Q & A with Ruby Mikolaitis, Publishing Intern

Ruby Mikolaitis has been part of the SUP team from mid-March to mid-April. She is currently in her third year of a double degree (Bachelor of Communications and Media/Bachelor of Arts) and specialising in three majors including English Literature.

A photo of Ruby Mikolaitis

What have you been working on at SUP?

Writing a reader’s report on the manuscript titled ‘Singing Bones’ by Samuel Curkpatrick has been my biggest project while at SUP. I’ve also researched ideas of how to best market this book. I also proofread volume 4 of Letters to Australia by Julius Stone. I learnt about the email marketing platform Mailchimp and created new release emails for several recently published and upcoming books.

What has been the best part of the role? How about the most challenging?

The best part about this role has been to gain an insight into the skills needed in the publishing industry. I’ve particularly enjoyed the marketing and editing side of publishing. I’ve developed my research skills, learnt proofreading marks and how to write alt text, and got an insight into what’s involved in indexing. The most challenging part of the role was to juggle this internship with both working and having to attend university and complete assignments etc. I’ve been getting by on about five hours of sleep per day, yay for coffee!

Has anything surprised you about SUP/scholarly publishing?

What surprised me is how welcoming SUP was, I’ve heard about how supervisors can treat interns in the work industry, but all the staff were really welcoming and patient. They answered my questions and accommodated my interests; I was never bored and always had something to do that helped me acquire a new skill such as proof reading. What surprised me the most about scholarly publishing was the variety of fields that the books are published in. I’ve looked at books from animal studies and archaeology to politics and Australian literature.

What skills have you used most during your internship?

The skills I’ve used most are the ability to critique and analyse texts and identify errors in punctuation and grammar. I have also used marketing skills extensively, to identify strategies on how to promote new titles online. Interpersonal skills were very important too. I appreciate how important they are in order to work and communicate in a team environment and contribute ideas.

What was your dream job when you were 12? What is your dream job now?

My dream job when I was 12 was to become an archaeologist and specialise in Egyptology. I don’t know what my dream job now is. I have a lot of options: from working in a publishing company in the editing or marketing division to being a producer in the film industry, to working in the theatre, to being a writer … the list could go on.

You have to take a week-long road trip with a fictional or historical character. Who do you choose and why?

Ahh, there’s so many options! I would probably take all my favourite writers such as Emily and Charlotte Brontë, Mary Shelley, Christina Rossetti, Sylvia Plath and Patricia Highsmith and just drive in a big Kombi van. It would be fascinating to watch them all converse with each other and share ideas.

What are you planning to do next?

I am going to Melbourne for my 21st birthday very soon. It’ll be my first time and I’m very excited to see the sights and try the food.