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Alumni Archive

Our alumni have gone on to a range of publishing and publishing-related careers in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. Read more about some of our alumni below. If you are one of our alumni, and would like to tell us what you're doing now, please get in touch using the details on our Contact page.

Christoph Chesher, MPhil in Publishing Studies, 1983-4

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The Publishing Studies course at the University of Stirling has now been established for well over 25 years. As one its earliest graduates I can vouch for the fact that it was of great assistance in illuminating all the myriad roles within publishing and demonstrating how they fit together. The course at Stirling will not only provide a background to the historical development of publishing as an international business, it will inform you about current practice and will also provide you within an insight to the debates and trends that will shape the industry’s future development.

Christoph is currently Group Sales Director of Taylor & Francis Group and President, Asia Region. He is also Honorary Professor of Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling, and Chair of our Industry Advisory Board.

Siobhan Greaney, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2008-9

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Siobhan Greaney and current Stirling students at the London Book Fair

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Stirling International Centre for Publishing Studies. The MLitt was a great opportunity to meet like-minded people all working toward a career in publishing. We gained some of the experience and skills that would help us not just to get jobs but to do well in those jobs and progress in our careers. The course is a great combination of research, practical workshops and projects that explores every aspect of the publishing industry and develops the project management abilities that are an asset to any job in publishing for managing multiple titles, lists and contacts. Whether it was coming up with a marketing proposal, designing a layout or editing a colleague’s dissertation the staff were always full of good advice and tips. Both the group work and the individual research really helped me to get a clear picture of the industry as a whole and the areas I wanted to go into.

Siobhán is currently Production Editor for Technical and Professional Books, Taylor and Francis (Routledge/Spon Press)

Lucy Ren, MSc in International Publishing Management, 2010

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I had been working in publishing area over 7 years before I came to University of Stirling.

When I arrived I realized how wise I made my decision to study here. It is such a large campus with wonderful scenery, also with brand-new study facilities and professional and kind tutors. The most obvious difference between Chinese education and British education is I only have 10 classmates in my MSc class while it would be over 100 in Chinese universities. The tutors knew every students’ name and cared about us in each class, they explained everything we didn’t understand with huge patience. It’s my fortune to have learnt the modes of thinking more than the result of answering; the disciplines of market more than the statistics of profit; the methods of development more than the compulsion of management.

The other significant characteristic of the MSc studying which impressed me is its utility. All the case studies all based on real models especially the final dissertation. I researched my own publishing company, discussed all its advantages and weakness and focused on marketing. I gave lots of recommendations to the marketing department and showed all these to my boss. He thought my advice about the budget and marketing research was good and added them to the companies’ strategies. It’s so encouraging that my dissertation could be identified by some of my colleagues and really helped the development of my company.

My mum passed away at my summer vacation, I wish she could see me getting a distinction of my dissertation and be proud of me. I so appreciate my tutors who gave me care and encouragement to help me finish my study. They have taught me much, not only of my specialist courses but also of my lifestyle. I hope more and more students could have the luck like me, learn and grow a lot from th

Kelley Whalen, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2007-2008

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Attending Stirling was without a doubt the best decision I ever made! The MLitt in Publishing programme provided me with the design and marketing skills needed to pursue a career in graphic design and the professors provided invaluable insight into the publishing industry from their first hand experience.

One of the biggest highlights while at Stirling was the incredible friendships I formed with people from around the world. I am fortunate to count them as some of my closest friends, even though we live in various countries now!

Currently, I am accountable for the marketing and graphic design at a multi-speciality medical practice in Utah. I was instrumental in assisting the company to undergo a complete corporate rebranding and have been able to build the graphic design fundamentals from the ground up. If I could offer any advice, it would be to pursue something you are truly passionate about because life is too short to do something you don’t absolutely love!

Gao Hui (Caroline) MSc in International Publishing Management 2011

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My name is Gao Hui (Caroline), I graduated from the MSc in International Publishing Management subject in January 2011, and then came back to China to find a new job. When I started job hunting, I was full of power, and I could stay in front of my computer all day long, and send hundreds of CV to any publishing related company. I was excited at the very beginning, but after two weeks without receiving any interviews, I lost my confidence and decided to rewrite my CV and optimize it.

