Staff Profile: Jaz Damen

By Jaz Damen

How did you get into publishing?

After graduating from uni, I worked for six months in an office to gain some admin skills as I’d only ever worked in customer service roles. I knew I wanted to work in publishing, so I kept my eyes peeled for opportunities that were outside of London. I saw an advert for a part-time internship at Garnet on Twitter. I applied and got it! I worked part-time in the Digital Department for six months before being offered the full-time role of Digital Assistant, which is what I am now.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

I typically get in at about 8.45 and the first thing I do is get myself a cup of tea (It’s essential for waking me up and being productive in the morning!) My job can be quite varied. I may spend the morning creating instructional design documents in order to create digital activities. In the afternoon, checking off activities that have been created and providing feedback to improve them. Of course, odd jobs will appear throughout the day, and I may find myself helping out with social media or proofreading something for editorial.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I really enjoy being able to see a project through from start to finish.  From creating the document for an activity to be digitized, checking off corrections and suggesting improvements, bug testing, and finally seeing the digital activity working at the end. It’s very rewarding to see something you helped create up and running.

What is your motto?

‘Get your head in the game’ – I worry a lot and frequently need to remind myself to chill out. Using quotes from High School Musical definitely helps!

What is your favourite word/ idiom? Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I say that things are ‘wholesome’ a lot – especially videos of dogs.

Which living person do you most admire?

Well they’re two people, but John and Hank Green as they put so much time and effort into everything they do. John is an author, Hank is a musician. But they also run their YouTube channel Vlogbrothers, have created many different events over the years such as Vidcon and also run a podcast, amongst many other things.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to be a pilot for a really long time because I really like planes!

What was the last book you read that you’d recommend?

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth. It’s a story about a girl whose parents die. She is distraught, but a tiny part of her is thankful that she’ll never have to tell them that she likes girls. The story unravels from there – it’s honest and heart-breaking at times, but also gripping and an important story to tell.

A fact about yourself most people wouldn’t know?

I’m a black belt in Taekwon-do (and so is my mum and sister).