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Vicky Gray has been helping at SUP for the last six months. She is finishing a combined degree in music and English literature, and planning to work in publishing.

What have you been working on at SUP?

Every week I’ve been given a different task with a different book, which has been great in enabling me to gain a glimpse of what needs to be done in most stages of the publishing process, as well as insight into the broad range of works that SUP publishes. I’ve helped with so many different books that it’s difficult to pinpoint just a few! However a couple of standouts include formatting and proof-reading David C. Thomas’s fascinating The Ebb and Flow of the Ghurid Empire and Jenna Mead’s edition of The Broad Arrow by Oliné Keese, as well as copyediting parts of Mutiny, Mayhem, Mythology: Bounty’s Enigmatic Voyage by Alan Frost. Since this is my first experience working within a publishing company, I began with very little knowledge of how the process works, but from being given such a range of tasks, I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge that will be invaluable in the future.

What has been the best part of the role? How about the most challenging?

I think the flexibility of the role is fantastic, as I’ve had the ability to work with every team member in one way or another, learning about the kinds of roles and responsibilities that are available in the industry. I’ve especially enjoyed the publication part of the role, helping the team with proofreading, copyediting and formatting authors’ works, and how welcoming and open the team is to answering my questions and spending time to explain to me how to complete a task.

In terms of challenges, I have a tendency to struggle with certain aspects of technology so have found myself occasionally out of my comfort zone when faced with having to use a new digital program, however I also love a good challenge and Google can be your best friend if you need it to be!

Has anything surprised you about SUP/scholarly publishing?

I came into the internship having no expectations or presumptions however one thing that has surprised me is how much time the process of publishing a work takes. From the initial proposal, through the editing process and into the final stages, there is a large amount of time-consuming work involved, so I now have a greater appreciation of the books that I read, especially academic works.

What skills have you used most during your internship?

I think the main skill that I have needed is the ability to spot errors and gaps in such large bodies of work, so a keen eye for details is a must-have. I’ve also had to have a lot of patience in sticking with some tasks that take a while to complete, as not everything can be done quickly.

What was your dream job when you were 12? What is your dream job now?

My dream job as a 12-year-old was actually to be a professional orchestral musician. Alongside studying English literature at UNSW, I am also studying music (I play the clarinet and piano), so that dream has not completely disappeared. At the moment my love of English and reading is at the forefront and I currently aspire to have a career in publishing, with a dream of having a senior editorial role for a major publishing firm one day.

You have to take a week-long road trip with a fictional or historical character. Who do you choose and why?

Ooh this is a tricky question as there are so many great characters out there! I would probably have to say a 21st-century version of Mary Poppins, who is a childhood favourite character of mine. I think that she would be quite fun to travel with as she’d always see the bright side of things and would be up for stopping and doing adventurous activities with me, while keeping her infamous style and grace (something that I looked up to as a child).

What are you planning to do next?

Once graduated at the end of this year, I am hoping to do some travel before gaining an entry-level job within a publishing firm. I am also planning to live and work overseas for a while, in London or somewhere in the UK, as I spent some time studying over there a couple of years ago and enjoyed it so much that I would like to go back.

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