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Katrina Melvin, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2010

May 9th, 2011 | Posted in Alumni | Comments Off on Katrina Melvin, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2010

I worked as an English teacher in Asia for six years before I joined Stirling University. I enjoyed my life, but I knew it was time for me to do something different, to get a “proper job”. I’d done some freelance editing and copywriting here and there, but never had the opportunity to go into it full time. So, I did a bit of research online and found about Stirling’s publishing course, which has an excellent reputation and seemed to be a great way to get a foot in the door of the publishing industry. I then visited the department and was really impressed by the curriculum and the enthusiasm of the staff.

Going back to university after having worked for a few years was quite scary – I wasn’t sure if my brain had turned to mush since last time I wrote an essay or took an exam. Luckily it hadn’t: I also realised I was more motivated than I ever was as an undergraduate, and found my work experience to be valuable in several ways. The dissertation was the thing that terrified me the most, but in the end it is the thing I most enjoyed. I was really pleased to get the dissertation prize at the end of the year, and I’m now working on publishing one chapter of my dissertation as a stand-alone article.

I learned a lot during my time at Stirling – of course, there’s a lot you can only learn about the industry by going out and getting a job, but the course gave me a great foundation and a definite advantage in the job market. (I’m sure I wouldn’t have got as many interviews if it wasn’t for the MLitt.)

My time at Stirling went by so quickly, and I can hardly believe it’s been a year now since I handed in my dissertation. Since then, I’ve come back to Malaysia and I’m now working for a small publisher here. But, I’ve got my eye on Singapore or Hong Kong and hope to make a move sometime soon – Singapore in particular is home to the Asia Pacific offices of many multinational publishers, and with so much growth and development in Asia at the moment, I think the already-established publishing industry there will offer many opportunities in the near future – I recommend publishing graduates check it out – it’s as much of a rat race as London, but at least you race the race in the sun!