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Mentoring Spotlight: Kirstie Peters

A banner which reads 'Mentoring Spotlight: Kirstie Peters'
  • Written byChloe Murphy
  • Published date09 April 2021
A banner which reads 'Mentoring Spotlight: Kirstie Peters'

Mentorship is a key tool for supporting students throughout their journey from education to industry. Bringing together professional insights, connections and expertise, mentors can support emerging creatives to navigate the first steps of their careers, developing their understanding of chosen sectors while providing invaluable guidance during what a daunting period of their lives.

London College of Communication (LCC) has collaborated with renowned publishing house, Penguin Michael Joseph, to develop a mentoring initiative that matches MA Publishing and BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing students with team members across Editorial, Communications, Sales and Design.

Through a series of 1:1 digital sessions, both mentor and mentee are given the space to share their knowledge and their experiences, opening up opportunities for discussion on creative thinking, the contemporary job market and ways to explore the publishing landscape.

We chatted to MA Publishing student and Penguin Michael Joseph mentee, Kirstie Peters, about her experience of taking part in the scheme, her passion for publishing, and her top tips for students who are interested in exploring the field.

Have you always been interested in publishing, or is this a subject you’ve gravitated to over time?

In my last year as an undergrad, I took a module all about contemporary publishing. This really sparked something and encouraged me to find work experience in the industry. I was lucky enough to get some, which really solidified to me that this is the area I wanted to study and work in.

Is there a particular theme or area that you’re interested in exploring through your publishing practice?

My practice mainly explores the relationship between the printed book and digital media, but I also have an interest in the more general role of books as art objects – particularly the production and consumption of genres like printed art and photography books, or coffee table books.

How did you find out about the mentoring initiative, and why did you decide to get involved?

My Course Leader, Frania Hall, sent an emailing highlighting this brilliant opportunity, encouraging us all to take it up. I gave my name, a bit about myself, and the main areas of publishing I was interested in before being matched up.

I thought this would be a good opportunity as publishing is a notoriously difficult industry to get into, so any help and advice was much appreciated.

How did you and your mentor work together?

I met with my mentor virtually, and we discussed our circumstances and interests.

She showed me her path into publishing, which was really interesting, and since then, she’s been on-hand to review my CV and give me advice on job applications.

What was the best thing about the opportunity, and how has this helped your career plans?

The best thing was being able to talk to someone who understands just how difficult it is. My mentor also advised me to think of other entry points to the industry, not just the ones I might already have known.

While there was only so much my mentor could do directly to help me in the current climate, the best thing was her honest advice.

What were the highlights of your time on MA Publishing at LCC?

The highlights were our group projects. I really enjoyed working with everyone and spending our days in the print room, working up to the wire. It was stressful, but I really liked having a real project to work on, and getting to experience the amazing workshops available at the College.

What are your career aspirations, and are there any particular projects that you’re working on at the moment?

I’d like to work in marketing or editorial, specifically with fiction. I’m also currently working on my own book Instagram, photographing and reviewing books I have read.

What are your top tips for other students who are interested in finding out more about the field?

There’s so much helpful information out there, particularly on social media. Publishing is a very friendly community, and I would recommend connecting with others and following related hashtags.

I’d also suggest following publishers to help you discover what area you’re interested in.

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