Grad profile

Robin-Eliece Mercury


Robin-Eliece Mercury. Photo by Greg Ehlers.

In many ways, Robin-Eliece Mercury has always been a student. After graduating with a BFA and pursuing various work opportunities, she wanted to broaden her horizons. Robin-Eliece moved to Japan and spent the next six and a half years teaching Communicative English at a private high school. During this time, she was learning just as much as she was teaching and set a personal goal to master the Japanese language.

“I remember the day it all came together,” she says, recalling how she rushed into an administrative office and quickly asked the receptionist for a favour, in Japanese. The woman responded, head down, before eventually looking up. “She was shocked. She didn’t even realize it was me,” Robin-Eliece remembers. She had perfected her Japanese.

Still, Robin-Eliece wanted to learn more. She returned to Canada to earn her Master of Education before continuing to teach in Japan, in North Vancouver at Capilano University and eventually in Prague. There, she brought her enthusiasm for education to her role as an assistant professor and helped MA and PhD candidates write and format journal articles, papers, dissertations and external publications to a high Western academic standard. “I was already editing, but for a very specialized field,” she recounts. Thus, when her time overseas was ending she began looking for similar opportunities.

“The editing certificate and getting that kind of technical accreditation has solidified what I can put forward professionally.”


Robin-Eliece Mercury. Photo by Greg Ehlers.

“I needed to find something that would still interest me, give me a new perspective and allow me to work with different kinds of people in different fields,” she explains, “Bingo—editing.” She found SFU Continuing Studies’ Editing Certificate program and it was a perfect fit. The structure of the program at the time allowed her to learn both in-class and online, and granted her access to Editors Canada. “The editing certificate and getting that kind of technical accreditation has solidified what I can put forward professionally.”

She was surprised by the diverse types of editing presented in the program, including proofreading, substantive editing, copy editing, developmental editing and more. “Learning those differences, understanding those differences and learning how to help your clients understand those differences was very valuable. It’s incredibly practical.”

Robin-Eliece has now settled in Vancouver and is cultivating a freelance editing service through her global connections. Her most unique experience so far has been working for a former student on a New York University legal document pertaining to the Trump administration. “[My student’s] reputation was on the line, my reputation was on the line,” she says, “but what’s challenging is what’s rewarding.”

In the future, Robin-Eliece aspires to join a company as an editor with a focus on copyrighting and law, though she’s in no rush. “Right now,” she says, “what I’m doing is wonderful because I’m independent and I can take my time, set my goals, explain it to my clients and I like that.” But, as any good student knows, there is always more to learn.

More about Robin-Eliece

What’s your favourite way to spend time with family and friends?

Oh, hands down: around a welcoming table filled with good food and wine. (I studied while in Europe to receive a sommelier qualification.)

Favourite pastime or hobby?

Choral singing, day trips or hikes. I also have plans to get up and running a website on whisky!

What three books would you want if you were stranded on a deserted island?

The Holy Bible, King James version, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven (I studied this back in high school English class and have never forgotten it).

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t fight wars at home, school, or at work; rather, carefully choose your battles and then fully invest. That, and: Good communicating is three-quarters listening.