Annamaria Perruccio…Vaughan lawyer move in leaps and bounds

By Marisa Iacobucci

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  Photo by Guilio Muratori

Photo by Guilio Muratori

While most unsuspecting little girls can easily succumb to fairytale dreams of becoming princesses, Family Law lawyer Annamaria Perruccio, 29, was far too busy for tiaras. 

She heeded, instead, to her future call of litigation. “As a child, I would defend my younger sisters whenever they got into trouble or were being scolded by my parents. I distinctly remember a time when I was arguing contributory negligence on behalf of my sister and was insisting that it wasn’t her fault that she had broken the lamp in my family room. Instead, it was my parents’ fault for placing the lamp too close to the edge of the table,” recalls Perruccio, whose family lovingly nicknamed her “the little lawyer with backwards shoes” because of her childhood habit of wearing her shoes backwards. 

Perruccio, who grew up in Vaughan and now works for Sutherland Law in Vaughan, was always interested in law and languages. She pursued an undergraduate degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Glendon College (York University), which allowed her to combine her interests in languages (Italian and French) and law. The trilingual Perruccio then went on to complete her Masters coursework through York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, focusing on social environments, specifically, the discrimination faced by Italian-Canadians in Toronto after the Second World War. Her research was put on hold while she pursued a law degree at the University of Windsor, but she plans to complete it.

For now, Perruccio is focused on practicing family law and is committed to assisting her clients during what might be the most challenging periods in their lives. “I am passionate about what I do – everything from the initial client meeting, to mediation, court attendances and the completion of a file. I love being able to find creative solutions to meet the individual needs of my clients,” she says.

While the demands of her career keep Perruccio working long hours, she longs to spend time with her parents and her two younger sisters (Daniela, 28 and Alessandra, 25) even if that means sharing at least one meal together on weekends. Perruccio’s father was born in Argusto, Catanzaro in Calabria. Following in his brother’s footsteps, he immigrated to Canada in 1973 in search of a better life. Perruccio’s mother, also from a Calabrese background, was born and raised in Toronto. 

Perruccio’s Italian upbringing is something she is fiercely proud of. “Italian traditions and culture are an important part of my life and have played a significant role in shaping me as an individual. My strong work ethic is rooted in the values and morals my parents instilled in me at a young age.” Some of Perruccio’s fondest memories of growing up in an Italian family include always being surrounded by family, friends, and food of course.“Whether it was sitting around the lunch table on a Sunday afternoon, making sugo over the Labour Day weekend or buying an entire cantina full of panettone and visiting relatives at Christmas, Easter and other times, the love and laughter that filled my home cannot be understated,” she explains.

“Italian traditions and culture are an important part of my life

and have played a significant role in shaping me as an individual”

While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Perruccio was lucky enough to be able to study abroad at the University of Bologna for one of her Italian courses. Thus began her love affair with Italy. She found a reason to return every summer, while working as a supervisor and assistant teacher with the Centro Scuola e Cultura Italiana Summer Exchange Program in Italy for Canadian high school students.

Besides her career and family, volunteer work is also very important to Perruccio. “I maintain my commitment to volunteerism as a mentor to youth and [am a] strong advocate and supporter of various organizations, such as Camp Oochigeas, Parkinson Canada and SickKids® Foundation,” she says.

Perruccio is currently president and chair of La Rocca Memorial Society, a non-profit organization, whose mission includes inspiring volunteerism and engaging young people to become change makers in their communities. A past bursary recipient, Perruccio is living proof that the next generation can be encouraged to become involved and make a real difference in the lives of others.

Her career, family life and volunteer work show no sign of slowing down anytime soon, just as Perruccio likes it. If she could give any advice to future leaders, it’s this: “Be true to who you are and never compromise your values or beliefs for anyone or anything. There is nothing greater than one’s integrity. Work hard and persevere in order to achieve your goals and never forget your roots and where you came from.”

