Worth applying for graduate schemes?

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Iheartsirringo
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I'm about to go into my final year of English at Durham and I'm expected a high 2:1, and my A-Levels are A*AAAa. I was initially hoping to go into marketing/ publicity within publishing and doing an MA in publishing after graduation, but a careers advisor said I might be better off applying for marketing grad schemes this year and getting experience in that field and then transferring into publishing.

Grad schemes are never something I really considered before, and I was just wondering exactly how 'standout' you need to be to succeed on them. I've been reading online marketing magazines and the like to improve my commercial awareness, but I'm worried that I'm at a disadvantage because I've not undertaken any marketing work experience specifically. I was ill for most of the last academic year so I didn't feel like applying for internships/ work placements for this summer, and I feel as though I've wasted my last undergraduate summer. I'm currently applying for shorter work placements but I have no connections to the industry so I'm having no luck so far!

This is my experience as follows:
July 2015 - present, worked in Tesco as a technical advisor. Involves direct selling to the customer, undergoing product training and keeping abreast of product developments, alongside all the other standard duties of a retail job

August - September 2014 - sales/ marketing intern at a publishers in Oxford: was offered a place for this year but it was too expensive for me to go back as I live nowhere near Oxford sadly!

Various sales assistant roles, including bookseller at an independent bookshop (again, very hands-on with customers, read The Bookseller to learn about the industry)

Film Society - 2 years: publicity duties including social media, attending the freshers' fair, promoting the society through different means inc. radio, local businesses and newspapers

I'm also editor of an online theatre review site. I run all publicty for the site myself, social media, etc, recruit sub-editors and also write reviews for the site myself


So that's a bit of an overview of my main experience. I've been applying to brand ambassador roles and the like to try and enhance my CV but I was wondering if I stood a chance with the experience I already have. I was looking to apply to companies like ASDA, Tesco, especially the latter because I really enjoy working there, on their marketing grad. schemes. Thanks for reading
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kiersem2
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Your experience is great! I work in Graduate Recruitment so from what I can see you have good experience.
I would "beef" out your CV some more, and typically publishing firms don't have grad programmes, hence I would get a list of all the publishing companies, find them on linkedIn, connect with someone in the firm/get their email address and speculatively send in your CV. Start small requesting, part-time, full time, summer intern role or adhoc duties and you never know what may happen. If you don't succeed initially, broaden out the industry. Pick a related industry, follow the same steps and then in a year you could start looking at the publishing route again. Hope this helps!
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