I studied English literature as an undergraduate, and, toward the end of my degree, felt that I wanted to continue working with words, but was unsure of the specific route I wanted to take to achieve this. I have always enjoyed writing, so embarking on a Creative Writing MSc seemed like a logical next step. What struck me during my MSc was how much I enjoyed the process of reviewing my own, and peers’, work, identifying inconsistencies in expression or the clarity of ideas, and formulating ways to address these.

After my MSc, whilst working in customer service and advertising roles, I continued to help friends with editing work whenever they needed it, and to coach university students on a volunteer basis with tasks such as proofreading. Last year, it occurred to me that I might try to pursue a career that incorporated, valued, and would allow me to further develop these skills. I checked the Publishing Scotland jobs website and saw that internship applications at Prepress were open. The opportunity was attractive for a number of reasons: the internship would last for 3 months, enough time to learn the ropes and get a feel for the industry; it was paid, with interns receiving the same additional benefits (such as flexible working and holiday allowance) as permanent employees; and it would allow me to contribute to the company’s work in a meaningful way, honing my existing skills and learning new ones, from the beginning.

Eventually, I was offered a role as one of two interns for summer 2022. Before officially starting, I was invited to a coffee morning to meet my new colleagues. Everyone was warm and welcoming, which immediately put me at ease, and this extends to the working culture at Prepress. My colleagues have been endlessly helpful, patient and willing to offer insight, attributes which have definitely helped me to develop my own skills and identify areas for improvement.

From the outset, I was assigned a variety of tasks, such as marking up artwork, editing references, and collating author responses. This variety has kept my workdays busy and engaging, and opened my eyes to the minutiae of the publishing process. During my internship, I also proofread reports for the NIHR Journals Library, and now, as project editor, have become more involved in copy-editing (specifically, articles for scientific journals). The processes and expected outcomes for all tasks were clearly laid out prior to my undertaking them, and the training given, as well as the feedback received upon task completion, was practical and comprehensive. I was also given the opportunity to attend a course given by Publishing Scotland in September 2022, and will attend two other external courses, one on copy-editing and one on medical writing, in the near future.

My Prepress experience so far has been most characterised by the warmth and helpfulness of my colleagues, the extensive training and development opportunities (both internal and external), and a focus on providing clients with high-quality work. I would thoroughly recommend this internship to anyone interested in pursuing a publishing career and, having accepted a Project Editor role as a permanent staff member as of January 2023, am excited to see what awaits me on my own journey at Prepress.