#UDIntern: Interning at a Publishing House

BY ALEXANDRIA MLVKY

When I was young, I loved books. I dreamed of one day having Sandra Bullock’s position in The Proposal, running the show as chief editor at a major New York City publishing house. So when I heard about an internship with a publisher here in Delaware, I jumped at the chance to gain some experience. Prestwick House is an educational publisher that focuses on English/Language Arts material for the classroom. As an intern at Prestwick, my primary projects involved writing vocabulary and grammar exercises and writing blog posts to assist teachings in creating literature lessons. If you thought completing those type of exercises in middle school was hard, imagine writing them. It was definitely challenging, but it helped me to improve my writing and grammar skills – things I have not solely focused on since grade school.

As the semester comes to a close, I am truly grateful for my experience at Prestwick. I have learned some valuable lessons in addition to improving my writing skills. The first would be to learn from constructive criticism. For a writer, feedback is essential in order to produce the best possible product. After writing my first exercises, I feared what the editors would say about my work. But feedback helped me to improve the quality of my writing and develop self-awareness.

This internship has also taught me the importance of asking questions. At first I thought I was a burden – that new intern who incessantly asked questions because she didn’t know how to do anything. But getting the information you need is important. It shows that you care about what you are working on, that you want to get the job done right the first time. While bugging your supervisor may seem scary at first, getting your questions answered is better than going into a project blind, praying that you get it right.

And finally, I have learned that being friendly in the workplace can lead to success. During my internship, I completed most of my projects alone at my computer in my cubicle. Writing blog posts for books such as Friday Night Lights and Wuthering Heights doesn’t call for too much collaboration. Even though most projects can be completed on your own, everyone at Prestwick was friendly and willing to help. Being greeted in the morning and gathering together for lunch in the afternoon made me love coming to work. Getting to know the graphic designers, editors, salesman, and people who worked in other areas of the publishing house made me more comfortable as an intern, leading to a positive experience.

 

Alexandria Mlkvy is a senior English Professional Writing and Mass Communication major with a minor in Journalism from New Jersey. After graduation in the spring, Alex hopes to find a job in the publishing or public relations fields where she can put her love of writing and editing to good use. To chat, email him at amlkvy@udel.edu, tweet @BlueHenAlexM, or connect on LinkedIn.

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