Postgraduate Publishing studies at Edinburgh Napier University. INDUSTRY APPROVED Publishing courses (accredited by the Professional Publishers Association and Creative Skillset). MSc Publishing was the first Publishing programme in the UK to be approved by the Professional Publishers Association. It is one of only two UK courses to be accredited by Creative Skillset. MSc Magazine Publishing is the only course of its kind in Scotland.
It’s the smell of ink, that moment when you open the box for the first time and peer inside, which just adds to the excitement. Picking out that first copy and holding it up to the light thinking, I helped make this. I finally held in my hands the finished product. A mix of emotions of pride, happiness and just a little relief making the weeks of hard work, the stress and frustration, just melt away into memory. At the end of the day, it was all worth it.
My placement at The Teaching Fellows Journal (tfj) has been an exciting experience. The tfj is part of the Teaching Fellows Scheme at Edinburgh Napier University, created in 1997 and exists to better promote the importance of learning and teaching at the university. The journal is distributed throughout the university to inform the Teaching Fellows community on the activities of their colleagues, including conference reports, diary dates and other important information.
My role within the tfj has been to help in the production of the latest issue of the journal. This involved a variety of tasks such as, designing the layouts of the articles, liaising with the editors, contributors and external printers, alongside making recommendations on how the production process of future journals can be improved. What attracted me to this placement was the chance to get involved with a project comprised of a small team. I felt this would give me more opportunities to test out and further broaden the skills the MSc Publishing course has equipped me with. As the journal needed to be produced in a very short period of time, it was like being thrown into the deep end! Whilst this caused stress, having to juggle university, placement and a part-time job, my experience at the tfj has been an invaluable one. The chance to work on a project and hold the finished product in my hands is ultimately why I want to work in publishing.
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!