Reprinted with permission from Panoram Italia    

Natalie Pecile…Making the world a better place

By Danila Di Croce

Photo by Giulio Muratori

Photo by Giulio Muratori

When Natalie Pecile decided to study science throughout high school, she was planning to follow in her father’s footsteps and become an engineer. However, that all changed when she realized that her extroverted personality was far better suited for the business world. 

Her decision was definitely the right one as this recent alumnus of York University’s Schulich School of Business has flourished with the opportunities her program provided her. At 21, this native of Toronto has already garnered a pretty impressive résumé. She spent a semester abroad in Bangkok, Thailand, developed a literacy program at her old elementary school, competed in Dubai for the Hult Prize, held the title of VP of Operations of Schulich’s Undergraduate Business Society, and she was just recently hired for a full-time position with the Tim Hortons Leadership Development Program. “I’ve always been interested in how to apply myself to benefit society,” she says. “Originally, I specialized in accounting and the non-profit business sector; however, I then switched to focus on marketing and entrepreneurship.”

That switch is what led her to Dubai. In her fourth year at Schulich, Pecile directed her focus on social entrepreneurship and social business. This resulted in her, along with three of her classmates, entering a local competition organized by the Hult Prize Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs. The competition invites students to develop new ideas for sustainable start-up enterprises that will help to solve the planet’s biggest challenges. Although Pecile and her team did not win, she points out that the experience was definitely worthwhile. “It was very empowering; it allowed me to use everything I had learned at school up until that point and apply it to a global challenge that I am really passionate about. It helped me to look at our issues with new perspectives and taught me to be more flexible and open to change, which I think will be very helpful moving forward.”

Pecile’s experience in Bangkok, Thailand, also left her with a positive impression. “Meeting people, discussing career options with them, and observing individuals who were pursing entrepreneurship was a great career influence.”

 Nowadays, Pecile is focusing on her new position at the Tim Hortons Leadership Development Program, which allows individuals to train in different areas of the business before deciding on which sector to commit to. “I am excited about the program as it gives me the opportunity to try out new things; most especially to experience marketing in ‘the real world,’ outside of school.”

When she isn’t busy trying out new ventures in the business world, Pecile occupies her time with organizing and overseeing events at York University. She also devotes time to the arts. As a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Pecile enjoys playing the piano. When asked how she balances it all, Pecile credits her family for their support. “My parents have always let me make my decisions freely. They have always been supportive and helpful with their advice.”

She also credits her strong family ties for helping shape the person she has become. “We are close; for each special occasion we all gather at my grandparents’ house, and I really appreciate that because I know that not everyone has that.” She acknowledges both sets of grandparents, who hail from the Friuli and Lazio regions of Italy, for helping keep her connected to her Italian roots. “A lot of my Italian influence comes from food and speaking the language. Initially I learned Italian was I was little, and then I switched to English. My grandparents have always shown us traditions such as making sausages, wine and pasta sauce.”

In regards to continuing traditions, Pecile explains, “I definitely want to put more time into the Italian culture and concentrate on it more. I would love to improve in my speaking and continue the language with future generations of my family.”

When asked where she sees herself in the near future, Pecile says, “I want to learn everything about the business and hopefully one day become a successful entrepreneur. Having all parts of your life balanced and working hard at something, while improving the lives of others – that would be ideal.”

Reprinted with permission from Panoram Italia    

 

Dynamix Fitness: Lisa’s WorkStory

By Abigayle Walker, WorkStory Ambassador at University of Ottawa

Lisa Bergart owns her own personal training company called Dynamix Fitness. Her business provides professional in-home training for customers in the greater Toronto region. Saving busy customers a trek to their local gym, Lisa brings the experience to them. With customized workout plans that are tailored to each client’s fitness level and goals, Lisa is dedicated to helping her clients attain the results they desire. Lisa says that there is nothing better than seeing her clients reach their fitness goals and be who they have always wanted to be. Having over a decade of experience in the health and wellness industry, Lisa says she loves her job!

