What motivated you to pursue postgraduate study?
I have always had an interest in pursuing a career in the publishing industry, but after completing my undergraduate course I didn't feel I had the necessary experience and insight into how everything really worked. I decided to apply for a master's in Publishing to develop my skills, learn more about the industry and specialise in this subject.
What were you doing before applying for a postgraduate degree?
I was finishing my undergraduate course in Creative and Professional Writing and looking for placement and job opportunities in my field.
Were there any challenges affecting your decision to study a postgraduate degree? If so, how did you overcome them?
I applied for a master's degree before the pandemic started. I secured my place one week before we went into lockdown and at that time, I didn't expect everything to last for this long.
Then, as months approached September and the beginning of my course, seeing the situation hadn't improved, I started worrying I wasn't going to be able to do face-to-face teaching, which wasn't ideal and made me doubt whether it was worth going ahead with my plans or postponing my studies for a year.
I decided not to defer because I wanted to get the knowledge as soon as possible to be able to apply for jobs and because I was very excited to study this course. Looking back now, it was the best decision I have ever made.
Why did you choose City?
I chose City because the course structure and modules were very complete, up to date and focused on teaching modern skills through research and digital assignments.
It also focused on how the publishing industry is evolving with digitisation, and since that was something I was especially interested in, I thought it was the right university for me.
Another key feature was that the course offered the opportunity to take a placement module during your studies, and that was something that made it stand out from the rest.
How are you funding your studies – did you secure any financial support?
I'm funding my course through Student Finance. I applied as soon as applications for postgraduate courses opened because I wanted to make sure I secured the financial support before starting my studies and just in case there were some delays or problems with the paperwork.
How are you finding studying in the UK – either in person or remotely?
Besides the course being delivered remotely, my experience in the UK and my course have gone beyond my expectations in the best way possible. City has done so much to make sure we didn't feel the difference between face-to-face and remote teaching. All lecturers have been extremely helpful and supportive.
With all events cancelled, they have made sure we still had the same opportunities and they have brought online guests who work in publishing to give us an insight into the latest changes in the industry while being able to ask them questions and grow our network. They have also sent us many jobs and internship opportunities which has been extremely helpful.
Overall, it has been a great experience, I have learned so much and met amazing people. Now that my course is coming to an end, I wish I could do it all over again because it has truly been a great journey.
What does a typical week at university look like for you?
I have three/four lectures a week, before or after them I try to do some work or research towards my assignments. When I'm not in lectures or doing work, I hang out with my friends (this year this has been on Zoom calls) and I dedicate time to my hobbies like reading, writing, dancing and going on walks.
I also have a part-time job and I work on the weekends and the day I have off university. If you manage time properly, it is possible to fit study workload, social life and a part-time job, in fact, I would 100% recommend doing something that interests you like joining a sport or university club.
What has been your favourite module or aspect of your course so far?
My favourite modules have been Marketing and Business in Publishing and Digital Product Innovation, they have both challenged me in different ways and have equipped me with skills I have found useful in other modules and projects. The things I have enjoyed the most about my course have been the talks I have received from industry professionals and the opportunity of doing a placement.
Both have been things that have given the course extra value and that I didn't think were going to be possible this year due to Covid-19.
What knowledge and skills has your course helped you develop?
I have developed skills like time management, problem solving, organisation, perseverance, leadership, teamwork and the ability to work under pressure.
It has also equipped me with commercial awareness, copywriting and research skills that I am sure will be helpful when working in the industry.
What opportunities and experiences has City offered you so far?
City has offered me the opportunity to take a placement module and get some experience, along with the chance of attending events and talks from industry professionals that have been helpful in my studies.
Taking part in the university's magazine has also been a good way of getting some of my work published and building my CV.
What are your career plans and how has City prepared you for them?
I have accepted a job opportunity that came to me after the placement I did during my studies. What I learned during the course helped me succeed in my placement tasks and it has also helped me grow my network.
I will continue to develop my skills and look for other opportunities that will build me up professionally and personally.
What advice would you give to someone considering a postgraduate degree?
I would tell them to go for it and to take in as much information and opportunities as they can. For me, doing this master's has changed my life and has made me feel prepared to get into a competitive and professional environment. It has also opened job and internship opportunities that otherwise I wouldn't have had the chance of getting.
Doing this course was one of the best experiences of my life and I would encourage anyone who's considering a postgraduate degree to do it. You have nothing to lose, only good things to gain.