My Life as a Publishing Intern

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Yesterday I received some bad news and it got me thinking about the choices I was making career wise and if I was headed in the right direction. The ups and downs I have been through in that past 7 months have been numerous and yesterday I began to wonder if they were at all worth it.

I went into University 5 years ago knowing one thing, I loved books and I loved reading, so naturally I went into English. But about half way through my first year I realized this wasnt the type of thing I was looking for, I did not want to be a teacher (I do not have the patience for that) and I didn't want to work in a bookstore my entire life, considering I already worked in one part time. So I investigated and found out that my school had a Publishing program, I jumped at the chance and changed my major, and honestly I still think, to this day, that it was the best thing I ever did. I learned more about the book world then I ever could inside of a bookstore (although I will admit that my job did help me in school...a lot). I met some of the most amazing people that have become life long friends, and I wouldn't change a thing about that time of my life.

During my last year I applied to an internship at HaperCollins Canada through some contacts I had known through working at Chapters, and to my surprise I got hired. I never expected it to happen that fast, I went from school straight into an internship and it all seemed to be so surreal. At Harper I learned what it meant to be in the Publishing industry and being there strengthened my need to be in this world. I wanted to be around books, and convince other to read certain books. I wanted to create plans to promote the books I loved and the books that everyone would love. It was at Harper that I fell in love with blogging. I started writing blog posts for the Savvy Reader, and loved it so much that I chose to start this blog. It wasn't until Harper created a blogger night, where certain bloggers from the GTA came and hung out for a night, that I realized how this could change my life. I have met so many amazing people through blogging that I am glad I was able to be a part of that.

At the end of my internship at Harper there were two openings in the Marketing Department and I applied to both. I didn't know for sure if I would even be considered but I was, and I appreciate the opportunity they gave me, but in the end they went with two others who were more qualified. I will not lie, it did hurt to know that they wanted someone else and not me, especially when I worked so hard and gave everything I had. But to be honest, I met and became friends with so many people that it was all worth it. The heartbreak that came from rejection was nothing but a sting compared to the friendships I have established. So I am very grateful for everything HarperCollins has done for me. They were the first to give me a chance and I appreciate it so much.

After I was done with Harper I went to a few other job interviews that led to more rejections and I finally decided that maybe another internship was needed, so I applied to Kobo to become a Merchandiser. As you know I am there now, so I got the internship and when I started I was told that there was a position opening in my department in December and that I would be stupid not to apply, so obviously I did. I worked extremely hard, gave extra time and effort in order to demonstrate that I was fit to work for this company, and I thought I had a real shot at this. My first full-time job in publishing, this was my shot. And then yesterday I find out that they gave the position to someone else. I am not going to sit here and tell you I wasn't upset, because it took everything I had not to burst into tears at work, surrounded by the people that chose someone else over me. It was probably one of the hardest days I have ever been through. I was so confident going into this that I didn't even realize the ramification to my confidence. I was crushed and yesterday I kept thinking "what's wrong with me? there has to something wrong for no one to want to hire me" but then I realized that I am truly blessed to have been apart of not one, but two publishing companies in less than a year. Not many people can say that considering the industry that I am in.

It took me a day to figure out that not getting the job at Kobo was the beginning of something, not the end. I have had the pleasure of working with so many amazing book people that truly care about the same things I do, and I can't imagine not having these experiences. I know I will get hired some day, in the future when the time is right. But right now I think I will sit back and enjoy my last few months at Kobo knowing I did my best, and knowing that I could not have done anything different.

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  1. *hugs* Thank you for writing this post! It's really quite inspirational. I know it's hard being rejected.. it sucks. I'm actually applying for internships right now, one of which I have been working towards for YEARS. I even moved to a new country to get a better shot at just interning at this company. If I be rejected, I honestly don't even know how I'll keep myself together.

    But I really admire that you managed to find the positives in your situation. Being able to just do that is AWESOME. I know that some day a company will be very lucky to have you working for them full time. :))

    P.S. You should turn off CAPTCHA!

  2. Thank you so much for this Ashely, it wasn't my intention for this to be inspirational but I am glad that it was for you. I just needed to get my emotions out and I am glad to see that many share the same ones as me.

    Good luck with applying to internships, I am sure they would love to have you :)

    P.S I turned off captcha :)

  3. Thank you for sharing so candidly your experiences. It's such a tough industry to get into, and it's brilliant that you can look on the bright side among all the (temporary!!) disappointment. You're fantastic and personable and the experience you've garnered at two different companies in the publishing world will only help you get your full time job.

  4. Thanks for posting about your experiences - I can definitely sympathise as I'm trying to get into publishing myself, and it's just as hard in the UK, where I live. I'm in my final year of university and I'm trying not to let the lack of responses from publishers I've applied to for work experience discourage me! I've done a two-week placement at Macmillan already and I loved it so I know this is what I want to do, even if it means working for nothing as an intern for a while. All experience is worth it and the internships you've done will help you get a job in the end. It's great that you have a positive attitude about it, and I'm sure you'll succeed! :)

  5. I'm a great believer of fate, and I think you just have to have faith that there is a place out there for you, just keep persisting! It's a very hard market, and so you've done really well getting the internships you have. You've got your whole life ahead of you, and you'll get there in the end :)

  6. After speaking to you about all this on Friday and Saturday, I am glad that you are in this positive and optimistic place. You are young and just beginning your career, so I'm sure that there will be many great opportunities ahead!

  7. I'm really envious of those living in the states/canada/europe as you have all these big publishing houses that you can apply for. But your post made me realise exactly how hard it is to get a job in this industry.

    All I can say is, I'm glad you are not defeated and hopefully your experiences will eventually land you a job in the industry. All the best!