Portrait of a working girl: Writing Secretary
At work, what is your area of expertise?
I work in a free weekly magazine. I take care of the rereading of the latter once it has been laid out. I correct syntax, spelling, grammar … I also check the data, the references and the accuracy of the facts. For example, if it’s a portrait of a singer and you’re talking about her last album, I’ll make sure that everything matches the dates, the titles … I also check the names of the people mentioned in the Magazine, the prices of the products that the magazine presents in shopping ideas as well as the addresses of websites …, I make sure that there are no repetitions, and that the reading is pleasant and understandable.In short, my role is to guarantee the good quality of the magazine.
Your mission, if you agree to reveal it to us
What are the most difficult and coolest aspects?
The hardest, often these are the deadlines, especially in a weekly. It is not uncommon for texts to arrive late, so you have to be extremely reactive about the corrections. Sometimes the pages are totally reviewed and recalibrated at the last moment. You have to be very careful and you can not afford to have your head elsewhere. One hundred percent must be concentrated in our readings. Editorial secretary, it is a work of meticulousness.
The most fun aspect is to be part of the life of the newspaper. One can bring one’s ideas and contribute to the content in itself. It is a very family atmosphere. In addition, I have the chance to be in a magazine that corresponds to me well, I like what I read every day, the articles are interesting, they have a side funny and offbeat. I do not see it just as a job, but also as a pleasure.The magazine being a weekly, every week it is renewed, it is never the same!
Why did you choose this job?
Is it the craft you always wanted to do or did you arrive by chance?
I had a fairly eclectic background, I did not know what I wanted to do when I left high school. I first did law, then teaching and finally I went to publishing because I enjoy reading and it is an environment I liked. I have a friend who is also in the press and he made me discover this job of editorial secretary that I did not know at all. I immediately felt that it could please me. I resumed my studies in this sector, which allowed me to do an internship at Public magazine. It made me feel better. I felt that I could do this job all my life without problems.
What did you follow to be here today?
I did a master 2 at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris 3, Letters applied to editorial techniques and professional writing. This master’s degree prepares all professions concerning professional writings of any kind. For example, one of our speakers was the editor of the debates in the National Assembly. It teaches the signs of correction, to make reading cards, how to use the software of word processing and DTP … To do this master 2, I needed a validated M1, no matter the specialization of it. Everyone can try it. It is not especially necessary to come from the publishing world. You have to send your application form, pass written and oral exams, and finally an interview. For my part, I had already done small internships in the press before, which helps to show motivation. And it was during this master’s course that I completed my internship at public.
In general, do you see yourself as a conqueror and why?
I’m not a careerist, I do not want to mix up. But when I want something, I do not let go. I do everything to have it. I’m always motivated whatever happens, I keep believing. I am rather optimistic, I do not lower my arms and I always try to see the good side of things, to take them with a smile.
What are your career desires, your future plans?
I like the position I occupy at the moment. Then in a few years, my career goal would be to move on to the top rank and become editorial secretary. Or why not, one day, try a more turned on article writing job. But there are jobs that I would not want to do, such as the editor-in-chief, who has a lot of responsibility, really needs a lot of time and is moving into a more commercial trade. As I said, I am not a careerist and I want to have a private life that I can enjoy, so the position of the editorial secretary can bring me that balance.
If you were to summarize in one sentence your philosophy of life it would be?
If you do not give up, you will not fail.