Kevin Baker ’18, a recent graduate of the M.S. in Publishing program at Pace University, now works as a Journal Development Editor at Springer Nature. His area of focus there is with academic research journals. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he moved to the New York City area in 2016 to attend Pace.
What does your job at Springer Nature entail? What are some of your favorite parts or interesting aspects of your job?
My job at Springer Nature is a Journal Development Editor working with open access academic journals. This job is somewhat of an intermediary between the publishers and the external editors-in-chief for the journals in my portfolio. I act as the primary contact for those external editors when contacting the publisher. My favorite part of my job is working to see journals grow and gain success.
Did you intern in the past and if so, how did it prepare you for your current position?
I had some internship experience in the past, but it was not in academic publishing. I worked as an editorial intern at my undergraduate alumni magazine. What it did to prepare me for my current position is that I spent time learning about the various editorial stages when working with different stages in the process of publishing articles. Although there are significant differences between my internship experience and my current position, I feel like having that time as an intern is what started my interest in publishing processes.
What was your topic for your thesis paper? Do you have any advice or tips for students currently writing their paper?
The topic of my master’s thesis at Pace was examining the various components of niche magazine publishing to discover what allowed them to maintain stability while general interest magazines were struggling. My advice for anyone starting to work on their thesis is to choose your topic carefully. You will be working with this topic for a long time in a very in-depth way, so make sure it is something you are genuinely curious about. Then, when you are actually writing the thesis, my advice is to seek out advice on it from your professors. Their expertise will help you create the best final product possible.
Where do you see yourself in the future, 5-10 years into your career?
I am not sure where exactly I see myself in the future. I only know what I would like to have accomplished. I want to continue to grow, both for myself and the industry I am a part of. What position or title I will have is not important compared to what contributions I have made to the people I work with, to the company I work for, and even to the larger publishing field I am a part of. I want to have made contributions to benefit these places.
What were some of the highlights of your graduate experience? (Please mention your internships, teachers, courses, or just fond classroom memories here.)
I have quite a few highlights from my time at Pace. Some of them are the social aspects, like sitting in the computer lab before class collaborating with the people around me. However, in terms of classes, there is definitely one that shaped me the most, and it was “Creating a Magazine Brand” with Professor Benjamin and Professor Rockmore. This class showed me the incredible amount of work and thought that is put into every little detail of magazine publishing. It opened my eyes to the full breadth and scope of the industry, and it gave me experience and familiarity with many more aspects of the publishing processes. Of course, I also enjoyed writing my master’s thesis with Professor Soares. Finding a topic that really interests me, and finding all of the newest innovations and information around that topic is a great experience. I think all of my personal highlights of the program were also the most difficult parts of the program, because they challenged me to think beyond my existing knowledge. As is often the case, the more difficult something is, the more benefits you get out of it after it is done.