How I Got That Job (or Internship)

We love hearing stories about how our students turned their internships in the M.S. in Publishing program at NYU-SCPS into full-time jobs—or how their classroom or networking experiences resulted in coveted industry positions. So, we asked a few of our graduate students and one recent alumna to tell us how their program-related experiences furthered their career goals:

From Event to E-Books

by Nicole Passage

In the fall of 2009, the NYU Center for Publishing hosted an event at which Jane Friedman,  industry icon, and former CEO of HarperCollins, spoke of her exciting new venture, Open Road Integrated Media (ORIM)—a ground-breaking digital content company that publishes and markets e-books. I was in my first semester in the Master’s program then, and when it came time to start looking for an internship for the spring, I knew that I would apply at ORIM. In January 2010, I interviewed to become a development and production intern for the company and was immediately accepted. My duties during this time were varied, but the majority of my time was spent reading books, writing summaries,  and conducting author research.  By June, I had been hired to work part-time for Managing Editor (and Center  for Publishing Adjunct Instructor) Andrea Colvin: proofreading and copyediting, writing descriptive copy, and managing metadata and schedules. Now, only three months later, I am the managing editorial assistant at Open Road, doggedly performing the  tasks mentioned above, and then some–and helping to pave the way for the future of books!

Wheel of Fortune

by Jacquelyn Lewis

[Editor’s note: The Capstone is the graduate thesis students are required to complete in their last semester in the M.S. in Publishing program. Each student creates a business plan for a new media venture—print, web, or generally both. One or two students are selected to present their Capstone to our Board of  Advisors each year. Jacqueline presented her business plan for BikeSTYLE magazine in spring 2009.]

The idea for my Capstone project came to me while I was riding my bicycle. I have always biked, but at the time I was relatively new to riding in the city. I wasn’t an athlete—I used my bicycle to commute—and the one publication that I wished existed was a magazine and/or website about urban cycling and bicycle fashion that approached the subject from a practical yet stylish standpoint: a publication that would make it easier for me to ride my bike in the city and help promote cycling in general. I created a business plan for BikeSTYLE, a quarterly magazine with a companion website. I had no idea that a year and half later, BikeSTYLE would also help me land a great job as the communications manager at Bike New York, a nonprofit that organizes rides (including the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour), and educates people about bicycling in New York City and beyond.

Not only did my Capstone project help me demonstrate my creativity, writing skills and research savvy to the Bike New York staff during the interview process, but BikeSTYLE was also instrumental in showing my love and knowledge of bicycling in NYC. Presenting the Capstone to the Board also helped me learn to succinctly yet thoroughly convey the message and spirit of BikeSTYLE, as well as the excitement and potential I saw for bicycling in New York City.  Thanks in part to the Capstone, I’m now working for a wonderful organization with a mission I believe in.

Discovered in Class

by Alexandra Egan

If  I take nothing else away from my time in the M.S. in Publishing program at NYU, it will be the career and life lesson that’s been the motto of the program since the beginning—network, network, network. Although it was much more likely due to sheer luck and being in the right place at the right time than anything to do with my own networking skills, I was fortunate enough to have a success story. During what I believed to be simply the difficult, nerve-wracking final presentations of our Introduction to Multimedia Financial Analysis class, we had a visitor – a colleague of our professor’s, the Vice President of Human Resources at Nature Publishing Group.

After finishing the presentations and the semester, I thought little more about that final class until my professor reached out to tell me that his colleague had been impressed by my final presentation and wanted to talk to me about an opportunity to work at their company.  Weeks later, I was beginning my first day as the administrative assistant to the Executive Vice President of Scientific American magazine, and taking my first real step on the path of my chosen career. Although the position is primarily administrative, I interact every day with nearly every department and staff member on the magazine, including the editor-in-chief and the publisher. I also go to production meetings, correspond with counterparts on our many international editions, research world markets, and most surprisingly, reconcile advertising revenue in financial statements. (I can only credit my ability to do this to that Multimedia Financial Analysis class in which I had never expected to be successful.) In addition, every day is different as my responsibilities are ever-increasing, and it has been made inherently clear that I can only move up from here. Essentially, it is the perfect first real job.

A Decision that Paid Off

by Andrea  Jo DeWerd

I interned at Simon & Schuster in the publisher’s office of the Pocket Books, Gallery Books, and Threshold imprints during my first semester at  the M.S. in Publishing program at NYU-SCPS. Andrea Chambers, the program’s director, initially helped me make a decision between the internship at S&S and an editorial internship at a woman’s magazine. Essentially I had to decide between books and magazines, and from my conversation with Andrea, it became clear to me that working with books was really where I belonged. And I’m so happy that I ended up at S&S! I took a very active role as an intern: reading submissions, writing reports and rejection letters for submissions, preparing meeting material, and taking every opportunity to interact with the different departments and learn more about publishing in general.

I genuinely enjoyed my work and really strived to take more initiative  with every project that came my way. When a full-time position became available in the publisher’s office at the end of the semester, it was a natural fit for me. Now as the editorial assistant to the VP Deputy Publisher of the imprint, I still read and evaluate submissions, but I also prepare P&L’s for his acquisitions, process author payments, create sample material readers for each season for the entire imprint, manage our out-of-house freelance editorial projects, and communicate with our authors and agents. I’ve been full-time since May, and I couldn’t be happier with my job and knowing that my hard work has paid off.


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