Then I got some job interviews, but no offer.

At the beginning of the fourth week of  job hunting, I start to visit some publishing companies with my CV, to introduce myself to the HR manager and some department managers. Finally, I got a position as a web editor in the digital publishing department of China Social Sciences Press.

The technological part of digital publishing is a brand new sector for me, but I’m very interested in digital publications, and also have passion for this rising area of the global publishing industry. Besides, I’ve learned a lot of cutting edge knowledge from the course at the University of Stirling. I will make effort in this career, and enjoy the happiness of this new adventure!

Martin Jack, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2009

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Graduating from Stirling with an MLitt in Publishing Studies gave me the tools necessary to enter the publishing sector with confidence and capitalise on what will be your crafted ability. Under the auspices of staff who know the market thoroughly and who inspire you to face challenges head on, a Stirling Publishing Studies graduate is sure to leave with the right mix of practice and theory, ready to forge a successful career in the creative industries. You’re also guaranteed to enjoy the majestic setting of Scotland’s ancient capital and will be enthused by the experiences and diversity of your peers.

Martin is currently Higher Education Texts and eBook Sales Manager, Taylor and Francis (Asia Pacific)

Elaina O’Neill, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2009

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Studying at Stirling gave me a solid foundation in all the elements I needed to succeed in my first job at a small publishing house: editing, design, production, sales and marketing and an understanding of the publishing process as a whole. The business elements of the course are invaluable and the method of working in groups for extended periods of time allowed me and my colleagues to experience working as part of a publishing team before we started our careers. Students were encouraged to learn outside of the course through work placements, peer to peer learning and discussion of major industry news in order to engage with the real world of publishing as opposed to just studying it.

Elaina O’Neill is currently Managing Editor at Little Island

Susana Sanchez, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2009

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The MLitt course at Stirling was my first approach to the publishing industry. I come from a creative background in Graphic Design so what I learned from this course has been essential not only for the understanding of the trade but also for setting new career goals. I learned how an exciting industry it is and found many more areas I wanted to be involved in apart from the design field. I specially enjoyed the publishing project and saw my classmates’ excitement for the challenge too.

The course was designed as a practical approach where projects and examples were meant to reproduce what working in a publisher is, and debating problems they were facing at the time. It was like training for the job.

I am very pleased with what I learned and how I learned it, even if it took a lot of effort and research on my behalf to keep up with the level. After this experience and the knowledge I gathered, I am pursuing a PhD in digital content, an interest that started when working on my dissertation.

The University campus and city of Stirling are beautiful and the atmosphere is great, which does not hurt when studying for your masters degree.

Farrah Yijia Chen, MSc in International Publishing Management, 2007

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I always remember the first day when I entered Stirling. “Although the degree you will get is called an MSc in International Publishing Management (IPM), not MBA, it’s actually very much like a MBA, because we are training you in management.”

And thanks to this intensive one year training by Stirling, with another year’s working experience via the IPM program, I co-founded a media company after going back to China. Soon after, we brought in the world’s first technology magazine – MITs Technology Review. Now I’m also working in the ecommerce business, serving as Operational Director for Xiu.com, the no.1 fashion ecommerce company in China. No matter whether dealing with traditional media like Newsweek and the New York Times, or with new media like social networking sites and Twitter, I always find the knowledge and thinking prompted by Stirling’s program is very helpful to me.

Stirling has not only taught me about publishing, media and communications, but more a whole new perspective of looking at the business world.

Daniel Chebutuk Rotich, MPhil in Publishing Studies, 1995

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Prof Daniel Chebutuk Rotich, an alumni of University of Stirling, graduated in 1995 with Master of Philosophy in Publishing Studies. Currently an Associate Professor at Moi University, Faculty of Information Sciences, Department of Publishing and Media Studies. After obtaining the master degree from Stirling, he went on to pursue a doctoral degree at Thames Valley University in London. The masters degree from the University of Stirling landed him at Moi University as a Tutorial Fellow in 1995 when there was a serious need for teaching staff at the Department of Publishing and Media Studies. The knowledge obtained from the University of Stirling was used in teaching and subsequent academic development at Moi University. The courses on contemporary publishing, marketing and printing were eye opening and exposure to practical aspects.

