I am a Writer. Always have been and always will be, but I also dream of finding a career in publishing. I am currently working as a Publicity Intern at Random House of Canada and I LOVE it. I love tagging along on author excursions, I enjoy ordering and mailing out books, and I enjoy taking part in events. Thanks to this internship I’ve had a chance to see what different departments do and I finally know what department I want to pursue: Online Marketing. I love the idea of working and connecting with people on a daily basis. I love the idea of spending my days making online marketing plans for great books and getting a wonderful book noticed. It also helps that I’m quite in love with blogging, tweeting, and social media.
But where am I now and how did I get “here” -- to a place on the brink of my future, on the path to getting my dream job. Well, I guess it started with getting a three-year B.A in English from York University. After which I wasn’t sure what to do. I was working at a local pizza place and was lucky enough to get full-time hours there in order to save a little money. While serving piping hot pizza, I also worked on my writing, and hunted tirelessly for a job. I quickly learned that an English degree and NO experience would NOT get me a job in publishing. I still applied for jobs and wasn’t surprised when I didn’t receive any callbacks. I then spoke with my parents and we decided it might be a good idea to go back to school and get my publishing certificate. I found Chang’s School of Continuing Education and applied to for their publishing program. In order to qualify, you must already have a B.A from a recognized University. The great thing about this program is that you can complete the courses online or in class and you have up to six years to complete it.
Another great thing about the Chang School program is that as a student you receive emails of upcoming internships and positions available. Most of which are from the top publishing houses in Toronto. One thing I realized from these emails was that all of them required the applicant to be enrolled in a publishing certificate. YOU NEED A PUBLISHING DEGREE OR CERTIFICATE TO GET INTO PUBLISHING. I also realized that I (obviously) wasn’t the only person to receive these emails. Every single student in my program receives them and most apply for them: publishing is a very competitive industry.
About a week after enrolling in my first class I got a call from a children’s educational book publishing company asking me to come in for an interview. After two separate hour-long interviews I was hired as an editor and put my schooling on the back-burner. I stayed on as editor for about nine months before realizing that editing wasn’t something I wanted to pursue. So back to the pizza place I went, and back to school as well.
I applied to Random House a few times before I got a callback. I went for two interviews for their Winter internship and was heartbroken when I didn’t get it. BUT when it came time for them to conduct interviews for the Spring, I applied and (obviously) got the internship and I lived happily ever after....
Okay, so my story hasn’t ended. In fact, it’s just getting started but I have learned some amazing things during my internship that will (hopefully) help me land a job. Firstly, publishing is a very small industry, everybody knows everybody, so it’s important to get yourself out there, to get to know people, to attend events, and to work your butt off so that people remember you! Having a blog, a twitter account, and an online presence has really helped. Thanks to my blog I was contacted by one of the online marketing coordinators at Random House and asked if I wanted to review books for them! I truly believe that having that on my resume and already having a connection with someone on their team really helped get the internship there.
Secondly, it’s up to you to ask questions. It’s up to you to show interest and to make the MOST of your 12 weeks! I’ve kept a little internship journal on my blog that you can check out if you’re interested in learning more about what a publicity internship at Random House is like: http://mypenmyvoice.com/bursting-the-bubble/.
You’ll notice that I’m nearly finished my internship and pretty soon I’ll get to start a new chapter in my life. Hopefully this chapter ends with the job of my dreams but even if it doesn’t I still have my writing. I still have my blog, and I can still contribute to other blogs, and that’s perfectly fine by me.