Alumni - Vasundhara Puri, MA Publishing

Internship at the International Labour Office in Geneva

About halfway through the MA publishing course, in January 2016, we were informed of an opportunity to intern at the International Labour Office in Geneva for a period of six months. I jumped at the chance, having heard about the internship previously and having been waiting for a chance to apply since before I had even arrived in Oxford. What followed was an interview at the fabulous 2016 London Book Fair, and voilà, six months later, I was in Geneva.

The ILO produces many publications, including reports detailing their research and their work all over the world. I arrived at a very interesting time, when the Publications team was trying to participate in various online libraries and provide them with thousands of titles. Apart from working on metadata curation, enhancement, and creation, I did intensive research for the Publications unit on asset management systems. This was an aspect of publishing I had not been exposed to previously and it was great to learn about the importance of data, how to create the relationships between various data sets, and how crucial this work is for effective and successful publishing. The Publications team is intelligent, encouraging, supportive, and willing to pass on their knowledge to the intern. ...

ILO interns are among the few in the international nongovernmental organizations to get a monthly stipend. For me, this was more than enough to live comfortably on - as well as to splurge a little on travel and take part in the activities the city of Geneva has to offer. It is a multicultural environment and there are many events to enjoy at the ILO, UN, WTO, the many consulates, and the Graduate Institute (and of course, at the lake!). The city is an incredibly stimulating place to live in and I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

I am delighted I got the chance to be at Oxford Brookes on the publishing course because it led me to such a solid opportunity and a stepping stone for my career in publishing. I would encourage students to apply for the internship because such opportunities are hard to come by otherwise.

Posted on 01 Jun 2017 around 8am