Olive Owens graduated with the Graduate Diploma in Publishing (Applied) in 2019 and was selected for the Publishing Intern Programme, working with Massey University Press.
I scoured the Whitireia Publishing website, reading and rereading all the student profiles, course details and small print. I was obsessed, but it took years for me to pluck up the courage to finally apply.
On our first day of class, the tutors handed out cards describing stages in the publishing process with the intention we arrange them in chronological order across the floor. I was absolutely bewildered as to what order they were supposed to go in, but as the year went on, piece by piece, every single aspect of the publishing process was demystified.
I went into the course passionate to upskill in all areas and, like so many, with a particular interest in developing my editing skills. But the reach of the programme extends far beyond perfecting editing skills. My confidence grew in every area: I learnt all about design principles, typesetting, proofreading, project management, Photoshop, InDesign, paper stock, event management, marketing, social media, public speaking, the history of the book and so much more. I also developed amazing relationships with wonderful people, many of whom I now consider close friends. More than anything, I wondered why I hadn’t enrolled sooner.
During the year I was lucky enough to undertake two wonderful two-week work placements: the first with Huia and the second with Massey University Press. I loved every minute of my time at Huia. I’ve never met such a hardworking, supportive and hilarious team of people. The work they have been doing for decades for the revitalisation of te reo Māori, the sharing of Māori stories and perspectives and the uplifting of mātauranga Māori is phenomenal and has paved the way for many others. My time at Massey University Press was also inspiring. Under the expert tutelage of New Zealand publishing stalwart Nicola Legat, I was able to flex my muscles across a range of my newly acquired skills. For me, the work placements were the highlight of the year, and proved how in sync the course is with the realities of working in publishing.
Upon completion of the course, I was lucky enough to be offered an internship and then a full-time job at Massey University Press, and that’s where you’ll still find me, in our fifth-floor office with a wide view. No two days are the same, I get paid to sit around reading, and I’ve honed and utilised every single skill I learnt during the course.
My deepest gratitude goes to the wonderful tutors.
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