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Nathan Baker

In 2008, Nathan Baker graduated from Humber’s Creative Book Publishing program. He’s now a subject editor for The Canadian Encyclopedia. We spoke to him about what the job entails and how Humber helped him get there.


What is your current job title and what does that mean on a daily basis?

I’m a subject editor for The Canadian Encyclopedia, responsible for its science and industry section. I commission new encyclopedia entries and update old ones. Starting with drafts from authors or from my own research, I edit for concision, clarity and readability while bringing out the most interesting and relevant information for our audience. After each piece is edited and fact checked, I publish the article online with multimedia.

Can you tell us about your favourite project you’ve worked on or a project that you are particularly proud of?

One of the best features of my job is the great variety of topics I get to explore, so it’s hard to pick one project.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, I handled updates to our entries on SARS and the 1918 flu. These became two of our most popular articles as Canadians sought historical context on the crisis.

Another highlight has been my work to increase our representation of pioneering women in STEM — Brenda Milner, Irene Uchida and Mabel Hubbard Bell, for example.

And then there are entries that treat fascinating but lesser-known parts of Canadian history, on topics such as psychedelic research in Saskatchewan and Canada’s role in the Manhattan Project.

How did your time at Humber help you get where you are now?

At Humber, I developed marketable skills that drew on my less marketable background in literature and languages. The Creative Book Publishing program and my subsequent internship set me on a career path that, while somewhat roundabout and unpredictable, has continued to challenge and interest me.

Give us a tip (or tips) for students and recent grads hoping to follow in your footsteps.

Seek opportunities for extra training or experience in areas that interest you. Refining your skills in those areas can make your work indispensable to others while putting you on a path that brings you fulfillment. My version of this was studying French.

Because so many organizations are now in the business of creating digital content, taking a broad view of publishing can expand your range of opportunities. 


Nathan Baker has worked in publishing for educational, legal, literary and non-profit organizations. In addition to his certificate from Humber, he has bachelor's degrees from McGill University (English literature) and Glendon College (French-to-English translation). He has also published several poems and translations in Canadian journals.

Find Nathan on Twitter at @n8tronto and on LinkedIn.

Nathan Baker

Photo credit: Maylin Kanter