Meet the PSA (Publishing Students Association) Seven

At NYU’s Master of Science in Publishing program, networking is important— and so is getting to know your fellow students.  The Publishing Students Association, headed by seven student leaders, works hard to create social and community service events as well  as gatherings with alumni. Whether it’s a picnic in Central Park, a book drive,  or a chance to meet with industry leaders and learn more about trends and strategies in publishing, the members of the PSA are busy planning and organizing. And that’s not always easy after a hard day at work in a book or magazine company and attending classes in the evenings. At the Center for Publishing, we’re  proud of our PSA and want you to meet the leaders and hear their thoughts on careers, media and much more:


Jess WellsJessica Wells – President
Sales Support Associate at HarperCollins Publishers

What do you hope to be doing in 3 to 5 years?
I definitely enjoy working on the book side of publishing and am hoping to become a sales rep in the next three to five years or perhaps I’ll decide to learn some new skills by moving into the marketing department.

Why did you choose publishing as a career?
When I was little and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d answer, “I want to find a job where I can read all day long.”  And honestly…I have always loved the smell of paper and glue the moment you walk into a bookstore.

What are you reading now?
A friend’s new manuscript and the current issue of THE WEEK magazine.

What website do you visit most often and why?
If I have to pick one, I’d say Facebook – I love seeing updates from my friends.

What advice do you have for those seeking careers in books, magazines or digital publishing?
Keep in contact with the people you meeting in this program – teachers, guest speakers, and classmates – you never know from where your next opportunity will come.  Also, once you’re in an internship or starting a new job – don’t be afraid to ask questions about the larger scope of how things work.  Not only is it a great way to learn, but it shows that you’re dedicated and interested.


RadkeKristina Radke – Vice President
Children’s Marketing Assistant at HarperCollins

What do you hope to be doing in 3 to 5 years?
I hope to move into editorial, preferably working with  young adult  or general fiction

Why did you choose publishing as a career?
Like many others, I’ve always had a love of books and reading. It only made sense to work hands-on with shaping them and making them successful.

What are you reading now?
I’m typically reading  tow or three things at a time.  I just finished “Revolutionary Road”(Richard Yates) and am currently reading “B is for Beer” (Tom Robbins), “Ethics for the New Millennium” (The Dali Lama), and a YA manuscript at work.

What website do you visit most often and why?
I’m constantly trolling for interesting publishing news on sites like Publisher’s Lunch, GalleyCat, and Shelf Awareness in order to share what I find most intriguing and useful for my own blog: www.youngpublisherstoday.com.  Check it out!

What advice do you have for those seeking careers in books, magazines or digital publishing?
Above all be confident.  But also: practice your interview skills, rework your resume, get an internship, and network smartly.


publishing kquan photoKristen Quan – Secretary
Fashion Intern at Interview Magazine

What do you hope to be doing in 3 to 5 years?
I hope to have graduated from NYU’s M.S. in Publishing Program and have acquired the skills necessary to have a managerial operations/editor position at a top magazine publication, hopefully in relation to lifestyle and women’s interest.

Why did you choose publishing as a career?
I have always loved reading and writing in my free time. I came to NYU to learn the business aspect of the publishing business. I’ve always just known I wanted to be involved in working with books and magazines.

What are you reading now?
“Commencementby J. Courtney Sullivan & “Shanghai Girls” by Lisa See

What website do you visit most often and why?
Currently, I’ve been using Time.com’s news application for my phone — it’s convenient and simple to stay updated on the news. And Mediabistro (it’s part of my bookmark bar).  And, of course, like the rest of us, Facebook. 🙂

What advice do you have for those seeking careers in books, magazines or digital publishing?
If you do not currently hold a full-time job, take advantage of the internships you can obtain while in NYC and through the program. It helps so much with incorporating what you learn in the classroom to the real-world work environment! Don’t limit yourself in terms of only exploring one area of publishing. Check out the different sectors you can work in from books to magazines and the different work divisions from marketing to editorial to production, etc.


Dana Carey willDana Carey – Treasurer

Editorial intern for a children’s/young adult imprint at Random House  [just left  job of eight years as associate editor at the American Journal of Nursing to go to school full time]

What do you hope to be doing in 3 to 5 years?
I’m keeping my options open. I would love to be an editor at a children’s/young adult imprint. But if that doesn’t work out, I’m also interested in how traditional print media is blending with the Web.

Why did you choose publishing as a career?
It allows me to think creatively. Also, when I was working at the nursing journal and the monthly issue arrived, it was satisfying to hold our work in my hands.

What are you reading now?
The Subtle Knife” by Philip Pullman. (It’s the second book in the His Dark Materials trilogy.)

What website do you visit most often and why?
Facebook, of course! Where else can you chat with your friends, find a classmate from elementary school, and find out your messed up Care Bear name?

