At the end of 2015, I completed the Whitireia publishing course and dived straight into a 6-month internship at Penguin Random House New Zealand. At the time, I felt super nervous to be going into such a large international publishing company, but I also felt confident with my Whitireia training. Almost two years on and I’m still at PRHNZ, working as a project editor in the local publishing department. Essentially a project management role, I make sure books go through all the production stages of editing, design and proofreading and still get to the printer on time (not always an easy task!). What I love most about my role is the enormous variety of books I get to work on. In the last few months I’ve worked with writer and illustrator Gavin Bishop on a landmark children’s title and on another children’s book that used glow-in-the-dark ink; I have also recently worked on a high-end photographic book celebrating a Hawke’s Bay vineyard and a pared-back lifestyle book for those seeking a calmer, simpler way of life.
The Whitireia course was the springboard I needed into the publishing industry. The practical, hands-on learning was refreshing after five years of theoretical study. On this course, you learn in the deep end of the pool. You’ll edit, proofread and design, organise book launches and wrestle with ebooks. It’s a completely collaborative process – by the end of the year, you’ll have made fast friends that will grow with you in the years to come as you all find your way in the world of publishing. My best advice would be to rely on and confide in your tutors. They are steeped in the industry they teach and have a passion for passing on their knowledge.