It may have been a year when some of New Zealand’s established publishers moved offshore but that hasn’t prevented over three-quarters of the new Diploma in Publishing (Applied) graduates from getting good jobs in the industry – many before their course even finished.
Sixteen graduates finished their course in mid November. Of these, twelve are already working in publishing roles or have jobs lined up for the new year.
This employment rate is not unusual for the course, but is particularly pleasing in a year when the media has relished stories of difficulties in the book trade.
This year’s graduates have been employed in roles that cover the spectrum of publishing work, with editorial, production and marketing jobs, in both specialist and book publishing.
Rebecca Thorne finished the course by distance so she could take up her role as publicity assistant at Random House. She has enjoyed being part of a large company, working on author tours and putting what she learned on the publishing course into practice.
Rebecca admits that she and other students at one stage “were a little panicked by the impact of recent changes on New Zealand publishing”, but their worries proved to be unfounded: “It is great that the majority of our class has been employed in publishing. I think this can be attributed to the wonderfully close industry that New Zealand has, one I’m very glad to be a part of.”
Abby Aitcheson moved to Auckland just last week to start as an editorial assistant at PQ Blackwell. Abby loved being on the publishing course – “I was right where I belonged,” she says – and starting work this week has brought home her confidence in her new career: “It’s only now that I fully appreciate the value of the course – I feel surprisingly confident after just a few days on the job. I am excited about the years to come, in terms of my own career and with regard to the New Zealand publishing industry.”
Others are working in digital production – for example, at Consumer NZ and the Mountain Safety Council – and with specialist publishers such as LexisNexis.
These jobs include the publishing internships offered to three graduates each year through the Publishing Intern Programme. This joint initiative between Whitireia Publishing and the Publishers Association of New Zealand offers three graduates six-month paid internships at local publishing houses each year. The interns who will take up their roles in early 2014 are (from left):
Rachel Nobilo, sales and publicity assistant at Allen & Unwin, Auckland.
Barbara Graham, editorial and production assistant at Wellington’s Bridget Williams Books.
Matariki Williams, sales, marketing and publicity intern at Gecko Press, Wellington.
Programme leader Rachel Lawson says:
“I think this success is down to the consistently high quality of graduates and our strong relationships with local publishers.
“The course teaches students to strive for the best quality possible – but just as important is their energy and attitude. They are totally engaged with the publishing scene and in touch with new developments. This year’s graduates have ended the year still excited to be in publishing; they can see the possibilities and they want to be part of its future.
“There are also the industry links that are so key to the course. Because we have such strong support from the trade, we can help the students develop relationships with publishers and make good recommendations when job opportunities open up.”
It’s not too late to be part of this success for next year! Because our premises are being renovated, we are making an exception to our usual application deadlines and allowing late applications in January 2014.