Words from Alumni

BMS Alumni have been participating in a lot of wonderful and exciting things since graduating from the BMS program. For instance, our awesome BMS logo was actually made by a BMS alumna!

Here’s what some of our amazing alumni have to say about life since BMS:

“I founded the BMSSA not long ago, but am still doing bookish things. I am now a manager at the Bob Miller Book Room, an independent bookstore in Toronto. I also freelance as an editor and writer. I edit fiction, most of it destined for self-publication, and I write both fiction and non-fiction. My articles have appeared in the Bulletin of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, Amphora, and the journal of the Alcuin Society, and have been picked up by the Huffington Post. My short stories will appear in anthologies this winter. I blog about all things bookish at http://charlotteashley.wordpress.com.”

– Charlotte Ashley

“I graduated from U of T in July of 2012 and by October of the same year, I was employed as an Online Search Specialist for a software start-up in downtown Toronto. It was not so much my degree that helped me land such an awesome job relatively quickly – but the opportunities BMS opened up for me while I was still in school. I had taken courses like Mediating the Social and the Networked Society which helped me expand my knowledge on social media. For 3 semesters, I participated in the work-study program in various social media roles around campus, taking my theoretical knowledge of social media and applying it in the real world. This helped fill out my resume with reputable paid positions while also helping me learn how to use social networks to help execute business objectives. These are not skills people in traditional marketing necessarily learn so possessing as much knowledge and experience in this field really allowed me to transition from student to professional rather easily.”

– Maria Khan

“I have always appreciated the diversity of the Book and Media Studies programme at the University of Toronto, which gives students the opportunity to tailor course selections to their specific interests. From the academic approach of media theory and book history to the hands-on experience of creating facsimiles of medieval transcripts, Book and Media Studies courses have always guided my interest in the book as a physical object, helping me to question how the form of the book and the different modes of its presentation can effect meaning.

Having finished my studies at the University of Toronto, I will be pursuing a Masters in Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts in London, UK, focusing on the Books and Archival Materials stream. In conservation, it is important to consider the ideal method of preserving materials for future generations while maintaining their historical and cultural integrity. As such, it is crucial to understand the dual nature of the book as both a cultural and physical object, something I will bring to my studies at Camberwell College with my background as an Art History and Book & Media Studies major at the University of Toronto.”

– Kimberly Kwan

“By majoring in Book & Media Studies (along with minors in History and Psychology), I was able to explore a topic that has always fascinated me: how people use a diverse range of communication methods to share information and build connections. While learning the theory behind media and communications in class, I gained hands-on related experience by working as Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Varsity, interning at Eye Weekly and Luminato, and finally, completing the Francess Halpenny internship at University of Toronto Press (UTP).

This last internship, which was offered through the Book & Media Studies program, led directly to my first job at UTP, which was as a Marketing Coordinator. That position, like my major, had me constantly thinking about the different ways in which audiences process and understand information. (The solid writing and editing skills I developed over the course of countless university essays helped, too!) As I became more and more interested in strategic professional communications, I completed a certificate in Publicity & Public Relations at U of T’s School of Continuing Studies. Now, I’m putting that knowledge to use at the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), where I work as a Communications Coordinator.

It’s clear to me in retrospect that Book & Media Studies played an important role in steering me towards my current career path. Beyond that, I’m also grateful that it gave me the chance to geek out about media history, Marshall McLuhan, and mass communications with like-minded students.”

– Shoshana Wasser

“After graduating from the Book and Media Studies program (minors in English and Literary Studies), I moved with my partner to Providence, Rhode Island and began to pursue publishing and book related opportunities in the Boston area. From November of 2012 through April 2013, I served as a production intern at The MIT Press, where my BMS degree was not only put to good use – no one had to explain what a folio was — but also a major draw during my interview.

After leaving The MIT Press, I spent my summer working as a research assistant for the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, digitizing documents in preparation for exhibition, and served as a consultant for WaterFire Providence, helping the organization update and digitize the book, H.P. Lovecraft: New England Decadent.

Then, in September of 2013, I accepted a position as a marketing assistant at Pearson Education, fulfilling my dream of working in the marketing department at a major publishing house.

Employers and colleagues never fail to ask me about my degree – what it means, what we do, what my favorite parts were. It’s a completely unique concentration, putting me at an excellent advantage during job interviews by setting me apart from the droves of English and History majors.

I’m so proud to have been a part of the Book and Media Studies program and look forward to signing it’s praises for many years to come.”

– Emma Sarconi

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