Janet Stearns (photo by Andrew Chapman)
Janet Stearns has been intrigued by the GROW program since she started at Bonnier five years ago. “I kept my eye on it, always looking for that one position in that one location that I would really love to apply for,” says Stearns, who works at Bonnier Corporation as a digital product development manager. “Since I was young I’ve had a fascination with Australia and it was a goal in my life to travel here one day. As soon as I saw the Five Mile Press position in Melbourne, I immediately began preparing my application.”
At Five Mile Press, she is working with book launches and updating the website, as well as helping the book publisher rethink its website design and research new possibilities for creating enhanced e-books. But despite the very different products the two companies offer, and Five Mile Press’ much smaller size, both companies have at least one thing in common. Says Stearns: “Both have a ‘we all like each other’ family feel that makes work a very comfortable place to be at all day long.”
And Stearns has re-awoken her love for books – she finds herself reading more than ever, and wondering why so many wonderful Australian books never make it onto the Amazon website in the U.S. “We are missing an opportunity to read some wonderful material,” she says.
Stearns has also managed to make her own cultural contributions. “Five Mile is such a fun group of people to work with,” she says. “We just had an ‘International Food Day’ for lunch at the office, sparked off by a conversation about what exactly sweet potato pie was – it’s a U.S. holiday traditional food actually. This happens to be one of my specialities and they all insisted I must make it, and so, International Food Day came into being!”