Alumni - Fernanda Dutra, MA in Digital Publishing

Internship in Geneva

It was the digital side of publishing that first persuaded me to come to Oxford Brookes for an MA in Digital Publishing, after years working as a journalist in Brazil. The same reason made me apply for a six-month internship in the Publishing unit of the International Labour Organization (ILO) - an opportunity available to students at Brookes. 

I was lucky to arrive in October, mid-way through two major projects for the unit: the adaptation of InfoStories, first launched as an iPad app, into a responsive website; and a new generation of Checkpoints, an app which allows companies to carry out analysis of their workplace and promote change. ...

I was allowed to be part of the everyday project management, which requires skills in quality assurance, functionality and user testing, and effective communication with the developers in creative agencies and technical experts in the ILO. One of the most interesting challenges has been working with technical departments to help craft their messages to suit digital environments. The ILO produces rich and important research and data, for which digital platforms are an important tool of dissemination. I was thrilled to be a part of these projects, as I found an area where my backgrounds in journalism and digital publishing were equally in demand. Moreover, my team has welcomed me warmly, encouraging me to experiment and innovate.

ILO interns are among the few in the United Nations system who get paid a stipend, covering monthly costs and trips to interesting places nearby. This also brings a level of diversity and I have met incredible people from many countries, most of whom have lived in multiple continents and have fascinating experiences to share. This has also helped develop my language skills, and I soon became comfortable with switching from English to Spanish to Portuguese.

There is always something to do in the city but, as this is Geneva, ‘something’ could be either a talk by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a protest about human rights, a Peruvian one-man band show, or a happy hour at the World Health Organization. I have had a wonderful time in the ILO and in Geneva, and highly recommend the experience to students on the MAs in Publishing and Digital Publishing at Oxford Brookes.

Posted on 11 Feb 2016 around 5pm