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Student Profiles MLitt 2015-2016

Xin Su, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

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Hey, I’m Xin Su, come from Beijing, China, a country known for its food. I studied at Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, and I was an undergraduate student of Editing and Publishing major. I  never thought about going abroad until I failed the preliminary exam of Chinese postgraduate qualification exam. I was dreaming about to be a  student studying Chinese contemporary literature, but this dream has broken. My mother gave me the braveness to start a new life when I was deeply upset. After that, I decided to go abroad to the UK and experience some brand new perspectives about life, professional knowledge and everything.

I chose Publishing Studies because I want to be a publisher when I graduate (although I love Chinese literature a bit more than publishing), I love books, words and publishing process, all these book-related factors make me feel that I have the power to spread wisdom and make our kind wiser than before. Indeed, as I thought, more challenges and opportunities have appeared when I’m standing on a bigger platform. During my postgraduate studies, I learnt how to analyse strengths and weaknesses of publisher, how to recognize similarity and difference of publishing industry between east and west, and what to improve in the future.

I have some internship experiences in China, but these were all publishing-related  jobs, I had no chance to become a real editor. With this one-year professional publishing training, I feel more confident not only in professional knowledge, but in every aspect. Now I think I am ready for devoting myself into publishing industry and my future career.

For me, publishing is not only a field or a major, it is a bridge between author and reader and a duty of spreading valuable information. Whether I can be a successful editor or not, I will respect publishing and publishers with gratitude.

Yuwen Tong, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

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My name is Yuwen Tong. I come from Shanghai, China. I am an art student. In college, my previous major was advertising design. I was particularly interested in design when I was a child. In Shanghai I have studied painting for seven years and have a certain degree of creative basis. I know that I am far from a professional designer, but I have been watching and learning all kinds of design ideas. After coming to University of Stirling, I chose publishing studies which linked to my previous major as my postgraduate course. Because of the previous study of graphic design, I have mastered a number of graphics software skills such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CAD and Adobe InDesign.

In these two semesters, I have learnt a lot about professional knowledge of publishing such as Skills Training for Publishing, Digital: Process and Product, Editorial Practice and Content Creation, Marketing Management and Communications and Skills for Publishing Management. I hope that in these two semesters I have mastered the professional knowledge of publishing, gained a familiarity with the operation of the publishing industry processes and strengthen my software skills.

Hannah Fields, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

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From the dusty farmlands of West Texas to the rolling hills of Scotland, my weird winding path of education and career choices led me to the University of Stirling’s MLitt in Publishing Studies Program.

I had always toyed with the idea of pursuing publishing, but it took a few years for me to realize that it would be the ideal career choice for me. After graduating from Lubbock Christian University with a BA in English in 2012, I felt uncertain about my desire to obtain a master’s degree, so I made the decision to move to Italy where I spent three months volunteering. Upon returning to Texas, I ascended into a short journalism career. I took on a position as a Digital Content Producer with KCBD NewsChannel 11 in Lubbock, Texas for a year. While at KCBD I edited reporter’s articles, wrote breaking news stories, assisted in managing the station’s social media accounts, and other various related tasks. I was also appointed by the station’s news director to speak at the Texas Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcast Newsroom Workshop held at Texas Tech University in 2014. In this special session I was joined by a reporter from a fellow news station in discussing how we landed our first jobs in broadcasting.

I then transitioned from KCBD to Lubbock Christian University where I took on a position as Web Journalist/Online Marketer in the university’s marketing and communications department. It was my duty to write and post news articles online, manage the university’s social media accounts, edit and contribute articles to the university’s bi-annual magazine, and much more. Working at LCU provided me with numerous memorable opportunities such as meeting with and interviewing C.S. Lewis’ stepson, Douglas Gresham, and the McFarland family, who were featured in Disney’s 2015 film McFarland, USA. I also tried my hand at hosting two radio shows while I was at LCU. My first show, Rhyme and Rhythm, featured jazz and blues with poetry readings in between sets while my second show, The Weekly Spin, featured alternative music along with interviews with local Lubbock musicians.

Needless to say, each experience provided me with knowledge and skills I’ve been able to carry beyond office corridors. However, I knew it was time for me to return to school and obtain a master’s degree. After much thought and consideration, paired with my adoration of business and books, I concluded that publishing studies was the best pick for me. My decision boiled down to Boston or Stirling, but the decision was a simple one. Stirling had won me over. Here’s to another winding path I’m sure will provide countless experiences that will help propel me forward in my future career and endeavours.

Marian Robb, MLitt Publishing Studies 2014-16 (part time)

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Hi. I’m Marian and I’m in my second year of the MLitt in Publishing Studies. My undergraduate degree is a MA from Glasgow University and I also have a PGDip in Information and Library Studies from Strathclyde University. I worked in a mix of university and college libraries before taking up a permanent post with the railway, as a Records Officer. A few years down the line (pun not intended), I swapped the records management for baby management and consequently quite a different role altogether. However, the babies have grown a lot, the house seems to get smaller every year and I decided it was time to gain some new skills and knowledge and go back to university. After spending a lot of time on the internet, checking out various courses, I found myself returning to the Stirling publishing degree as it just seemed the most appropriate to complement my previous qualifications and also open up some whole new opportunities.

