Making the Most of a Publishing Internship
This week, lead intern Claudia Langella is sharing her tips and tricks for getting the best experience out of an internship.
The best memento that I’ll be taking away from this internship with Toho Publishing is my notebook. I took notes during each and every meeting so I would not only stay on task during my time at Toho, but so I can look back on the things I learned throughout the process. My small pink notebook contains the steps for building a book project from start to finish. Because I diligently took notes, I can refer back to them when I hold a real full-time job in the publishing industry after graduation—fingers crossed!
On top of note taking, keep each of your tasks organized. For me, that’s logging my hours so I know how long a certain type of task will take me to complete; this makes planning my week a lot easier. I had to keep a number of spreadsheets updated, and that meant having about seven tabs open at a time while working on research or outreach—but this method worked the best for me! Find a groove and stay in it while you work. This is especially important if you’re working remotely!
Learn from your mistakes
Throughout the summer, Andrés stressed the importance of learning from our mistakes. He said that making mistakes means that we’re working hard and putting a lot of effort into the project. The times when I felt most proud were when the team came up with solutions to big setbacks. For instance, at the start of my internship in May, I compiled over 500 email addresses, but knew I would not have time to send out 500 personal emails in accordance with our project timeline. The solution was hiring a few extra hands, which sped up the process tremendously. A growing team meant that there would be some communication errors. To combat this, I started sharing my meeting notes with the five person anthology team so we would be on the same page each week. This allowed us to overcome more hurdles when it came to scheduling meetings and setting timelines.
Set long term goals for yourself
What is it that you want to learn from your mentor? Why did you say yes to this opportunity? What type of skills do you want to acquire by your last day of work? Before your first day, ask yourself these types of questions. Make a list of professional goals that you want to work on during this process. In my case, I wanted to hone my communication skills and focus on including as many voices as possible in the project. Luckily, my mentor, Toho Publishing CEO Andrés Cruciani, constantly reminded me of these goals without him ever knowing he did so! That being said, share your goals with your mentor so they can hold you accountable and give you productive tasks to complete that will benefit the company and you as a person.
I learned so much about the publishing industry over the course of this internship, and felt so privileged to be given so much responsibility from Andrés. It was definitely a lot of work, but I felt so much passion toward the project from day one that it was easy for me to complete my tasks. Maybe it was the team or my passion for literature, but this internship truly was the highlight of my summer. A huge shout out to the Toho Publishing team for taking a chance on the anthology interns! We're excited to see the final book once it's published!