He has taught and supervised undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University. The masters degree obtained from the Centre of Publishing Studies, University of Stirling was of great importance to his academic development. On administrative front, he has been Head of Department of Publishing and Media Studies where he served for three years, from 2004 to 2007. He has been the Dean of the Faculty of Information Sciences from 2007 to date.

His current research interest is scholarly and educational publishing in developing countries. He has written, published and presented a number of papers in these areas. He has also presented conference papers on ‘Open Access in African Publishing Industry: Opportunities and Challenges’, ‘The Role of Books in Efficient and Effective Utilization of National Resources: a Kenyan Perspective’, and ‘Journals and Academic Books in Kenya: A Critical Analysis’ among others’. 

Shiqin Zhang, MSc in International Publishing Management, 2009

Studying at the University of Stirling is an eye-opening experience. The core constituent of the International Publishing Management course is to learn how to address the problems common to every publisher, cope with the changes that the publishing industry is undergoing and most important of all, seek new areas of growth. Finally each course member is required to focus their thesis on a publisher: apply what they have learnt in class to resolve the problems the publisher is faced with and give recommendations on how to achieve sustainable growth.

My focus is on Basic Education Publishing (BEP,part of Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press based in Beijing), the publishing company I’m working for. “Write about your own company, and it will be good for you once your recommendations are adopted.” This is great advice from our teachers at the University of Stirling, which my later experience bears out. I knew the problems with our company, applied my knowledge gained in the course and then put all my ideas into the thesis.

Two weeks after I came back, the publishing strategy of BEP was forwarded to me. I revised and even rewrote some parts of it according to my thesis. My boss has been really happy with the fresh perspective I brought back. As a result, a new list has been built and the first batch, which includes twelve books, will be published in the summer of 2010. More of my ideas are now being used and tested. Due of my input, I have been admitted to the publishing committee, the decision-making body of our company.

Looking back, the publishing course has familiarised me with the norms in international publishing and helped to train me to think and work more professionally. I’m always grateful to the course as it has paved the way for my further professional development.

Terka Acton, MPhil in Publishing Studies, 1995

The Stirling course was practical, relevant and friendly, and offered an excellent introduction to publishing. When it came to the crucial matter of whether this interesting course would actually help to me to get a job, I wasn’t disappointed: on graduation I was in the happy position of deciding between two editorial assistant positions, one with Central European University Press in Budapest, and the other with Longman (now Pearson Education) in Harlow.

I surprised myself a little by opting for Harlow over Budapest, but it turned out to be an excellent decision, and the four happy years I spent there gave me a good grounding in academic publishing. In 1999 Macmillan Press (now Palgrave Macmillan) invited me to commission their history textbook list. A great job and excellent colleagues made the commute from London to Basingstoke bearable for six years, but in 2006 I decided to freelance for a while. In 2007 an exciting opportunity to commission illustrated trade history books came up at Thames & Hudson, and I am very much enjoying this chance to experience a different aspect of the industry.

Paul Mihailidis, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2001

I cannot say that the Publishing course at the University of Stirling was the only reason for my success, but it has been a great help. I began work with Pearson Education in New York as a Production Assistant and after 18 months I had been promoted to Production Editor. What the course gave me was a number of significant advantages and insights.

First, the practical knowledge I gained of editing, production, marketing and the whole business of books gave me a clear idea of where I wanted to go in the industry. Secondly, because I had gone on the course, I had marketable skills which I found publishing houses were eager to use.

The Stirling course provides a sound training for the real world of publishing. The staff are experienced, knowledgeable, and highly approachable. The laboratory facilities are state of the art and the course content is relevant and highly practical.

If you want a career in publishing, there is no better place to start than Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling. Years after graduating I am still using the knowledge and skills I learned at Stirling.

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