Typically, Lisa starts her day at the bright and early time of 6 AM in order  to meet her first clients. After her morning sessions, Lisa responds to email leads and client text messages. She also takes this time to post to the company website and social media pages. Throughout the rest of the day, she drives around the city and holds training sessions. Lisa says that each day is completely difference and depends on her clients’ schedules.

Lisa received her undergraduate degree at York University in Health and Social Science. She says her degree had provided her with a strong foundation in the health profession. In addition to her undergraduate education, Lisa also received a diploma at The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, becoming a registered holistic nutritionist. She also went on to attain her certification as a post-rehabilitation specialist. This allows her to offer conditioning programs for over 30 medical conditions. In addition, she is also certified as a post and pre natal exercise specialist. On top of all this, Lisa took Seneca College’s Social Media program, which helped enhance her marketing and promotion skills.

Why start her own business?  Lisa had worked at several different gyms across Toronto; the last one being a private training studio. There, she gained the knowledge to create safe and effective customized training, which she needed to start her own business. Lisa was given extra motivation when two of the gymnastic teams she had been coaching received bronze medals overseas, at the Maccabiah Games in the summer of 2013. In addition to being this thrilled by this, it gave her that much more confidence in her ability to train people to reach their fitness goals. 

Lisa says that the success of her business is due to her strong social media presence, as well as her strong community connections through and events with various organizations.  Lisa’s business was featured at the Toronto Women's Expo, Feel Good Women's Expo, Cancer Recovery Foundation of Canada, and The Thornhill, Vaughan, and Aurora Festivals. Although her success has been on an upward incline, Lisa says one of the biggest challenges with owning her own business is staying up-to-date with all the current health and fitness trends.

Lisa’s advice for other young entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses? Create a business plan and have monthly goals that excite you. Specifically for those in the health and fitness field, Lisa stresses the importance of staying current with health and fitness trends on social media. Her closing words?  Follow your passions and priorities!

Francesca Di Roma’s Love of Education

By Emma Kushnir, WorkStory Ambassador at Western University

Francesca Di Roma’s career began about a year and a half ago, when she started working as an Office Administrator for the Joint Apprenticeship Council (JAC) based in Bolton, Ontario. After finishing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Psychology at the University of Guelph-Humber, and a Bachelor of Education at York University, she found a career that she loves. She began working with apprentices as a Work Study student at Humber College’s Centre for Trades and Technology. Initially, she worked as a Front Desk Assistant and handled the majority of the general inquiries about their apprenticeship programs. After graduating from Guelph-Humber, the Joint Apprenticeship Council approached her and offered her a position working with them since - as she puts it – “I was so familiar with the steps of an apprenticeship”.

How best to explain Francesca’s work at the Joint Apprenticeship Council?  She works with apprentices in the electrical trade – individuals who working in their field and on the path to becoming licensed electricians.  Francesca is available to answer any questions regarding their apprenticeships. She explains that “a big part of the trade is safety, which is why I am also responsible for scheduling apprentices for several mandatory safety classes throughout their apprenticeship.”  

When asked what she loves most about her job, Francesca notes that it combines her administrative work experience and skills with her passion for education.  “The purpose of the JAC is to recruit, select, assess, counsel, and educate electrical apprentices in the Greater Toronto Area. Through an annual intake, we find candidates best suitable for an electrical apprenticeship. The basic breakdown of an intake includes an application process, aptitude test, and final interviews.”   The JAC’s most recent intake was in June of 2015 and consisted of 950 applicants – of whom only 150 were selected!  Francesca shares, “I really enjoy being a part of this unique process and continue to learn from it every single day I go to work.”

