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Publishing and languages careers insight for Our Lady’s

For the past three years, SAGE and Our Lady’s Convent High School have worked together on a project that gives modern foreign language students an insight into how languages are used in the workplace and an in-depth look at the publishing industry.

Fourteen Year 10 French and Spanish language students took part in this year’s initiative. It comprised a mix of workshops in-school and at SAGE, a trip to the Heathrow Careers Fair and the opportunity for two of the girls to work shadow at SAGE. There is also a visit planned to the International Committee for the Red Crossto see how languages can be used by the third sector.

A key element of the project was to follow the life of a book from concept to finished item. SAGE author Dr Ioanna Palaiologou led the group through this process. It was followed by a presentation from the sales team modelling how to ‘sell’ the book to a university class. The girls then had the opportunity to create their own sales pitch in front of a number of SAGE employees and to have their presentation recorded on video.

Their language skills were put into action during a session on recruitment where they were tasked with applying for a sales role, translating elements into their language of study. Two students, Victoria and Grace, were chosen to spend an additional day work shadowing at SAGE. They attended a pre-publication book meeting, a proposal session for Dr Palaiologou’s new book to the SAGE board. Amy Jarrold, who made the sales pitch and spent time with the Our Lady’s students during the project, said: “(Victoria and Grace) are lovely girls. They asked good questions and I hope they got something out of being here for the day.”

All of the students agreed that the project had increased their understanding of the publishing industry, including jobs using languages. “I like the different experiences and the workshops that help and teach me more about careers and the different things employers work for,” said one of the students. Another added: “I liked the opportunity to see what careers are available through languages both through the [careers] fair and publishing.”

Writing in the school newsletter about their experiences, the girls concluded: “This project resulted in us making a presentation on everything that we had learnt to some of the directors and managers of SAGE. We were delighted to be so well received, and felt that this was a very successful project. Most importantly, it convinced some of us to pick a language for A Level!”