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Guest Blog: The Scheme

Guest Blog: The Scheme


By Candice Brown-Brathwaite, Marketeer, Penguin Random House UK

Meet Candice. Previously a stay-at-home mum, who runs a home-based cake business, workout club and blog and who joined Penguin Random House in last year’s The Scheme intake.

Since September 2015, she’s been working in Ebury’s marketing team and will soon move over to Penguin Random House Children’s for a further six months. 

What attracted you to The Scheme?

My initial attraction to The Scheme was the fact that there was no mention of needing a degree. I almost thought this was a trick. I chose not to go to university and to get that “Worldly Degree” (LOL) and it seems I got a first! The Scheme allowed me to show and use the skills that I had taught myself. I had never seen such a creative application form.

What has been your experience of working at Penguin Random House as part of The Scheme?

A fast-paced education in how you take a file on a writer’s laptop and turn it into a book that is available for all to read. Thinking about it, that is a huge responsibility. We help generate ideas and change minds.

How have you benefited from taking part in The Scheme? Has the Scheme helped you achieve your ambitions?

I’ve benefited immensely from taking part in The Scheme.  Initially it was never a career thing for me; it was a confidence-booster. I’ve gone from being a stay-at-home mother with a small cake business to having a full time gig on top of those things. While it sounds intense, it helps create balance.

What has most surprised you about The Scheme?

The most surprising thing has been the flexibility. When childcare issues cropped up, my division, Ebury and the HR team supported me effortlessly. Also, I thought I’d be treated like ‘just an intern’ but what I’ve put in, I’ve in turn received, which has led to me playing pivotal roles in important campaigns.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Can I be frank? (when am I not?!) The most rewarding part of my role is actually going home and dealing with a daughter who is two going on twenty, knowing that I’m setting an example for her. I tip my hat to stay-at-home mothers. It’s a job that could never be paid well enough, but I needed something more. So getting home and knowing that I’m more than just ‘nappy changer’ in the eyes of others is a pretty good feeling.  

How are you learning from your colleagues at Penguin Random House?

I’m learning from them, simply by being present every day and asking a lot of questions. People are more willing to share details of their own journey than you you’d initially expect. Just ask!

What would you say to someone who was thinking about applying to The Scheme?

What are you waiting for? Whether I had won a place or not, The Scheme experience lit a fire within me for something I didn’t even know that I could achieve. How awesome is that?

What’s your favourite story?

Can I be totally egotistical and say my own? I don’t think we give ourselves enough praise, especially women. I’m just this little girl from Brixton with Windrush grandparents who consistently told me that I could do anything. It’s no secret that there is a real lack of ethnic and class diversity within publishing, so I’m very proud to be able to tell my story having come through a programme that is aiming to address this.

This blog originally appeared on The Scheme Tumblr.