Interns

Meet the Intern – Mavis

MavisTell us about yourself – hometown, major(s), nick name(s), fun fact(s), or anything you’d like to share!

Hello world, my name is Mavis. I grew up in Hong Kong, attended boarding school in Boston, and am now a junior at SU. I like words, so I’m currently double majoring in English and Textual Studies and Writing and Rhetoric. Something “fun” about me: I had six front teeth as a kid – my parents thought I was an alien.

Why did you apply for an internship with the Syracuse University Press?

I applied for the internship because real-life experiences in the publishing field have always meant a lot to me. Also, shadowing a marketing manager this past summer made me realize how multidimensional the field of marketing and “branding” is. So when an internship position like this opened up, I didn’t even hesitate to apply.

What do you do at work? Tell us about your weekly tasks or some of your ongoing projects.

Most of the time, I go to work not knowing what I’ll be having on my plate that day. There are days when I’m responsible for a book’s background research, so I dig up information about the author and everything that’s relevant to the book’s genre. There are also days when I’m responsible for updating the blog, so I contact specific authors for possible interviews and craft a variety of blog posts.

What have you learned so far that you honestly didn’t expect to?

Sending professional emails can be surprisingly nerve wracking at times. Since one of my tasks involves contacting different authors on behalf of the Press, I’m becoming increasingly aware of the importance of writing succinct and lean emails.

What’s your favorite part about the internship?

I think it’s really important to feel a little challenged in work environments in general, because it pushes you to build your confidence. That’s why I really like how I’m not treated as the “baby intern” here at the Press. I’m given tasks that involve thinking and flexibility but the office atmosphere also makes it easy for me to reach out for help.

How does this internship compare with/to your other internship(s) or work experience(s)?

I’ve had previous internship experiences with magazine and newspaper publications, so I’m not entirely new to the publishing field. But I would say this internship has taught me what marketing research truly entails – how and what it takes to gather enough information about a book, its author(s), and the genre it falls under. In some ways, it’s a lot of “behind the scenes” work.

What advice or insights do you have for prospective interns?

A marketing internship with the SU Press means you’ll get communicate with a diverse range of editors, authors and book publishers. You basically dive head first into the publishing field so there’s no time to be shy! If you’re willing to take up this challenge (and be humbled by it), then you’re suited for this job.

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Meet the Intern – Jen

Me with my one true love in lifeTell us about yourself – hometown, major(s), nick name(s), fun fact(s), or anything you’d like to share!

Hi everyone! Friends just call me Jen. I’m a junior English and Textual Studies major with a minor in Political Science. I’m originally from Old Bridge, NJ. A fun fact about me is that I’m currently trying to learn how to play the guitar.

Why did you apply for an internship with the Syracuse University Press?

I applied for an internship with Syracuse University Press because I want to be able to work in publishing once I graduate. Due to the fact that I’m planning on graduating early, I do not have as much time to gain experience in publishing. Therefore, I jumped at the chance to be able to work at the Press.

What do you do at work? Tell us about your weekly tasks or some of your ongoing projects.

My work in the Acquisitions Departments involves but is not limited to filing away book manuscripts, writing rejections to aspiring authors’ proposals, and writing publication proposals. The most daunting task I’ve had by far would have to be the writing of publication proposals, which entails being able to concisely summarize a work within the span of a paragraph.

What have you learned so far that you honestly didn’t expect to?

I did not expect to learn the variety of publishing presses there are in the world, or how much work an author must have to go through in figuring out the best place to submit their book proposal. When I send out rejections to authors, I also tell them other publishers they could try submitting to where they may have better luck. The importance of this is where I sometimes feel a slight disconnect, because I don’t feel as much of a connection with an author via email. Often, I tend to remind myself that the author I am sending the rejection to may have just completed a project they have spent years of their life on. Feeling the weight of that when sending a rejection is not something I expected.

What’s your favorite part about the internship?

So far, I really enjoy the act of coming in to intern and reading what other writers have come to write and discover. I’ve found that we get a lot of really intriguing and interesting proposals, ones that I would not have expected would be sent to a university press. I find myself learning something knew everyday, and I am a fan of the acquisition of knowledge.

How does this internship compare with/to your other internship(s) or work experience(s)?

Interning for the Press, I’ve found that I feel like my work is more important and necessary. With my other internship experiences, I’ve often felt like I was doing a lot of busy work. Also, I’ve never had my own cubicle before, and I like it.

What advice or insights do you have for prospective interns?

If you are a fan of non-fiction or a fan of reading in general, then this is the best place for you. If you would like to intern in the Acquisitions Department and you are not one of the two things I just mentioned, then become one of those two things, and develop some writing skills too. Finally, apply early! Internships in general are hot commodities.


A Word with Work Study Student Molly Estes

MollyWhen I tell people that I work at the Syracuse University Press office, they usually assume that I work for a newspaper or something along those lines.  However, I have found that book publishing is far more exacting, and interesting, than many people realize.

During my first year at Syracuse University, I have been unsure of where I want to take my studies.  As a major in Communications and Rhetorical Studies, there is a broad spectrum of fields which I can narrow down.  I have found working at the SU Press office rewarding and even enlightening to my future.  Having put much consideration into pursuing a double major with Modern Languages, I have found interest in the translated texts that the SU Press has published.

