Back in Germany with Napier’s publishing postgrads

Last week I had the opportunity to fly back home to Germany as part of an exchange of our publishing course at Edinburgh Napier University and the Mainz University. Early this year I already had the chance to meet some of the Mainz students while they were visiting our University. It was great to see them again and get to know each other better.

We arrived late at night on the 1st of May and started on the 2nd of May with a day at the Mainz University. We got the chance to listen to a lot of interesting topics and learn about the German book market, which was also new to me since I studied something different in my undergrad. The day ended with us seeing the Archives of the University and having a get-together with all students and speakers of the day. This obviously included some traditional food for the region, which I have to admit really missed back in Edinburgh.

On our 2nd day we had the pleasure to go to Heidelberg and not only see the beautiful city but also visited the Springer Nature office. The staff was very nice and showed us many presentations about Springer Nature’s history, future visions, and their complex looking production workflow. Thank you so much to Melanie Lehnert, Dr. Niels Peter Thomas, Viktoria Meyer and Renate Bayaz for the amazing time!

dav
Melanie Lehnert, Communications Specialist
Dr. Niels Peter Thomas, Chief Book Strategist at Springer Nature
Dr. Niels Peter Thomas, Chief Book Strategist, Springer Nature
dav
Viktoria Meyer, Team Leader STM Book Production, Springer

Day 3 took us back to Mainz. After visiting the federal state government we had a wonderful sightseeing tour throughout the city which one of the German students Maike Malzahn organized. 

Of course, we couldn’t resist hopping in the Gutenberg museum and see the highly protected Gutenberg Bibles and other amazing books from the past.

dav

Our final stop was at the music publisher Schott Music. We were lucky to see the Wagner room and many first prints of Mozart and Beethoven. As I used to play the piano when I was younger I was amazed by their evolving techniques to print sheet music. They were so welcoming and even put us (the Edinburgh Napier postgrads) up on their welcome board next to their important artists who visited for that day.

Our trip ended with all of us – the German students included – meeting up in a traditional German pub the ‘Eisgrub Bräu’ in the evening. I had a really fun time and enjoyed every part of this trip. Thank you so much to all the students and teachers from Napier and Mainz for making this exchange so amazing!

I had a really fun time and enjoyed every part of this trip. Thank you so much to all the students and teachers from Napier and Mainz for making this exchange so amazing!

 

 

Advertisements

How to swim

On the 1st of September 2017, I started my journey to Edinburgh and my Master degree in Publishing. I took a plane from Frankfurt to Edinburgh alone, which was nothing new to me, but once I arrived and was catching up with the whole situation that there would be no one waiting for me in this new country, I felt uneasy. It’s not that I never been confronted with new situations, but the unknown always scared me. That’s why it felt for me like being thrown into ice cold water.

Once I sorted everything out and settled into my new home the next big challenge awaited me. Starting my MSc Publishing degree with the Introduction day.

After finding the room and sitting down next to some people it was time to start networking! As I learned throughout the first trimester, networking is the key to everything in the publishing industry. So I took all my courage together and approached people who were sitting next to me. Soon the ice cold water feeling vanished a bit and I got more comfortable around them. Thankfully we also had to do a networking exercise on our first day, which made me talk to more people in order to find common interests. But what I found most helpful was being divided into three tutorial groups at the end of the day.

Being only around 44 people in total must seem not that much to some of you, but for me coming from a Bachelor degree with only 20 people it was quite harder to really get to know people. My tutorial group had only 15 people in it and I even found people living close to me with whom I could walk to classes together. So, once lectures started the week after I already had some people to go to and meet up.

You could probably say that I was now ready to start swimming in this unknown water with friends by my side who were in the same situation.

Before we could actually start to swim we needed to learn how to swim in these new waters. Therefore it was comforting that we were all sitting in the same boat. We were all kind of on the same level and did not know a lot about publishing, yet. That was a relief because it was definitely totally new to me as I did my Bachelor degree in film and television.

Along our trimester we had a mix of lectures and tutorials, including amazing guest speakers from the industry who introduced us to the different jobs in the publishing industry step by step. But what I found especially helpful were our workshop times, in which we could use the computer room with our different groups.

During this time we could help each other out when it came to difficult things, support each other with learning groups and practice together to solve problems. Together as a group, we were finally able to start swimming.

When it came closer to the end of our first trimester, there was a new challenge awaiting us all: Exams!!

First, we thought we knew nothing and were not ready for it as it felt like we just started.  So we headed into several weeks/days of intense learning and writing to get all of our assignments done before the deadlines. While comparing notes and summarizing everything we’ve learned in the first trimester the panic dissolved and we actually realized we know these things.

At the end, we all managed to get through the exams together, because even though we doubted ourselves first, we all knew how to swim now.