Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of pursuing a work placement at Connect Communications in their Edinburgh office. Working with my supervisor Neil Braidwood, the Creative and Publishing Manager, I have been able to try my hand at crafting multiple magazine pieces and other content and documentation for their clients.
Connect Communications describe themselves as a content marketing agency, a communications agency, a digital and print design agency and contract publisher – and certainly my placement has been just as varied as this suggests. Connect’s client-base is diverse, the company producing magazines, newsletters and other materials for the John Muir Trust, The Keepers of the Quaich, Age UK and Edinburgh Airport to name a few. Each have their own design styles, tone and purposes and having worked with varied clients before in other positions, it was a highly beneficial experience to see how the publications differed due to specific needs and preferences.
Above pursuing editorial work, I was eager to expand on my design skills in a professional environment, having pursued this with great interest during my time in postgraduate study. Fortunately, Neil was happy to accommodate this and has been great in providing me with substantial and valuable tasks to undertake in this regard. For example, I have been recently working on the Keepers of the Quaich summer issue and have had the opportunity to design and provide suggestions on the main features as well as the obituaries, merchandise and banquet menu sections. Neil also has a wealth of knowledge in magazine production and has provided me with countless hints, tips and anecdotes on the workings of InDesign and Photoshop as well as working in the industry.
Each day with Connect has been just as varied, challenging and fun as the last. Other examples of tasks I have undertaken include working on content for client social media accounts, creating graphics and headlines and even hunting out negative photographs for re-use in the magazines. Keeping a proactive, flexible mind-set and attitude is key to working for a company such as Connect and on a variety of content, to manage often unforeseen changes in the magazine process as well as considering innovative means of displaying the material.
The team are also very welcoming, helpful and a great laugh (they also gave me pizza on my first day which is not something to be overlooked!) And, the truly rewarding part is that I’ve been able to see my work printed in their published magazines. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the company so far and have welcomed the opportunity to apply my skills and the knowledge I have gained through MSc Publishing in a busy, professional, publishing workplace. I still have a couple of days left with Connect and I am excited to see what will appear next on my desk!