Everything has started few months ago. As an MSc Publishing student I have learnt that you must seize the day and grab all professional opportunities as they appear on your way. I was lucky enough to have my placement within two different organisations, which gave me a better understanding of the industry and more professional experience.
In the first place I was involved in organising and running the International Tagore Conference on ‘Tagore: the Global Impact of a Writer in the Community’ at Edinburgh Napier University. Thanks to Dr Bashabi Fraser and Dr Scott Lyall, who were responsible for the event, I could experience first hand what does it really mean to organise, conduct and manage the event. It is a great challenge and it is important to have a team of trusted people who will help you share responsibilities. Although it was a stressful and unpredictable sometimes, I must highlight that I really enjoyed these few days of my intern.
And it was some time before I jumped up to the other company for the second part of my intern. On one of the music gigs in Edinburgh I met a journalist from the Gazeta Polonijna Scotland. It is a monthly magazine, available on-line and printed, present on the British market for more than two years but just starting on the Scottish scene. We swapped our business cards and few days later I had a phone call from the Editor-in-Chief. My publishing skills were exposed to the test: I was asked to edit an article for the March issue and write an article with a picture for the April issue. I passed the trail and I was offered a proper placement. My contribution within the Gazeta was bigger and greater each month. I became partially responsible for almost every aspect of the published magazine. It was even a greater challenge since we needed to decide on its identity: there are Welsh and English editions and we wanted to be sure that our Gazeta would have a unique Scottish character. Apart from my publishing skills, I could exercise my journalistic talents. I was sent to many events as the Official Gazeta Polonijna Journalist. I have met numerous individuals from various environments and industries, just to mention Krystyna Szumelukowa from the Zielony Balonik Book Club and Wojtek Memorial Trust, Verity Shaw (Wojtek Memorial Trust, Major General David Shaw’s wife), writers like Aileen Orr (Wojtek Soldier Bear Polish War Hero), Joanna Czechowska (The Black Madonna of Derby and The Sweetest Enemy), Jenny Robertson (Don’t Go To Uncle’s Wedding), Martin Stepek (For There Is Hope), Alan Beattie Herriot (well-known Scottish sculptor), Anna Dzięciołowska (Polish Consul in Edinburgh) and many musician, journalists, editors, MPs, academics, bloggers…I could enumerate at least a 100 new connections.
Working for the Gazeta Polonijna Scotland has been a great challenge and an amazing adventure. I have noticed what a massive progress I have made, as far as my publishing and journalistic skills are concerned. I have also learnt how to be more confident and foreseeing while dealing with people. However, it would not be possible if Kinga Plich, the Editor-in-Chief at the Gazeta Polonijna, did not give me a chance. Thanks to her I could try my skills within the real magazine publishing environment. I would like to thank Dr Bashabi Fraser and Dr Scott Lyall for teaching me how to properly organise a conference. And finally, last but not least, special thanks to Avril Gray who has been supporting MSc Publishing students throughout the whole course and who strongly believes in our future professional successes.