Graduate Life: Interviews and Beyond! (Part 2)

There is no excuse for how vacant I have been with this blog, I’m really sorry guys! But I have been insanely busy for the last couple of weeks. In a previous post I spoke about my recent excursions, and last Friday I had the pleasure of travelling to London and meeting a whole host of executives from HarperCollins. My experience as a whole has been a positive one, and I’m happy to have met them all.

So for the past few weeks I’ve had to prepare for the big interview with HarperCollins, and I was tasked with not only preparing for my interview, but making a presentation to show to a panel of the CEO, and other head executives of the publishing group. During these last few weeks I had been given a timeline of HarperCollins’ fall line, and I knew I would be asked about certain elements of the booklet in itself.

After leaving Kent in the deathly hours of the morning, I was filled with a nervous excitement. During this time I was thinking ‘if I get this it’ll be a huge step for me. What matters is that I absolutely shine in this interview.’ And that was the only pep talk I had given as I inched closer and closer to the News Building. I was the first one to arrive, and that gave me plenty of time to reassess my situation. As a graduate of English Literature, this opportunity to be placed in one of the biggest publishing houses in the world was too big of a concept for me, a 20-something year old person hailing from a town of the mere population of 3,500 people to wrap my mind around. But yet, there I was, going behind the scenes to see and talk to these larger-than-life characters.

Before I journeyed to London, I did some research on the HarperCollins Executive Board, and to my surprise, I realised I had met them all. If you don’t connect themselves to their jobs and the scale of what they do, I found it was much easier to approach them and strike up conversation. Or, at least that’s what I thought. During the final stage of the process, I met CEO and head of HarperCollins, Charlie Redmayne.

If I were forced to describe Charlie Redmayne in a word, I wholeheartedly believe I would use the word ‘baffling’ to describe him. He is both a man who commands attention, but easily is able to simply be so still, listening to your every word, it’s as if you had known him for a longer period of just a day. His reputation proceeds him, as many of the other candidates spoke of him in hushed, reverential tones, as if they were nervous to incur his attention. It is very interesting too look back at my interactions with the executive board. I had met so many people there who are in love with their jobs, so passionate and understanding it was so easy to talk to them. I think one of the most baffling facts that I still haven’t wrapped my mind around is that Charlie Redmayne, head of one of the biggest publishing houses in the world sat and listened to me and my presentation for ten minutes. Looking back, it’s just an eye-opening experience.

Now, for all my friends and family who have been reading my mere ramblings on here asking, “So when do you find out about the results of your interview?” I must admit I don’t know just yet. But, considering HarperCollins want the two successful candidates to start later next month, it is safe to assume I’ll be hearing back from them very soon. Regardless of the outcome, I want to thank everyone who has supported me and given me words of encouragement for the past few months. From close friends keeping my spirits up, to the kind souls in London who didn’t know me, but gave me a push in the right place anyway, you’re the real people who I should thank. I’ll update this post when I hear back from them, you’ll be the first to know!

So long,

Ben

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