Francesca has wanted to be a teacher for as long as she could remember and was determined to get her Bachelor of Education. She explains that, upon graduating from university “I knew that I had to be patient as I wait to be on a [teaching] supply list. Until then, I told myself that if I couldn’t have my dream job right away, I would at least want a career in something I enjoy. That’s exactly how I feel about working at the JAC.” Her biggest decision in the process of getting to where she is today involved committing to a full-time job rather than taking time to continue to volunteer in schools. “The way I see it, I am still dealing with students, which is relevant experience and I love every second!”

Francesca’s advice to anyone trying to find a job is straightforward and upbeat.

 “Never give up on your dream career.  Rather than sitting at home waiting for your big break, spend time doing something that you enjoy to keep your spirits up and your attitude always positive!” 

Lisa Charleyboy’s Fashion Mag Will Tackle Aboriginal Issues With Style

By Tiffany Hsieh

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    Photo by Sofie Kirk

Photo by Sofie Kirk

Lisa Charleyboy (BA ’10, York University) always felt like an outsider to her Tsilhqot’in community and reserve in Alexis Creek First Nation, B.C. What helped ground her while growing up in Abbotsford, a suburb of Vancouver, was her insatiable interest in fashion and magazines. At 10, she devoured Vogue magazine cover to cover. By Grade 10, she decided she would move to Toronto upon graduation to study fashion communication. But it was at York University that Charleyboy discovered her indigenous roots and her true passion, which paved the way for embracing her native culture through writing on fashion and all things lifestyle.

“At York, I was encouraged to explore my heritage through writing and assignments, to explore history and be more critical about aboriginal issues in Canada,” she says. “I was very engaged as a student and with the student paper. I really enjoyed my time at York. It was a fantastic experience.”

Charleyboy is now a writer, fashion blogger, social entrepreneur and actress. She graduated from York’s Professional Writing program after a stint in fashion communication studies at another university didn’t prove to be what she desired. While a student at York, Charleyboy wrote fashion columns for Indian Country Today, was a fashion editor at York’s Excalibur, an intern at Lush magazine and a weekly contributor at MSN.ca on beauty, fashion and lifestyle. She also started her popular blog Urban Native Girl as a way to engage in writing and social media, and connect with native peoples from across North America.

When Charleyboy was approached by York to work as an aboriginal recruitment officer upon graduation, “It felt way off path,” she recalls. “I wanted to go into fashion magazines.” However, after the University approached her a few times, she decided it was a good opportunity for her to engage aboriginal youth about pursuing postsecondary education at York and following their dreams.

“There’s a native belief that if you are being asked to do something three times, you have to really give it some careful thought and consideration,” she says. “I took the job. I got to travel and meet people. I was involved with the native community across Canada. The job changed my focus to indigenous issues.”

During her two years in the role, Charleyboy helped York build relationships with First Nations communities all across the country. Among her many accomplishments, she helped to bring renowned author and York alumnus Joseph Boyden to campus for a speakers’ series. Not only has Boyden been a mentor to Charleyboy ever since, but he’s contributed to an anthology about indigenous youth that she co-edited. The book, titled Dreaming in Indian, Contemporary Native American Voices, was published last fall by Annick Press.

“The job at York shifted my life and opened my eyes,” she says. “Had it not been for this experience, my magazine would be more fluffy.”

Urban Native Magazine, an online publication Charleyboy launched in 2013, bears a mission to be “the go-to destination for current articles on indigenous fashion, art, culture, entertainment, lifestyle, news and business.” Despite the stark reality of print media’s continuing decline, her magazine’s first quarterly print issue is scheduled for launch this winter.

“I want my magazine to inspire indigenous youth. I want to distribute the magazine in northern communities, where there is limited access to smartphones and computers and not a lot of magazines in this realm,” Charleyboy says. “One of the things I hope to explore is fashion through [photo] shoots for my magazine and to showcase aboriginal fashion designers.”

