Students Staff

17 September 2015

Essex graduate wins place on prestigious HarperCollins’ Graduate Scheme

Ralph Barker is one of just three successful candidates selected for the HarperCollins' 2015 Graduate Scheme.

Ralph, who completed his BA Humanities (since renamed BA Liberal Arts) in 2012, is beginning a paid 18-month placement at HarperCollins, after winning through a challenging selection process. He will now have a unique insight into the work of the publishing giant from editorial and marketing to sales and digital.

The HarperCollins Graduate Scheme has been running for more than 20 years, with each trainee on the programme given a senior member of the business as a mentor to offer advice during the process.

The Bookseller reports that this year’s candidates were initially judged by home-made video interviews which tested candidates on their creative thinking. They also faced two rounds of assessment at HarperCollins' London Bridge headquarters with applicants giving presentations to the executive committee.

Ralph, a former freelance writer who studied at Central St Martins after completing his Essex course, is beginning his rotation with 4th Estate and William Collins editorial.

He said: “I'm really excited to be joining the Graduate Scheme and looking forward to learning more about the business as we move around our rotations. I'll be starting in 4th Estate where I'm really keen to find out about the editorial process and get stuck in to lively projects, devouring as many books as I can along the way!”

HarperCollins UK CEO Charlie Redmayne said: “I’m very much looking forward to seeing the graduates get started on this year’s scheme. It’s a real testament to them that they made it through such a rigorous selection process, I’m very confident that they will make an invaluable contribution to the business.”

Reflecting on his time at Essex Ralph said: “Essex was the perfect choice for me as it offered a course which really appealed to me and was quite unique amongst UK universities. It enabled me to study a variety of different modules and not be constrained to only a few subject areas.

"Academically, I thrived in an environment that allowed me to express my ideas. I was surprised and delighted to learn that I was quite skilled in areas that I had not even considered before, such as philosophy and creative writing. I really enjoyed my film studies modules, as well as learning and discussing some very deep philosophical issues.”

Find out more about graduates from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities.

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