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Katharina Dittmann, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 28th, 2016 | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Katharina Dittmann, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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ProfileThe thought of going into publishing first crossed my mind when I was about sixteen years old. Books had been my constant companions ever since I could remember and I was, and still am, fascinated by the way stories can transport meaning and move people in so many different ways. Some of the books that initially made me consider this career path were J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series (sorry for the cliché, but it’s the truth) and especially German authors like Cornelia Funke and Kai Meyer, whose beautiful language and exuberant imagination never cease to amaze me. So, in hindsight, a career in publishing seems to have been inevitable. Nevertheless, my decision to apply for the MLitt in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling was rather spontaneous.

During my last two years at school, the idea of working with books took a firm hold on me. However, I wasn’t sure if I had what it took to start a career in the publishing sector. Instead, I decided to follow my other interests, which were English language and literature, resulting in a degree in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Kiel in the far north of Germany. Over those four years in Kiel I considered several career paths, amongst others in cultural works, marketing and the museum sector. In 2015, I did an internship at a local museum where I was responsible for composing a small exhibition about scales and weights. Although the subject was “terra incognita” for me, I accepted the challenge, turning my time at the museum into a very valuable experience. It made me realise how much my studies have helped me in developing competences in areas such as research, flexibility, and self-management. Nevertheless, the part of me that wanted to work in publishing kept pushing itself to the fore. Books simply played far too big a role in my life to simply ignore that voice inside my head.

Luckily, when it was time to make a plan for my life post-bachelor, I got the chance to attend a seminar on editing held by the commissioning editor of children’s books of the Carlsen publishing house in Hamburg. He introduced us to the different departments involved in book publishing and gave us some insight into the editing process. This might sound cheesy, but it is thanks to him that I am here in Scotland today. His enthusiasm about his job is what inspired me to finally follow my dreams and apply for a master’s degree in this field. I am really excited about what the following year has in store for me. I can already say that I have made the right decision, meaning studying publishing in general, and doing it at the University of Stirling in particular.