From the beginning of June until the end of July I worked as this year’s summer publishing intern. At the start of August, I was hired as a full-time employee. I was lucky enough to be offered the internship before I was due to graduate from university, so I went straight from being a student to working at Prepress Projects. The picture shows me (left), with journals director Lucy Harrier (right).
My interest in publishing was piqued the previous year, when I’d been on a short placement at a different publishing company. That experience had given me some insight into this area of work, and I started to seriously consider a career in publishing. Then, when I heard about the summer opportunity at Prepress Projects, I knew that if I was offered the internship it would give me invaluable experience in the field.
During the internship, I was involved in real work right from the start. I worked for two production teams, which meant that I was given a wide range of tasks and was able to develop a variety of skills. I thought that I knew what ‘editing’ meant before I started the internship – I soon learned that it involves much more and that a huge amount of work and effort is required to prepare an article or a book for publication. My degree (Law with French) had taught me to value attention to detail, and the organisational and time management skills that would be needed at work, but I still had a lot to learn and I was given a lot of opportunities to do so.
I learned how to style articles in Word to prepare them for copy-editing, something which was totally new to me at the start of the internship. I was also taught how to collate and check proofs, which introduced me to proofreading symbols, and a few weeks in I was given the responsibility of administering the production database for an important client, the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union, based in Luxembourg, which involved direct contact with the client’s staff.
There was a lot of information to take in when I was first given these tasks, but I had a lot of practice with everything as there was something for me to do each day – and if I was ever stuck with anything, the other members of staff were more than happy to help. Even using a Mac, which I hadn’t done since primary school, became second nature very early on. Learning how to use shortcuts on the Mac made tasks such as styling much quicker and easier!
Throughout the internship, I felt that my contribution was valued and I was treated just the same as the other members of staff. I really enjoyed my time as the intern and it definitely sealed my decision to pursue a publishing career. I had been given a lot of hands-on experience and developed many skills which would have been a great boost when looking for further publishing opportunities after the internship. I was delighted when I was offered a full-time job with the company; having spent two months in the office, I felt like I fitted in and I would have been quite sad to leave. I felt really lucky to have been offered a job so soon after graduating and especially one that I enjoy so much.
I’m now a full member of the editorial office team. Like last year’s intern, who was also offered a permanent post, I hope next year’s intern enjoys his or her experience as much as I enjoyed mine.