One for the Books
Publicity intern Katie describes her experiences working at Cambridge University Press.
The end of summer always comes at my reluctance. This year proves especially difficult as I prepare to leave New York City and Cambridge University Press.
Before I started at Cambridge, I knew that gaining experience through an internship is a vital first step, a foot-in-the-door opportunity that will prove invaluable to a career in publishing. With my limited knowledge of internships—hearsay of entire days spent making copies and ordering coffees—I did not expect, however, to learn and think and create as much as I did.
During my six weeks at Cambridge, I have been responsible for writing press releases, maintaining social media accounts, and editing posts for this very blog. My first accomplishment this summer, aside from making my way from point A to point B on the subway, was writing a press release for a book called Being a Historian. Working in publicity requires keeping up with the goings-on of the industry and the literary world at large, but also requires working with books that come from a variety of disciplines. From my work, I have learned about not only the inner workings of a global publishing house, but also stumbled upon fun facts and food for thought from a wide range of niche subjects that I would have otherwise never considered. As an English major, I was eager to write for The Cambridge History of American Women’s Literature, and after getting the swing of things, I braved compiling a press kit for America’s Economic Way of War.
At the same time, this internship is my first 9-5 gig, so I’m grateful for the downtime I get from doing busy work like mailings or sorting through the publicity inbox. Many moments of downtime owe their memorability to the people I’ve met at Cambridge and to the places I explored in the city. From eating $1 pizza slices for lunch in the park to mingling after hours at author readings and signings. My favorite events, however, were group lunches in the conference room, where I befriended CUP employees and gazed upon a spectacular view of TriBeCa up to Midtown. I am so grateful to have met many of CUP’s employees, everyone with whom I shared lunch or an elevator. I thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the publicity team and could not have asked for a better department from which to learn and discover. I am especially thankful to my immediate supervisor, Frances Bajet, for showing me the ropes—trusting me to work at my own pace and ensuring that I both had assignments and knew how to complete them.
Somewhat like publishing itself, as a college student entering her last year of school, I am facing a crucial period of quick changes and big decisions. Though I bemoan the end of the season, I am excited to prepare for the mysterious and increasingly nearer “life after college” with an internship at CUP under my belt. My work this summer has given me the tools and skills to enter publishing, but also and more importantly, it has strengthened my desire to work with books and other people who love books for a living. I can’t express my gratitude enough as I plan a career in publishing and hope that our paths will cross in the next chapter.
Katie C. is the Publicity department’s intern.