Welcome to our new blog series, in which we interview Exact Editions’ employees about their role, their favourite hobbies and everything in between! 🎤
First in the hot seat is our wonderful Production Manager, Yasmin Mahdy.
1. How long have you worked at Exact Editions?
It is now 5 years since I started at Exact Editions! I first came on board in May 2017 as the Digital Production and Publisher Services Assistant, working in the production team for two years, before going on to become Production Manager.
2. Could you describe a day in the life of a Production Manager?
For the most part, my role is overseeing all that is going on in the production team and making sure any production queries and projects are being addressed or completed.
I usually check the production calendar in the morning which lists all the magazine issues expected to be published each day, make sure those yesterday have been checked as published, and assign my colleagues in the production team their tasks or check in on how those tasks are going.
We have ad hoc production queries that come in which I ensure have been completed and I also oversee the ongoing production projects — these are usually extending or completing digital archives of magazines we currently work with or managing new titles that are coming on board with Exact Editions. As we speak, for example, we’ve just completed the archive for The Journal of Australian Ceramics, and for that project, I ensure all the steps have been completed on our end.
On a typical day, I may be included in a meeting on some larger projects that are ongoing and I liaise with the marketing and sales team also.
3. What is your favourite part of your job?
I would have to say overall talking and working with colleagues! We have a brilliant team here and everyone gets on well. I have a fantastic production team and I feel very lucky to have them. We bounce ideas off one another which leads to improvements and increased efficiency, which is beneficial for our work and also feeling like we make a difference here.
Another great part of the job is the feeling of accomplishment when the bigger archive projects are completed. The one that stands out for me was working through The Tablet archive. It was over 8,000 back issues which I saw from the physical copies that arrived, to being digitised, that I then uploaded to our content management system. When that was finally done and live, it was a fantastic feeling.
4. What is a fun fact about you that most people don’t know?
I’m not so sure about most people not knowing — I think I always share what I’m up to! I did a GCSE in German a long time ago now, taught by a teacher who we all thought was German but it turned it he just put on an accent for fun! I’ve recently started learning it again on Duolingo to test myself how much I remember and I haven’t broken the streak yet!
I also understand a fair bit of Polish and can speak a little of it too, as one half of my family is from Poland. I don’t dare speak it much as my pronunciation is terrible!
5. What’s the the most important career lesson you’ve learnt so far?
I would have to say for myself as someone who started off as an assistant and became a manager, it is how important it is to teach and train others and encourage their growth also and give them the space and time to also learn.
I can be a bit independent in my work and in wanting to get it done myself, but I’ve learnt to recognise the importance of entrusting and sharing that workload and the benefits in also giving myself the time to work on something new.
6. What is one thing you can’t live without?
I don’t want to say my phone but….well, it’s definitely my phone. Without my phone alarm, I could easily sleep through the day! And my lip balm. Somehow, if I ever forget to bring it somewhere with me, I instantly need it.
7. What do you like to do in your free time?
Reading — lots of reading! I’ve given myself a target of reading 80 books this year on Goodreads which may be a bit much. Also, watching good TV shows, films, catching up with friends and going on city breaks abroad when I can. When I visit my family, its mostly just so I can walk our family dog, Bagel.
So hard to say. For dinner, I’d say a freshly made, huge helping of lasagne with lots of cheese.
- Holiday destination?
Almost impossible to choose. Croatia is amazing and not too far to fly to with lovely weather, islands and the Adriatic to swim in. I’m hoping to go to Dubrovnik again this year.
- Karaoke song?
Hardest question yet. I have to go with ‘Part of Your World’ because The Little Mermaid was my absolute favourite film growing up and I watched it over and over until the video tape wore out.
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Thanks so much Yasmin — it’s great to hear a bit more about your role and what you like to get up to!
Whether you’re a magazine reader, publisher or librarian, you can find out more about Exact Editions by getting in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.