How Useful is the Profile Scholarship and MA in Publishing Studies?

MA in Publishing Studies

This is a guest blog from Mia Olorunfemi. Mia studied the MA in Publishing Studies at City University London, carried out paid internships at Profile Books and Pearson, and now works in marketing and outreach for Hotcourses Ltd., a comprehensive online directory of courses and publisher of education research articles.

If you’re looking for a way to open doors to interesting opportunities and experiences in the publishing industry, carrying out the Masters course for it is a great way to do this. I was awarded the Profile scholarship for the 2012-2013 teaching year and it’s fair to say that I was overflowing completely with excitement when I heard that it was granted to me. I was gearing to learn more about the book publishing industry, and because I could not afford the course otherwise, the scholarship was essential to making this possible.

The City University MA Publishing course really clarifies the workings of all business/ copyright areas of the book publishing industry, in addition to its history and its current day challenges and opportunities in a very digital and mobile device centred society. The latter particularly makes the course very current.

Further to this, the variety of visitors working in the field who are invited to either to assess our portfolio of work, train us, or simply share their experiences in their roles also make the course dynamic and it definitely helped me to see the present reality of the publishing workplace.

The course provides the opportunity to attend the annual London Book Fair, to see first-hand the logistics behind book distribution right from the factory and to build up skills, with training on Nielsen sales database, HTML, XML and some InDesign.

There are also various assessments focused on creating business plans for imprints and new book titles which make the experience on the course very hands on. The very first group assignment task I was given was to use social media effectively in promoting and driving bookings for a BookMachine event! I never forget how challenging yet satisfying I found this task to be, and more so for many of my peers who were able to attend the event and have an insightful yet fun entry into networking within the publishing industry.

Alongside the scholarship, there is also the benefit of being mentored by Andrew Franklin, Managing Director of Profile Books. In my sessions with him, I was advised about building contacts with people whilst on my placements, which alerted me to the importance of actively seeking job opportunities whilst on the tail end of my course. I soon realised that the mentoring and the course was also a key ‘world of work’ coaching and networking awareness experience for me which was exceptional for my personal development in addition to the Masters qualification I gained.

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