Week One of the Masters in Publishing is now behind me, and tomorrow starts Week Two! Last week was a whirlwind of an experience, but I stepped away feeling more energetic than ever. This year, the MPub faculty has many new faces, and of the classes I’ve been able to attend so far, they’re all going to lead excellent classes and seminars.
What They Don’t Tell You
TUITION DEPOSIT: Because the #MPub program is such a small part of the overall SFU campus, there isn’t a lot of information before the start of term. If you are planning to apply, make sure you budget about $1,000CAD for additional tuition deposits to the Publishing department before the start of term. For me, this was a huge wrench in my summer savings, and as a foreigner with a student visa, I actually wasn’t allowed to legally work before the start of school (they recommend you don’t work at all, for reasons I’ll explain), seriously hampering my ability to settle down in Canada. It may be best to work and save money in your home country, and arrive only a month before (to give yourself time to find an apartment).
CLASS SCHEDULE: The classes run on a liquid schedule that changes a lot. Any schedule you receive through the Registrar will be wrong. Expect classes to shift around a lot, as many of the classes have industry speakers who can only make certain days. Some classes even end earlier in the term to make space for the Book Project, so for the first couple months, you’ll have Fridays free, but then the project will start, and your schedule will shift again. You can see why working any job with set hours would be troublesome.
TEXTBOOKS: Textbooks will arrive in the bookstore. Don’t buy any of them. Unless you want to for your own benefit. Then feel free! If you want to do some reading over the summer before the start of term, check out Publishing for Profit‘s 5th edition. It’s cross-referenced in a few classes and is quite a solid introduction to the publishing industry.
INDESIGN: The design course jumps right into it the first day. Make sure you spend enough time exploring the program to know general layout practices. I suggest picking up a 5-6 hour course on Lynda.com with your free student access to get familiar with the software. From experience, I stress this: InDesign’s learning curve is a monster.
REPUTATION: The Publishing department has a pretty awesome reputation on campus. The advisor for the students is considered one of the nicest in the entire university, and she is a whirling dervish of information. The faculty are good speakers and personable, with varied and fascinating backgrounds. I find myself eager to dive into the coursework for all of my classes.
My First Week, in Instagram Photos
The week started on Tuesday, as Monday was Labo(u)r Day. This means that technically, tomorrow is my first time going to the Technology seminar! Orientation was a little over two hours, and was the only thing planned for the day. I walked around campus for a bit, and dropped my name in the hat for Publishing caucus representative for the Grad Council. (eeeek!)
I have to mention that Simon Fraser has some amazing facilities for graduate students. The Publishing cohort get three shared offices to split between 18 people, and they’re key-code protected. In addition, there is free coffee on the Burnaby campus, a student lounge with microwaves and kettles, access to a fridge for your lunch, a massive amount of study space (if you need a quiet place besides home), tons of workshops and services for writing and bookable conference rooms for larger study groups. Also, the Publishing cohort gets free printing in the Publishing wing of Harbour Centre. The facilities are amazingly well-funded.
As part of the first week, the Publishing faculty invited us out to Mahony & Sons pub near the Waterfront. It is a gorgeous area, and those of us that attended spent the better part of two hours just getting to know our professors in a very candid and welcoming way. I felt so supported, and could really sense the faculty’s investment in our being in the program. This year has seen some new changes to the curriculum, with students being able to choose between interning, doing a research project, or building a start-up company from the ground up, and I literally can’t decide which one sounds most awesome. Knowing me, I’ll try to do all three, haha!
…Oh, and at the pub, I was unanimously voted in as caucus rep! 😳✊
Thursday we finally got to take the Publishing management course and I am SO IN LOVE. Everything about the syllabus is exciting me, and I just can’t wait to gets hands on with our book and magazine projects later in the year. Woohoo!
Also, I happened to meet an upperclassman by chance a couple weeks ago, and he treated me to lunch since Financial Aid was taking its sweet time disbursing. Thankfully, now I have my money!
Now, on to Week Two! Follow me on Instagram for all the stories I post about #MPub. 🙂