Matthew Emery

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Journalism, Media and Publishing
Job title: Academic Sales Director, UK & Export
Subject of study: History
Year of graduation: 1999
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Following a gap year and a few months working in a bookshop, I began my publishing career with academic publisher Palgrave Macmillan as a regional sales representative. From there I moved to Oxford University Press where I managed one of the UK textbook sales teams for 10 years. I then worked for Blackwell’s booksellers, heading up their eBook platform, before moving to Bloomsbury Publishing’s academic division. I started as UK Sales Manager, and am now Sales Director for UK and Export territories.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

Some of the great things about working in academic publishing sales are: * Knowing that what we publish is usually of benefit and interest to scholars, lecturers and students in advancing their research and studies * Working with some genuinely interesting books * Developing great relationships with customers all over the world * The variety of the working day, and the international travel opportunities that my job presents

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

Member of the Christian Union, and working behind the bar in the Lemmy!

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

The range of optional modules giving me the opportunity to learn more about topics and periods that interested me. I enjoyed learning about the English Reformation, as well as the history of the British Labour Party! My dissertation involved reading some of Henry VIII’s original papers which was fascinating.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The beautiful campus and lovely city.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

The campus!

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

A desire to always learn and improve my skills has been instrumental in my career progression.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Understand why you want to work in publishing, beyond just a love of books/reading, and be able to convey that in an interview/covering letter. Look out for the many publishing apprenticeships that are advertised, which will give you a great insight into what it’s like to work in the industry and help you network. Join the Society of Young Publishers to improve your networks. Acquire some related skills if possible whilst at university. During holidays I worked in a library, and at university I volunteered to work for the university newspaper.

What are your plans for the future?

Always open to new challenges and opportunities, but currently looking forward to making Bloomsbury’s academic division even more successful.


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