While working with the Author Spotlight blog feature, I was fortunate enough to hear a firsthand account of what the translation process is like.  Though I do not think book translation is the particular path I want to follow, I was reminded of the wide variety of opportunities that Modern Languages could offer.  In fact, I was induced to research translation jobs at places such as hospitals, accounting firms, etc.  This has made me very excited for my future years at Syracuse and I appreciate the opportunities of learning and enrichment that I’ve found at SU Press.


Tip from Acquisitions/Marketing Intern Thomas Witholt

ThomasAs someone who will hopefully be employed as a professor in the not-too-distant future, I have a vested interest in the publishing of academic research.  Interning at Syracuse University Press has helped me see the workings of a very important part of academic research that I had not previously understood, the actual work of making someone else’s work available to a wide audience.  I have been fortunate to work in both Acquisitions and in Marketing, and doing so has given me a nice perspective on the publishing process, from manuscript to sold book.  Seeing the practical outcomes of other authors’ choices of organization, topic, style, and audience, reminds me of the importance of these factors for making one’s work accessible and appealing to others.  This is especially helpful when I am lost in my own, sometimes abstract, thoughts about my research.  Though I don’t think scholarship should be guided by marketability, the ease of writing a catalog description or of drafting a publication proposal for editorial review is often a sign of the work’s clarity and attention to perspective audience.  Working at the Press has provided me with clear examples of the way that academic work does not exist in a vacuum, and it makes me think (concretely, not just based on abstract advice from others) of how best to attend to concerns such as audience and style from the very first draft.


Marketing Intern Katie Tull Reveals the Key to Success of a University Press

Katie TullInitially, my attraction to SU Press was its size. Hidden from the iconic image of “The Hill,” this Press is kept tucked away; but it still manages to have over a thousand titles under its belt. I knew that this internship would aid me in my education of publishing, but I wanted to know about the community of a press as well.

The community of SU Press is a big part of its success in the category of University Press’s.  I believe a University Press should have variety, which SU Press certainly does; it should also aid to the reputation of the University outside of its normal boundaries. SU Press’s variety of subjects and studies that it publishes each season supports the profile of the University where it may not normally be noticed.

In the Marketing department, I’ve gained more than experience for my resume. The projects and tasks I’ve been assigned have given me a new outlook on all of the work that is put in by just one team in a Press. My contact with authors, drafting blurbs, and research have instilled not only a new set of skills, but a confidence to be more independent with future projects I get to be a part of.


Wise Words from Acquisitions Intern, Emily Powers!

IMG_1516 (2)This isn’t my first internship, but it’s been the most relevant in terms of what I want to do after graduation.  I’m hoping to eventually find an entry level publishing job in editorial or acquisitions, and I think my time at SU Press has really helped me toward that goal, because I’ve learned so much about the acquisitions process and the world of publishing in general.

I think it’s great that I’ve been able to do worthwhile tasks here. At some of my other internships I’ve felt like I’ve been doing busy work – but I’ve never felt like that here. During my first few weeks I was drafting (admittedly somewhat rough!) publication proposals, formatting manuscripts and communicating with professors at the top of their fields.

My favorite projects are the ones where I’m able to work closely with manuscripts – whether it’s combing through them and checking for permissions or trying to find suitable readers. Since I’ve been here since September, it’s been fun to see how much of the process I’ve internalized. During my first few weeks I asked questions about every tiny detail but now I’m a lot more independent. I generally understand how things work… even though I know I have so much more to learn!

This internship definitely confirmed the interest I already had in a publishing career, and it’s a great feeling to read the job description for an editorial assistant position and realize that you’re comfortable and familiar with all of the listed responsibilities!


Collective Intelligence and Your e-Reader

By: Sylwia E. Dziedzic, Marketing Intern

For years, literature has been an exploration into the application of philosophical ideas and concepts. To some, reading provides an emotional escape into a virtual escapade. Others read to expand their imagination and use it as an aid for relaxation. But what if your interactivity patterns, such as the length of time spent on a particular page, content written in the margins, and words highlighted on your Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook, or iPad were monitored? Data and analytics have undoubtedly changed the way mobile apps and gaming consoles are constructed for consumers. Therefore, we must ask the question: are editors more likely to test their books digitally before releasing it in print to ensure their content will sell? And of its counterpart: do readers accept the intrusion between their private journey with the author and words on the screen?

Patrick Berry, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric shared some of his thoughts:

“The increased use of digital books seems inevitable. My 12-year-old daughter is as comfortable with a Kindle as she is with a print book. But, the issue of privacy is an important one.

I’m especially interested in how digital books can help us rethink the boundaries of the book. What if books incorporated video or provided access to web-based content? I just completed a coauthored book-length multimodal project designed to document how people outside and within the United States take up digital literacies and fold them into the fabric of their daily lives. Transnational Literate Lives in Digital Times (coauthored with Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe) represents a first attempt at crafting a born-digital book http://ccdigitalpress.org/ebooks-and-projects/transnational

With roughly 40 million e-readers and 65 million tablets in use in the U.S., according to analysts at Forrester Research, it can be difficult to correctly analyze how many users are aware of the monitoring process. We also still don’t know whether the process will help authors to generate more grasping content. We can only hope that this process won’t permanently change authors’ writing styles and the attachment they feel for their novels. Only time will tell.