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Q&A with Monash intern Bernd Faveere

Book Talk

Q&A with Monash intern Bernd Faveere

Book Talk

Tell us about your studies at Monash University.

I’m currently studying a double degree of Arts and Commerce, with a double major of Literature and Theatre studies in the former, and a major in Economics for the latter. Quite a wide range, as I’m often told, but I’m hoping to be a jack of all trades, master of some.


How did the ABR internship fit into your studies?

The ABR internship was a wonderful opportunity offered by the university to inject some practical experience into my Literature major.


How long did you spend at the magazine?

One day a week for three months. Just long enough to see a few issues come out and to witness the fruits of my labour – and also to marvel at the coffee consumption!


What were your tasks?

I was chiefly responsible for digitally archiving past ABR issues for the website, a big new initiative of the magazine. Let’s just say my ‘Books to read’ list has expanded exponentially, though some of the books reviewed in ABR going back to 1978 may sadly be out of print.


What skills did you acquire or refine while interning at ABR?

My proofing ability has skyrocketed immensely, just from sheer volume. I’ve also gotten a great insight into strong literary writing style. My future essays certainly won’t know what hit them.


Which aspect of your work did you enjoy most?

Working on the archive gave me a real glimpse into the vibrant history of Australian literature. It was fascinating to discover how alive (and unique) Australian literary criticism was even in the 1970s and 1980s.


ABR is a small team – with a staff of four in an open space. What was it like being part of the team for three months?

The open plan office allowed me to easily integrate into the workflow of the magazine. Instead of being separated in my own office, I got to feel a part of the team.


How did your time at ABR alter your sense of the magazine?

I gained a newfound respect for the huge impact ABR has on the development and presence of Australian literature, as well as fostering new writing talent. That this impact is achieved and sustained by a staff of four is all the more impressive.


You also work part-time for a large hotel in the city. What would you say are benefits of interning at a smaller organisation such as ABR?

The greatest benefit is the opportunity for more personalised learning. If I have any question about how something’s done, I can just ask and be taught immediately.


Would you recommend the internship program to other students?

Certainly! It’s an excellent chance to get out of the stuffy classroom and see what’s happening in Australian literature right now.

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