I’m possibly one of the few students who hasn’t joined the MLitt in publishing because they love books. If this sounds like absolute sacrilege to anyone, be assured I love reading a good book as much as anyone, it just wasn’t my reason for applying to this course! Children’s literature is what I really love best. Nothing to do with having kids of my own. I’ve always loved children’s books, even before Harry Potter made it both fashionable and acceptable. Guilty secret is now out in the open but at this point I must quote C.S Lewis who said “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I just couldn’t agree more. I can remember one summer holiday when I was about nine, discovering boxes of books hidden in a cupboard that had belonged to my older siblings. I happily settled down with them and was totting up around two or three books a day until my elder sister (assigned with the enviable task of looking after me) “cracked.” I was thrown out into the garden minus sun protection and ordered to soak up a few rays. Clearly she thought that a good dose of Scottish sunburn was a far healthier pursuit for me than immersing myself in the exploits of the Famous Five. How wrong she was. I still dislike excessively hot days (and sunburn) but my enjoyment of children’s books is here to stay.

I’m also a wildlife lover and strongly support the conservation of indigenous species. Scotland is of course a fantastic place to see birds and animals in their natural environment as we still have many beautiful landscapes. However, like everywhere else, many species and their habitats are still under threat. If I could combine a career in publishing with helping to protect our wildlife I would be extremely happy.

Just to finish, here are a few more random things about me which spring to mind as I write. I love deserted beaches, particularly on the west coast of Scotland and conversely I can’t resist a traditional British seaside resort. I love interesting buildings, particularly those from a different era and hate to see them left in disrepair. I love chocolate, cups of tea, the occasional coffee and musicals. I really want to own a retro VW camper van but can’t afford one, so I keep entering competitions in the hope that I’ll win one instead. I love heading off on holiday with my family and wish we could do it a lot more. Hence the campervan on the wish list. Incidentally, I do like sunny days but just in a cooler, Celtic sort of way!

Charlotte Mörsch, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

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Hello, I’m Charlotte Mörsch, not born but definitely raised in the very north of Germany and therefore happiest when the sea is not more than two hours’ drive away. An avid and early reader whose parents at times resorted to taking out the bedside lamp’s lightbulb in a futile attempt to discourage late night reading, I’ve known I wanted to work in the publishing industry ever since watching You’ve Got Mail as a child. And yes, the irony of first discovering the possibility of making a living out of producing books in a film is not lost on me.

During my undergraduate, I studied Scandinavian Studies at the University of Bonn. The course taught me the necessary skills to give in to my love of analyzing literature through different theoretical approaches. At some point, most literature students find a particular theory they return to again and again, because applying its various angles to different works never stops yielding fascinating results (or so they say). For me, what started with a single presentation about gender theory ended in a Bachelor’s Thesis about genre, gender and Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy, as well as an ongoing interest in representation in literature, be it science fiction or history books. My thesis also left me with a taste for crime fiction I hadn’t previously realized I had.

After two very rewarding and interesting editorial internships in German publishing houses, which taught me the basics of proofreading, copy-editing, typesetting and layout, it became clear to me that during my time as an undergraduate, I was sorely missing a more practical approach to books and the industry surrounding them. I was very happy when the University of Stirling accepted me and I am now looking forward to the experiences which await me as I study here and become more familiar with the Scottish and British publishing industry. I hope to have a chance to apply what I learned during my previous internships and to learn more about those parts of the industry I don’t know yet.

When I’m not studying or reading (my favourite authors are Jane Austen and Terry Pratchett), I watch and talk about a lot of movies and TV shows, spend a probably equal amount of time complaining about Germany’s national football team, and go on long, rambling walks which end with me getting lost and discovering wonderful places I can never find my way back to.

Gloria Addo-Safo, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

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Joining the MLitt Publishing 2015-16 class in the University of Stirling is a fulfilled dream for me, basically owing to the fact that I can finally put the little practical knowledge that I have acquired into building a successful publishing career.

I am looking forward to finally becoming a professional publisher, with the knowledge and experience I am receiving here in Stirling; and I hope to return to Ghana to impact the Ghanaian publishing industry positively.

I trust that with this qualification, I can significantly influence the Ghanaian educational system through publishing, because I still believe that publishing is a tool for educational and economic development for any country especially a developing one like Ghana.

My dream of change starts here in Stirling with an MLitt Publishing Studies degree.

Patrizia Striowsky, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

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Having graduated from the University of Oldenburg (a lovely city in the north of Germany) with a BA in English Studies and Politics and Economics in Summer 2015, I was delighted when I received my acceptance email from the University of Stirling. My friends in Germany said it was only “natural” that I would end up in the UK – I like to think this reflects my interest in other cultures, and my desire to take on new challenges…

I had struggled with finding “the right career choice” for a long time. After studying Japanese Studies at the University of Düsseldorf for one semester, I realized that I instead wanted to do “something that has to do with literature” (wow, so specific!). After some consideration, I decided to pursue a degree in English Studies with a focus on literary and cultural studies. I was (and still am) especially interested in pop literature and its representation of contemporary discourses, a fact that was reflected in the choice of my bachelor thesis topic “We Are the Inquisition! (Are we not?): The Representation of Female Warriors and Leaders in Bioware’s Dragon Age: Inquisition.”

I worked for Professor Martin Butler at the University of Oldenburg, which gave me the opportunity to be involved in the copy-editing and proofreading process of an academic edited volume and several papers and bibliographies. This sparked my interest not only in academic publishing, but in the publishing industry in general. Finally, my original plan to pursue a career that has “something to do with literature” took a more precise shape!

I believe that with my great attention to detail, ability to critically reflect my own as well as others’ work, and skill set I developed through my undergraduate studies, an editorial position might best suit me in the future. However, I am also interested in the design aspects of the publishing process and know a thing or two about Adobe software, so I am excited to see where my journey during and after the MLitt will take me!

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