We want people to have relevant and useful information about what it is like to study online so we asked some current and recent online students to talk about why they chose the online course, how they have managed the study, and what they hope to get out of it.
Read their comments here:
- Louisa Kasza (January 2014)
- Maiko Lenting (December 2013)
- Timothy Lind (January 2014)
I’ve always been a keen reader and writer, and have held ambitions to be in the publishing industry for some years. This led me
to take a Bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics, then the Diploma in Publishing. I have also been writing freelance and working
at Time Out Bookstore, a noted independent book shop in Mount Eden, since completing my BA.
I really enjoyed getting a fuller overview of the how the publishing industry works while studying for the Diploma. My main interest is in editing and my experience in book retailing, but these are inextricably tied in with other areas, some of which – like design – I had no experience of before the course.
I chose to study online rather than uproot my life and lose the experience I was getting working in a bookshop, and my flexible work hours
made this possible. Some people study after work, but I did mine during daylight hours. Studying fulltime, I had to put in at least two nine-to-five working days a week to stay on top of coursework. Online study is a huge commitment and can be isolating for anyone not used to working alone, but in the main I found it very rewarding.
I would be happy to turn my hand at just about anything within the publishing industry, and I feel that the Whitireia Diploma in Publishing has given me a good grounding in all the major fields. People like me, who are in the book trade but aren’t employed in publishing, can gain a much fuller insight into the business in order to make an informed decision about what area of publishing they would like to pursue and to improve their own practice. Being employed in book retailing gave me a big advantage when doing the coursework, too!
My love affair with the book world escalated when I began working at Borders Queen Street in Auckland, where I realised I needed to get into the publishing business. Fate was on my side, as when Borders’ doors closed (literally, in 2011) the door to Random House NZ was opened for me and I joined the Random House customer services team. I became fully immersed in the company but found myself wanting more, so in 2013 I began my online Diploma in Publishing.
I have learned something from every part of the course but the most rewarding aspect, for me, is that I now understand everything I do so much better. I appreciate the background and the meaning of the special orders, remainders and other information that crosses my path. Readings that I did the night before would appear in my work of the next day.
The online course is set up with readings and matching activities to help you understand and think about what you just read. The feedback you receive each week from the tutors in regard to these activities is always useful, and I also always enjoyed reading my fellow students’ answers. My favourite area of study was the editorial paper and I especially enjoyed doing the reader report. I also found the marketing and trade knowledge paper and the information it provided me, especially in regard to digital books, useful and interesting.
I won’t lie: doing the course fulltime while continuing fulltime work is hard. I came home almost every evening to do an hour or two of readings and activities, and quite a few weekends, and days of annual, were set aside for assignments. It has been a very busy year, but I never felt bogged down. My calendar was full of highlighted bits and pieces to keep me on track.
My publishing passion still remains in the story. Whitireia has helped me hone my editorial skills and given me opportunities to do what I really wish to do, which is to read manuscripts and to, one day, be a content editor. Though I have also become increasingly interested in publishing’s digital future. Perhaps these two interests can become entwined and I will one day be a content editor for ebook titles.
I fell into publishing by accident. While studying for my BA (Hons) in History and English I was working for educational publisher BIOZONE International Ltd in a variety of roles, starting with packing in dispatch, moving (as needed) through production assistance, sales & marketing and even a stint as General Manager of the UK office in Edinburgh as maternity cover. After completing my degree, I continued to work at BIOZONE fulltime, and am now employed as Logistics & Website Coordinator.
For a long time I tried to find a career path related to my degree. However, the ‘follow your interests’ advice given to me in high school did not seem to translate into paid employment. It wasn’t until seeking professional career advice that the ‘elephant in the room’ was addressed. By this point I had 10 years experience working for an educational publisher in a variety of roles, and our ‘eureka’ moment arrived when we saw that we could marry my love of books and written language with my work experience and knowledge gained from working at BIOZONE. In hindsight, a career in publishing was a real no-brainer.
However, an honours degree alone is not enough to make you stand out in the competitive job market these days. The advice I received (that I wish I had been given in high school) was that the addition of a specialist diploma was the way to go. This would give me the practical experience to build on my existing knowledge and to stand out in a competitive job market.
That was where Whitireia came in. The online publishing course has allowed me to continue working for BIOZONE, while progressing through the diploma, helping me bring more expertise to my job as I apply what I have learned to my day-to-day role. The diploma has also expanded my knowledge of the publishing industry beyond educational publishing, opening up new opportunities.
My study experience has been a delight so far. I tried distance learning through another institution briefly, and I am much more enthusiastic about the Whitireia experience, where there is more participation and interaction. Being able to work with industry experts is a delight, and the quality of communication and feedback I have received is phenomenal.
The publishing industry is going through a great deal of change, and the advent of the digital movement is fascinating to me. Far from the ‘doom and gloom’ that is bandied about so often, I see this a great time to get into the publishing; to be involved with the changing landscape and help determine the direction of the industry.