Articles · Uncategorized

The Internship Experience – My Time in Publishing

The time between graduating university and successfully securing a job is ambiguous, exhausting and often long. The average length of time for a graduate to secure a job after studying is one whole year. This is the year I am currently experiencing. Six months out of the aforementioned twelve after graduating. These past six months have consisted of countless job applications, cover letter rewrites and all of one interview, leading to multiple rejections from a wide range of companies. It’s enough to disheartened the greatest of optimists. Yet the last six months have not been a total loss in my determination to be employed as I moved my focus towards gaining work experience and was finally successful.

As someone with an obvious passion for reading, writing and all things book related as this blog reveals, the publishing industry has always been an interest to me. Therefore, in my search for experience I aimed to find an internship with a publishing house within my city. The experience was temporary of course, however I was amazed at the amount of valuable insight I gained during my time there. They didn’t hesitate showing me anything I wanted to see or answering anything I wanted to know. They allowed me to work on projects I wanted study, told me to discard any jobs I found tedious or uninteresting and never once asked me to get them coffee. Sounds great right? My average day would consist of social media scheduling for new book releases and events, writing up press releases to distribute to local papers and online retailers and a little editing of manuscripts for grammatical errors. The advantage to working in a small publishing house was that I had the freedom to move from one section of the industry to another, getting a little taste of what each part entails.

However, it must be clear that I was very fortunate to find one this generous as not all internships are similar. Very frequently companies take advantage of interns by offering unpaid work as experience only to unload tedious jobs on them such as filing and basic admin duties. To be clear, you are well within your right to quit at any time if you feel you are being taken advantage like this. You are not being paid for your time or work and, more importantly, you gave that time with the intention of gaining a certain experience which they are not providing.

Overall, internships are meant to offer experience that will be advantageous to you when applying for jobs. My advice would be to do research on the company before you apply. Often you will have to check their websites or social media pages to find positions. If you are fortunate to be offered an interview, make sure to go in knowing what you want to gain from the experience. Take a notebook with you to write down any information or advice you are given during your time there. Most importantly make sure you are not being treated unfairly and take advantage of every opportunity given. My internship gave me knowledge and connections that I can still use today, making my time there well spent.  

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