Alison talks to her old college, St. John’s College, Cambridge about her book, her career and how life at St. John’s prepared her for her future career.
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In what ways did your experiences at Cambridge prepare you for freelance work? What were the hardest aspects of freelancing to learn from scratch?
“In some ways Cambridge prepared me brilliantly for being a freelancer. By nature, I’m an extrovert and a networker and I suddenly found myself at St John’s with a big group of new people with whom I had to network to make friends. I didn’t know anyone in College when I first arrived. Many of the people I clicked with are still good friends today, and it was through my St John’s network that I was introduced to my editor at Penguin. On the flip side, this was all informal learning conducted as part of everyday life — there wasn’t a specific education about being a freelancer, and that’s still true today in many universities. It’s a big part of the reason I came to write my book.”