Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Work Placements

For the last couple of weeks I've been working full-time in the real world. I spent the first week in Penzance at the offices of Cornish World magazine, and the second with the History Press, a book publisher based in Stroud.

These visits were made to satisfy the requirement of my MA for work experience in what we'll call the writing industry.
It was fantastic. I met two groups of lovely people who found the time and enthusiasm to make my stays interesting and demanding. I was encouraged to have a go at all sorts of activities: various types of writing, editing, image manipulation, electronic layout. I was made welcome at internal process and review meetings. I was given handouts on various parts of the publishing process, and on the accompanying marketing and sales techniques. I came away tired but very happy; both groups went out of their way to help me see as much as possible during my stays. It was tremendously worthwhile.

As I know from my previous working life, sometimes when students visit offices for work experience it's difficult to give them anything meaningful or interesting to do, mostly because of time constraints. But I wasn't dumped in a corner, left to my own devices, or given mundane stuff to do. I offered to make the tea, but more often than not it was made for me.

The most remarkable aspect of the last two weeks was the parallel between the processes and activities I experienced within the industry, and what I've been taught in the classroom. It was exciting and reassuring to find that correlation, which reflects very favourably on the the MA course content and the tutors at Falmouth.

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