What advice do you have for those seeking careers in books, magazines or digital publishing?
Become an expert in whatever segment of publishing you choose. Get an internship. Don’t feel intimidated–if you have experience in another industry, or you are fresh out of college with no experience at all, figure out what skills you already have that can be translated to publishing.


Valerie PollockValerie Pollock – Communications Director
Foreign Rights Assistant with Hachette Book Group

What do you hope to be doing in 3 to 5 years?
I hope to be working for a large book publisher in the United Kingdom, and to have my own assistant! Beyond that, it’s all up in the air. At my current company, I recently switched departments — from editorial to subsidiary rights — and while six months ago I might have projected that I’d be an Associate Editor  someday, now I’m not sure I can ever bear to leave foreign rights.

Why did you choose publishing as a career?
I didn’t deliberately choose it, I simply found myself in it. After my undergraduate graduation, I followed my interests without much of a long-term career strategy. My interests led me — at first — to journalism, then later to the copy desk of my hometown newspaper, where I was surprised by how naturally I took to the job. I found that I preferred editing the writing of others to writing pieces of my own, and from that realization, my publishing aspirations sprang.

What are you reading now?
The ARC  [Advanced Reading Copy]of Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals.

What website do you visit most often and why?
NYTimes.com, because it’s my homepage.

What advice do you have for those seeking careers in books, magazines or digital publishing?
If you hope to work in editorial, read as much as possible and follow the industry news — especially the deal reports on Publisher’s Lunch. Also, don’t be afraid to sample multiple departments while you’re still at the assistant or intern level. I was an editorial “purist” for about two years, but once I got up the gumption to try something else, I discovered [through M.S. in Publishing courses] the wonderful and intricate worlds of media law, book production, international sales and global publishing that would have taken me decades to learn as an editor, but are important for any book publishing professional to understand.


Seth HarrisSeth Harris – PSA Alumni Representative
Associate Editor at Nielsen Business Media for Business Travel News and MeetingNews

What do you hope to be doing in 3 to 5 years?
I hope to have made a successful transition into the business side of publishing and leading a business development team responsible for building new brands and products. While all segments of the industry appeal to me, I have a keen interest on new digital products within book publishing.

Why did you choose publishing as a career?
While there are tremendous pressures on publishing currently, these troublesome and changing times make it one of the most dynamic industries to work in. I see in publishing an opportunity to further break down geographic and cultural barriers. There also is tremendous innovation occurring in the industry. Through these new mediums, the industry now has an even greater opportunity to expand and reach new audiences.

What are you reading now?
“Free: The Future of a Radical Price” By Chris Anderson

What website do you visit most often and why?
For my news fix, I most often visit nytimes.com. It provides me with a diversified look into daily news events in the U.S. and abroad, which enables me to be engaged and up to date on a variety of subjects. I also spend sufficient amounts of time surfing around the Yahoo! Sports pages, where among other things, I am a fantasy football junkie.

What advice do you have for those seeking careers in books, magazines or digital publishing?
No matter what segment of the industry you are aiming toward, the strongest advice I can give is to diversify your knowledge and skills by understanding the various functions within the business. With the changes in technology and consumer habits, publishing professionals need to understand a variety of skills including editorial, sales, marketing, production and publicity. The more you understand about those who work around you the greater your chances are to succeed in this business.


Laura WhitakerLaura Whitaker – Council Representative
HarperCollins Children’s Books and I’m the assistant to the Vice President of Marketing.

What do you hope to be doing in 3 to 5 years?
I hope to continue to work in Children’s books– and to have my own tween/teen imprint eventually.

Why did you choose publishing as a career?
I’ve always been a voracious reader and my favorite authors growing up–Madeleine L’Engle, Tamora Pierce, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and Susan Cooper, to name a few–got me through all of the highs, lows, and in-betweens of my childhood and adolescence. I wanted to be a part of shaping the literary journeys of subsequent generations of young readers.

What are you reading now?
I loved “The Hunger Games,” and a friend in the industry loaned me an ARC of Catching Fire back in May–but I  now I am re-reading it now that it is officially on-sale to the general public. I can’t wait for Book 3 to come out!

What website do you visit most often and why?
The Huffington Post or The Daily Beast–both are great sites. I love that you have the option to get a quick or a full version of a story. I’m so busy during the day–it’s great to be able to flip over to either site and get a good idea of a story within ten to fifteen seconds.

What advice do you have for those seeking careers in books, magazines or digital publishing?
Network, network, network–especially with your fellow publishing students. My dearest friends in NYC are the people I met through the program–amazing women and men who are as eager to see their friends succeed in the industry as they are to see themselves land their dream job. Publishing is a small community and landing that first job in the industry can take time–your friends in the program understand how hard you’re working and are a great source of encouragement and support.

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