Mia Kwok has had a blast in the past year being the Deputy Editor of Grapeshot.
What does a Grapeshot Deputy Editor do?
The Deputy Editor is the supporting role to the Editor-in-Chief. Since my background was largely in journalism, I worked on researching, gathering content for commissioning and, of course, editing. The biggest task was nutting out the behind-the-scene work flows and editing processes that we would be using for the rest of the year. I also wrote articles, when required, ran meetings, drank cider and spent a lot of time stalking other uni publications.
I guess I took a wholistic approach to the magazine. At the start of each semester was the busiest, when myself and the other editors would plan out the year. I always tried to stay one step ahead of the savvy sub-editors to try to boost the overall skills of the team – they caught up too quickly!
You need to know what everyone is doing all the time and I have a notoriously terrible memory.
The easiest part was actually the editing, maybe because it was the most fun! I never minded staying back until late-ish just to go over an article one more time.
Definitely the people. How could I not say that? Our office is always packed out with crazy kids from all over campus, most of them actually work for Grapeshot. They study all different subjects, from different faculties, have different ideas on the world and yet somehow we have the best time working together.
Ha! I don’t know. In addition to being Deputy Editor, I’m also a student representative on the Student Advisory Board, which has been both a help and a hindrance to my work at Grapeshot. It’s been a fantastic way to entrench myself in the campus and the culture at Macquarie – you can’t write for students without knowing them – but it also takes up a ridiculous amount of (unpaid) time. Meanwhile, I somehow am doing a full-time Master of Research. In fact, I should be working on that now…
I’m creatively challenged. I was really lucky to work for Nathan because his artistic vision is amazing. If left to me, the magazine would feature stick figures on the cover and everything would be in Comic Sans (okay, that last part is a lie). So I stubbornly kept spending (read: wasting) my time trying to learn design layout. I’ve come a loooong way from using Microsoft Paint.
One other thing I’ve have definitely struggled with is concentrating in the office. Nathan and I started off the year wondering if we could somehow promote an open door policy. Now, I have to kick people out and it’s a fight for a computer here. My next initiative would be investing in heavy duty noise cancelling headphones. There are crazy wars over Miley Cyrus in here and I’m getting scared. Also, whoever told Michelle about Ylvis’ “fox song” has got some serious explaining to do.
I expected to work hard. I didn’t expect to stay back til 3am editing (but that was only once.. or twice)
I expected to want to kill some of my co-workers at some point, but they’re unexpectedly awesome people to see every day.
I actually thought these guys were volunteers, but we get monies! (note: please don’t try to live off this)
Also unexpected: Lots of free stuff – event tickets, food, drinks, crappy CDs and DVDs, etc. I love them all. It’s also really cool to see what’s on campus because there is more going on at Macquarie than we can possibly publish.
Totally unexpected: We made a magazine. Seriously. It’s crazy.
You will only get the most out of the experience if you put in the hard work. Remember that your job isn’t just to be on a magazine so you can pad out your resume. This is an amazing opportunity, yes, but it’s so much more than that.
What you need to do is come up for a vision for the year, write it all down and then toss it out the window.