Aylia Harris

I love words. I love how you can change their meaning depending on their sequence in a sentence or by the placement of punctuation (and especially in those moments when alliteration just flows through you unexpectedly). That’s why I always knew I would have a career centered on them and why I enrolled to study publishing at Whitireia. I just didn’t expect it to happen so fast!

If someone told me at the beginning of my course that by the time I finished it I’d be working for a legal publishing firm, I would’ve been stunned. Though I had full faith in the programme, I never imagined I’d be prepared to go out into the big world of publishing with confidence and, more importantly, competence. After all, I certainly didn’t feel that way after I’d finished three years of university, so how was a 32-WEEK course going to give me that?

Well, spoiler alert, it did! The course takes you right from receiving that first manuscript, all the way through to the launch of the final book and, in terms of marketing, sometimes beyond. I learnt so much my mind was almost incapable of handling it all and, as I’m sure my fellow students can attest to, that first week was full of afternoon naps. As the year went on, naps were just not possible! Not because of all the work (though, do expect A LOT of work), but because somehow you have this crazy amount of energy that keeps you up and constantly doing; I guess that’s what happens when you do something you’re passionate about (who’da thought!).

My goal for the course was to have a job by the end of it. I know I said earlier I would have been stunned if I was working in publishing within 32 weeks, and that still holds true, but sometimes achieving your goals can be stunning. I went to LexisNexis for my first work placement and absolutely loved it. I wanted to work there, I let it be known, and within a month I was hired. Every day after class I would go there and help with editing, organising and office admin (my favourite part of the course was project management, so this was just brilliant!), then I would make my way back to class to help bring my babies to publication. There’ve been a lot of hard work and late nights that have paid off for me in ways that still leave me a little bewildered sometimes.

And though I love this course for what it has prepared me for and allowed me to do, the best part about it is the tutors and my fellow comrades. They were my biggest supporters, my very own cheerleaders, and the most loving and kind people I have ever had the honour of growing with. Without them, I can confidently say I would not be where I am today, and I owe all my successes to them.

In short, Whitireia provided me with the tools, knowledge, and support to go out and thrive within the industry I love. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re looking in the right place.

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