Aside from being one of Canada’s most popular bloggers, Charleyboy was selected as a 2013-14 DiverseCity Fellow, one of North America’s leading urban fellows programs for rising city builders. As part of the fellowship, she has worked on an aboriginal youth media training initiative in Toronto. In her free time, Charleyboy has also been working on a book about urban native millennials, writing a “native chick lit” novel about a young woman in a big city looking for love, and filming a 13-part television documentary series called Urban Native Girl, which follows her as she takes her blog and turns it into a native lifestyle magazine featuring aboriginal fashion. The documentary is scheduled to air on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in fall 2015.

“Fashion is always with me,” says Charleyboy, who recently moved to Vancouver to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. “Even though I never thought I’d be a writer, I have transformed my love for fashion through my love for my culture and writing. It’s been an incredible journey.”

This article appeared in the Winter 2015 edition of York U, the magazine of York University.  Reprinted with permission. 

Out of this World: How a York University grad helped put a probe on a distant comet

The late American astronaut Neil Armstrong changed the world when he became the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. The historical Apollo 11 moon landing has been described by Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space in 2001, as a “watershed moment” that inspired him and many others who followed him to suit up for space.

Jakub Urbanek (BASC ’09) was not one of them. But like Armstrong and Hadfield, Urbanek’s share of awe-inspiring space adventure has been well documented around the world. He is part of a team that recently made history by successfully landing the first-ever robotic probe on a comet.

“It’s remote control,” Urbanek says. “We were sitting here in Germany sending up commands to the spacecraft.”

The Rosetta spacecraft, also known as Europe’s comet chaser, launched into space in March 2004 to track down Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a relatively small object of about four kilometres in diameter and moving at a speed as great as 135,000 kilometres per hour. At that time, Urbanek was in high school and was not particularly interested in space. But that same year at a mini-orientation and campus tour at York University, he made an “unexpected decision” to study space engineering.

“I was hooked,” Urbanek recalls. “The program at York just seemed really interesting and novel.”

Fast-forward to 2014, Urbanek, an operations engineer with the flight control team at the European Space Agency (ESA), was in the main control room of the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, tracking and operating Rosetta’s release of a probe lander named Philae and its descent to Comet 67P. Rosetta had been orbiting across the solar system for 10 years; each tele-communications message between the spacecraft and ground control takes 30 minutes to transmit. After a decade-long journey hundreds of millions of kilometres from Earth, the agency’s final manoeuvre on Nov. 12, 2014 to land Philae proved to be a thrilling moment in space study.

“It was incredibly emotional, exciting, and nerve-racking,” Urbanek says. “There were a few go-no-go situations during the 13 hours leading up to the separation of Philae from the mothership. It then took more than seven hours for Philae to touchdown on the comet, but the event went pretty smoothly.”

Philae’s primary mission was to last three days, during which the robot sent analysis of samplings from the comet to Rosetta, attempted to drill into the ground, and sent back images of the comet’s surface. With data Philae delivered, scientists have been analyzing to determine the composition and structure of Comet 67P, ultimately investigating the role it may have played in the beginnings of life on Earth.

“He did quite a bit of science during those three days,” Urbanek says of the lander. “It was action-packed.”

However, with its primary battery designed to last only about 60 hours, Philae, the size of a household washing machine, went into hibernation. It had bounced on landing and ended up in the shadow of a cliff in rough terrain. Its exact location is unknown. Without the solar power it needs to operate, Philae is expected to wake up and reestablish a communications link with Rosetta when the comet nears the sun in the spring. On Feb. 14, Rosetta performed a special flyby, passing within just six kilometres of the surface of the comet, but sighting Philae was not part of the event.

“The close flyby was not intentionally planned for Valentine’s Day, but it was a bit amusing,” Urbanek says. “Rosetta and Philae have been flying together for more than 10 years and they will never return to Earth. In a way, I suppose Philae is kind of like Rosetta’s child.”

