What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?
With the publicity department I was required to compile press lists, communicate with external media organisations, promote publications, attend a book launch event and write press releases for future publications. With the editorial team I was given an insight into the publishing process, seeing how a book evolves and the necessary steps that take place. One of my tasks was to select 90 images from a collection of 300 of japanese artworks depicting cherry tree blossoms – these were were going to be put into an art book for the Smithsonian. I also proof-read and copy-edited the texts of some future books.
As an intern I was frequently given the chance to shadow departmental meetings and meetings with authors/photographers who came into the office to discuss their books.
What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?
I learned what it’s like to work within the culture of a large company in a major city (New York) rather than with smaller local organisations around my home town. This gave me a more ‘professional’ insight into the field of publishing and helped me to decide if it was a career choice for me, both professionally and geographically.
What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?
I significantly lightened the workload of my colleagues by completing odd-jobs, proof-reading, uploading publicity clips, sending out books, etc.
Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?
When I started the internship I was often left to myself, sometimes without being given any tasks to complete. This is somewhat typical of intern work / work experience, especially because of how busy my colleagues were in the office (something to be expected in the nature of a NYC office working environment). To overcome this I actively sought out tasks that I could complete by asking other staff if I could shadow them or if there was anything they could give me. I didn’t just sit there and wait. Originally I was only going to be a ‘publicity intern’, but after befriending some of the editors I used my initiative to offer help to the editorial department also and seem interested and engaged in what they were doing.