Poppy Hatrick, BU alumnaBU alumna, Poppy Hatrick, is currently working as a Publicity Assistant for Oxford University Press (OUP) in New York.

Poppy graduated with a BA (Hons) Marketing Communications from BU in 2016. During the course she spent a year’s placement in the marketing department for Experience Days, which sells vouchers for experiences and activities across the UK.

Reflecting on her placement experience, Poppy said: “I would advise any current student to take maximum advantage of their placement year. It is a unique opportunity to build skills and make contacts which will ultimately make you more employable when you graduate. Personally, the placement also helped me to consider the sort of environment I wanted to work in, as well as what it felt like to work in a different location away from both my home and university town.”

Having dual UK and American citizenship, after graduation Poppy took the opportunity to start her career in the US. She spent some time as a Publicity Intern for a New York-based PR agency, before taking up her current role with OUP. She said: “Internships are a big part of the culture in America. Most graduates will spend time as an intern and it is something that employers really value. For me it was like an extension of my placement and I do think it gave me an edge when it came to applying for permanent positions.”

Getting a first role in publishing has enabled Poppy to indulge her love of books. She said: “Getting exposure to so many books is one of the best things about this industry. It is important for me to be continually learning, so as well as learning new skills at work I also have the opportunity to learn by reading the titles we are publishing and promoting.”

Poppy’s advice for soon-to-be graduates is to think about the culture of the organisations they are applying to. She said: “While I knew I wanted to work in publishing, every company has its own ethics and values, so there is no industry standard. It was important for me to find a company which aligned with my own values. It isn’t necessarily something you think about when you start out on a job search, but it can certainly help to make work more meaningful.”