Jessica Walter Arts at WorkEducation background:
Bachelor of Arts (Professional and Creative Writing) (Hons), Deakin University; Master of Publishing and Communications, University of Melbourne.

Current/notable positions: 
Editor, Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF); Digital Editions Manager, The Lifted Brow; Academic Sales Assistant, Cambridge University Press.

Career highlight:
I’m not sure I have a particular highlight yet as I only just started and have a long way to go! At ANZIIF, in addition to editing coursework and training materials for people studying insurance, every so often I edit articles and eDMs. It’s pretty special working one-on-one with a writer and helping them achieve their vision.

What was your first job?
I worked in a two-dollar shop from the age of 14, then on to Video Ezy (RIP). A dozen or so jobs later, here I am at ANZIIF!

How have the humanities helped you in your career?
Studying literature in undergrad opened my mind to so many things. The humanities make it easier to take in new information and see the world from multiple angles. A former lecturer at Deakin compared studying Arts and Literary Studies to exiting the Matrix. Looking back to my mindset before and after, I can see what she meant.

On a more practical level, I volunteered with multiple publications while studying and that was what sparked my interest in publishing and editing. I’m now also volunteering with The Lifted Brow, creating their digital editions. The value of technical skills like HTML and design is something I can’t stress enough.

Why do you think the humanities matter today?
The Matrix thing I mentioned above. The humanities expand your social consciousness in a way that few other disciplines do. They teach you to avoid taking things at face value, and to know that if social ideologies can be constructed then they can also be deconstructed. It’s important to know when to question.

What are you reading now?
The Island Will Sink by Briohny Doyle (hey hey, The Lifted Brow). Next in my increasingly tall and unstable reading pile are The Lonely City by Olivia Laing and Wonder by Raquel J Palacio.


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