I remember the time when I was browsing the website of MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University deciding whether to sign on the course, hesitant a bit whether I’d be able to manage my studies and my full time job at the same time. There was, however, a piece of information which particularly grabbed my attention – work placement module, where students can experience a real publishing workplace and put to practice the skills they learned during their studies – I believe this might have given that final push and I made my decision…
So you can imagine how excited I was when the time came for us to chose an organisation to do our placement with. Excited and concerned. Concerned whether I’d be able to take full advantage of the work placement while not compromising my job by being absent during workdays, and at the same time meet expectations of the host company.
I was lucky I was given the opportunity by Teaching Fellows at Edinburgh Napier University to help them put together their March edition of Teaching Fellows Journal. They were very accommodating of my other commitments and let me work from home as long as I would manage to meet production deadlines.
I soon realised I was more then lucky because the work proved to be very interesting. I was a full member of the production team, attending editorial meetings, encouraged to speak up my opinion on matters such as design and layout of the new edition, production schedule or production management. Moreover, my opinion was listened to and some ideas even implemented.
As far as the production of the journal itself, I was working along with my course mate also undertaking his placement with Teaching Fellows, and our day to day tasks comprised actions from typesetting and laying out pages, to liaising with editors and proofreaders as well as printers to make sure the journal was progressing on schedule.
The placement with Teaching Fellows exceeded my expectations and settled my concerns. It was an excellent opportunity to apply relevant skills and knowledge in the work context. The amount of self-initiative we were given felt initially slightly overwhelming but made me to prepare myself to every task very responsibly, carefully evaluate my decisions, and be well organised.
I’m grateful I was given a chance to work together with such inspiring people as the members of the editorial & production team of Teaching Fellows Journal and to fully contribute to the real project – production of tfj March 2012!