It’s easy to let work and education overwhelm you, especially in this time of isolation we find ourselves in. There are so many things to do in the press, in classes, and in our own lives that we can lose the time we need to, well, take time. It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, or minutes in the hours we get, to just take time for ourselves—but there are when you add boundaries.
I’ve only ever applied to two colleges in my life. Which, if you know me at all, will seem like a drastic deviance from my general personality. You might say, based on this knowledge, that I’ve “always known what I want to do” or that I’m “really good at making decisions.” The first one less than the second but really, neither apply.
The best thing about the Ooligan Press graduate program, as I am sure you are aware, is the opportunity every student has to work on and publish actual books. This experience is what helps set Ooligan apart from other programs, and it sets the students up for success. While I haven’t yet experienced how the skills learned at Ooligan can be applied to full-time publishing jobs, I can speak to how Ooligan has helped me with my time as an intern.
Ooligan Press is staffed by students in Portland State University’s graduate program in Book Publishing. With the Fall 2018 application deadline approaching on April 1, we thought it would be helpful to discuss the admissions process and give tips to prospective students.
As the halfway point of my time here at Ooligan draws near, my effort in learning and my effort in applying that knowledge has started to even out. It is in this balancing that I’ve found an experience that is unique to Ooligan Press: navigating the murky waters of career development by simultaneously being a publishing professional and a student still gaining the knowledge and experience needed to break into publishing after graduation.
As I type this, I’m on my third cup of coffee, and I think I slept during that last nap. I can’t really remember. I’m one of the many Ooligan students who work in the professional realm while also pursuing a master’s degree, which means constantly trying to balance and prioritize schedules while facing an endless string of sleepless nights and pots (and pots) of coffee. Now I’m a special snowflake, because I actually work three jobs that all involve complicated children and exist in different quadrants of Portland. But I digress. Ultimately, what I have found through juggling full-time graduate school, multiple jobs, and an attempt at a social life is that I am gathering skills that will serve me well for the rest of my life. Every graduate student I know who also practices a balancing act, whether at Ooligan or otherwise, is learning what it means to get stuff done—and be creative while doing so. By building up our professional resumes while pursuing our education, we are able to provide unique and valuable insight into successful strategies, and we experience what the real world is actually like.