases and a pocket full of hopes and dreams.

When I got back to the United States, I took a month off of everything to work on my dissertation before starting a job at Raven Productions, Inc. as a marketing assistant. On my first day, it was announced that the Marketing Director was leaving in three weeks and I was asked to take over her role. I was sceptical at first, but my time at Oxford Brookes gave me the skills I needed to feel confident that I would do a good job in this role. I have been working as the Marketing Director for the last four months, and I absolutely love it. I am lucky enough to work at a small company with only four employees. This means that I get to work on all aspects of the publishing process. My day can be a mix of marketing and sales along with editorial work, production, and shipping. The comprehensive learning experience of the MA in Publishing gave me the confidence I needed to be successful in this industry.

Posted on 28 Nov 2017 around 5pm