This semester we have had the pleasure of having some truly amazing guest speakers. The stories of their experiences in the industry, and their words of advice have been some of my favorite parts of this program. Every speaker has told of working in different divisions of publishing, from very different houses to different roles in those houses, each person has made me think about where I would look to work in the future.
While I have loved hearing from every guest, I especially enjoyed listening to Susan Kemp. She especially stood out to me because she was an alumni of this program, and she doesn’t work in a traditional office setting. Hearing her speak about her time as a student at Napier, and where she now works was really fascinating to hear.
She used her time in our lecture to tell us about courses she continues to take to ensure she is constantly working on personal development and improvement. She told us of supplementary workshops we could participate in that would help us add to our skillset as well as to get a better feel of where our strengths lie. She made us think about how we could go above and beyond to develop skills that would help us find where we wanted to be in the industry. Kemp told us of the jobs she has filled through the years and where she is currently.
Her present job, as a freelance editor, is a part of the industry that I had not previously known much about. She spoke about projects she has done and advised us about the importance of knowing one’s own worth. She also talked about how she uses social media to interact with clients, and how valuable Twitter is in the publishing world. This information was particularly helpful for me, as I am new to Twitter and trying to figure out how I can best interact with people in publishing through social media.
She spent her time in our tutorial by teaching us about the importance of knowing and creating one’s own brand. This is also something I had not put much thought into, but will be more cognizant of in the future. The tutorial went into detail about the different hats an editor will wear depending on what house they work for, then she compared it to her hats in a freelancing position. Her necessity to play the roles of proof-reader, copy editor and desk editor and how she dealt with each depending on the project.
Overall her time spent with us was very constructive and thought provoking. She pushed me to think about where I would like to go in the industry and she suggested tools to accomplish our goals.