The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary has been instrumental in allowing me to complete a month’s unpaid work at a literary, theatre and film agency in London. Without the Bursary, I would not have been able to stay on at the agency after my original placement of two weeks was extended by another two weeks.
I have always been desperate to work in publishing, and was thrilled when I received an offer of some work experience at a well-respected and successful literary agency based in London. Unfortunately, as the placement was in London and I was in the countryside of Surrey, my travel expenses were rather costly. But, as in most industries now, experience is invaluable.
During my month at the agency, I read through hundreds of submissions sent in from budding writers. I also wrote reports on these, and discussed them with the assistants I worked with. After a week or so, an agent asked me to read a couple of manuscripts from authors already signed to the agency. This was exciting and interesting, and I really felt that my opinion was valued and listened to.
On my last day at the agency, I was informed that one of the submissions that I liked was given to an agent to read. He also really liked it, and when he contacted the author with regards to possibly taking her on, she had just been snapped up by another agency! I was told that my judgement is strong, and that I should be proud that I have “a good eye” already.
This work experience has been so interesting, and more than anything, it has been incredibly useful and worthwhile. It has led to me gaining a month’s internship somewhere else, and I know that without this experience, I wouldn’t be on my way to getting my dream job in publishing.
– Charlotte Duff is a 3rd year English and American Literature student