After working with the Rosetta mission for the last 2.5 years, Urbanek, who has a master’s degree in aerospace studies from the University of Toronto and trained with ESA after graduation, can’t help but humanize Rosetta and Philae just a little bit.

“We monitor the spacecraft – we take care of Rosetta. We are responsible for it and we do build up a close connection with the robots, but it’s not quite a human connection,” Urbanek says. “But for some of my colleagues who have been working on this mission for the last 10 years, Rosetta and Philae are like their children.”

Asked if he would ever suit up for space like Armstrong and Hadfield did, Urbanek answers without hesitation, “If I was offered the opportunity, I wouldn’t say no.”

This article appeared in the Spring 2015 edition of York U, the magazine of York University. Reprinted with permission.

“Because I love working with the kids”: A Supply Teacher’s Story

As told to Abigail Kong, WorkStory Ambassador

My name is Karen Kong.  I am currently working as a supply teacher with the Toronto District School Board in the Elementary panel. Some people may think that being a supply teacher is an easy job, going into different classrooms everyday with no major responsibilities. I can tell you now, it can be tough job, especially if you want to be good at your job! A typical day starts at 6:00 a.m., when the dispatcher system starts calling teachers to fill in jobs. Once you receive the call, you have to get ready as quickly as possible and dash out of the house. Since you are sent to a new place almost every time, it is important to leave early in to find where it is and arrive before school starts and to get prepared. Once you arrive at the school, you will receive your assignment at the office.  If you are lucky, the teacher has left a day plan for you to follow, but if you are not, you need to have back-up lessons to engage the students for the whole day. The toughest part about this job is classroom management. Some students take this as the perfect opportunity to rebel and not do their work. But, if you're willing to side with them, there is always a group of students in the class that loves to offer tips about their daily drills and to help out. I tend to remind them that I will leave a note for their teacher and I pretend to put names down when they are not on-task or are being disruptive, which usually works. No matter if the class went well or not, as a substitute teacher, you should always leave a note letting the homeroom teacher know what happened during the day.    

To become a teacher, besides getting a degree in education, it is very important to do lots of volunteering, especially in the classroom. Not only do you get first-hand experience in teaching, you get to network and get resources and tips from working teachers. I started volunteering back in my first year of university, at my former high school, and I really did enjoy working with students. I applied to the Concurrent Education program in my second year and got in during third year, when I started doing my placements. It was very exciting and daunting at the same time to handle a class on my own. The teaching part was the best part, but besides what you actually see, I learned that there is a lot of additional work behind the scenes - writing lesson plans, supervising extracurricular activities, marking assignments/tests, and so on. Taking the full load of a teacher, while attending university, wasn't exactly a fun experience. It was very difficult to balance both course work from school and work from my placement. In terms of school, in addition to the education courses, I also had to take courses from my first degree - double major in visual arts and mathematics. It was almost triple the work. It is amazing that I survived when I think about it now.

Doing well school was only part of the struggle, the real challenge was finding work after I graduated. Like most recent graduates, I didn't find a job right away, and I didn't expect to after talking to some alumni and friends in the same field. However, I didn't lose hope. I continued to volunteer, but I widened my scope a little bit. I had tons of experience working with high school students, but I also wanted a taste of what it would be like working with younger students, so I volunteered with both a high school and elementary school for about a year. I enjoyed both my experiences, so I decided to apply for teaching in the high school and elementary level. Another thing I believed that helped me get the job was my dedication to learning. During that year, I also enrolled in graduate studies (Masters of Math for Teachers) and took additional qualifications (Special Education, Part 1 & Junior Basic). These courses continued to fuel me with theoretical and practical knowledge to work with a wide range students in the classroom.

It was a long road getting to where I am today, but hard work really does pay off. Although the road of a supply teacher is still slippery and tough, I will persevere because I love working with the kids! 

I am a Writer

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. 

 

Vanessa Grillone