The Experience of Interning at UTP Journals

December 10, 2013

For the past 15 weeks the UTP Journals team has been thrilled to have Kristy Hankewitz working with us in her role as Editorial/Production intern. Kristy attended the University of Windsor, completing her BA in English and Psychology. She also attended Ryerson University’s publishing program where she completed courses in grammar, copy-editing, and digital publishing.

Kristy Hankewitz

Editorial/Production Intern


Last year, I enrolled in Ryerson’s Continuing Education Publishing Program, hopeful and enthusiastic to forge a career in a field that I love. One aspect of the program that I was most excited for was the chance to do an internship. Although it is not mandatory to complete an internship to graduate from the publishing program at Ryerson, it is highly encouraged. The program coordinators are very helpful in aiding students to find positions, sending e-mails about internship and employment opportunities through the school e-mail system.

I was thrilled to be hired as an Editorial/Production Intern at the University of Toronto Press, Journals Division in September. I knew that the smaller size of the office and of the staff would be a definite advantage. The opportunities to learn seemed endless.

And they were! An internship is indeed education in a way that classroom learning is not. Although I was taught many of the basics in my publishing courses – how to copy-edit a manuscript, use metadata, and make a production schedule, for example – I got to put these skills into practice on projects that really mattered, and I learned so much more through real-life practice than I ever could through school. School is a great starting point in acquiring necessary skills, but a job in which you can put those skills to use and build on them is the ultimate education.

Some of the projects that I had an opportunity to work on during my time at UTP Journals include copy-editing and responding to author queries for articles from various journals; compiling indexes; proofreading and making changes on proofs, both on paper and digitally; and working on a digitization project for the Champlain Society, in which I got to use and build upon my knowledge of XML and metadata. I learned so much about working with authors, about working with various computer programs such as Adobe Acrobat and Oxygen XML editor, and about how every team member’s work matters immensely in regards to the final product. The feedback I received while doing these and other tasks was invaluable.

During my internship, I not only learned what goes on in publishing from the perspective of someone working in the editorial and production department, but also from those who work in each of the other departments. As an intern, I was offered the chance to take part in job shadowing sessions with staff members from every department. This allowed me to really get a feel for what goes on in every step of the publishing of a journal, and it also allowed me the opportunity to explore my options regarding different jobs in publishing. Everyone was very generous with their time, willing to answer any questions I had, and happy to share their skills and experience so that I could learn more. I also had the opportunity to sit in during production meetings and departmental meetings, another interesting experience that gave me even more insight into what goes on behind the scenes, from the small details to the big picture.

Interning at the University of Toronto Press, Journals Division has been a wonderful opportunity. It has allowed me to make connections with people within the publishing industry, to practise the skills I’ve learned on real projects, and to learn many more skills that I probably wouldn’t have had a chance to pick up in school or on my own. I know that the skills, lessons, and connections that I take away from this internship will stay with me and will be assets towards my future job search and career.

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