Feedback - Jenny Peebles - MA Publishing
Internship at ILO in Geneva
I came to the MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes from a background in the arts sector, and although I had worked on numerous publications, I had no formal training in the skills required in today's publishing industry. My twelve months in Oxford learning from the excellent tutors – and working with a brilliant bunch of peers – changed that considerably. The opportunity to intern at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva came just after the half-way point in the MA, at which time a lot of the students are thinking about their first professional steps after the course. I was interviewed at the London Book Fair in April and by the end of August was on my way to Geneva with my fellow intern, Jorinde. Being an intern with another student from Brookes is actually a great way to quickly feel at ease, even if, as was our case, we hadn't had much chance to work together on the MA. Having someone with whom to find your feet in the first few weeks works very well, and when one of you can't remember a crucial shortcut in InDesign, the other can often step into the breach.
The department in which we were working – the Department of Communications and Public Information – has a small academic publishing unit which helps to disseminate the research carried out by the legions of economists, lawyers and labour specialists that work for the ILO. The unit was small and friendly and keen to help us put into place all the knowledge that we had gained at Brookes. We built confidence in the groundwork involved in digital publishing and in editorial skills, and both had the chance to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair with other members of the department, which was both a lot of fun and very instructive. Doing the internship was a positive step into the publishing industry and an excellent way to spend six months building experience before entering the jobs market.
Aside from the professional aspect, life as an intern in Geneva was a non-stop round of meeting fascinating people and opening your eyes to new experiences and points of view. There is a thriving community of other young people, both at the ILO and from other agencies, and everyone is endlessly keen to make the most of a short period in a new country, so there is never a shortage of companions for trips, particularly to enjoy the amazing Swiss landscape. I thoroughly enjoyed my six months in Geneva and would advise future generations of MA students to embrace the opportunities offered – both personal and professional – by doing the internship with the ILO.
Posted on 29 Mar 2012 around 5pm