Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

Internviews: “Halfway”

Livia Nelson is the Editorial Assistant at Publishing Trendsetter, as well as Market Partners International and Publishing Trends‘ summer intern. In early May, Trendsetter asked her some preliminary questions about what she hoped to accomplish. Now that she her internship is halfway complete, we followed up. A third installment will come at the end of the summer.

Trendsetter: What projects or areas of work at Publishing Trends and MPI have you enjoyed the most? What more do you hope to do before you leave?

Livia: In it’s own infinite reflection way, helping to launch Trendsetter has been awesome because I’m part of the target audience. Every submitted post that I get to edit and modify has been news to me, and I feel like I’m eating up tips straight from the horses’ mouths. But most of all I love that, in addition to typical intern-y things, I’m actually creating content for Trendsetter and Publishing Trends. I don’t think a lot of interns get as much… power? freedom? creative license? as I have this summer, and it’s amazing to see my name on things.

Before I leave, I’m hoping to contribute more ideas, not just articles, to Trendsetter. Now that I have a very firm grasp of what are goals and tone and audience are, I hope that I can generate some more interesting content to help inform our readers.

T: What are the most valuable things you’ve learned thus far? Anything you didn’t know you wanted to learn but are really glad you did? Anything you learned is very different from how you anticipated it?

L: I could go on and on, but these are the top 3…

The first thing that popped into my head, really, is that I’ve learned quite a bit of what it’s like to work in an office. Aside from a short magazine internship in high school, I never had before. Not that the MPI/PT office is especially high stress–quite the opposite, really–but getting used to the daily routine, multitasking and allotting time, even just how to use the copier and the postage machines, are skills that will be good to have when I enter the work world f’real.

I think it’s also been valuable and super interesting to get this snapshot of where the publishing industry is at right now. With the partners working on so many cutting-edge projects, I get to see what’s happening and changing in the book business as it’s happening. Even the “boring” things I’ve had to do, like bestseller spreadsheets or scanning copies of PT, have been very informative because I learn about what’s currently going on.

And finally, I feel a lot more open minded about what my first real job might be after I graduate. I love design, so I could see myself in production. But I also love web work, so I could also see myself doing something web-related in marketing. But since I have a creative writing background, I might want to go into editing. If there’s anything that writing and editing for Trendsetter (and that Amy Rhodes) have taught me, it’s that I shouldn’t pigeonhole myself into one department.

T: In what ways have you made the PT/MPI internship your own?

L: By eating cereal at my desk? No, just kidding. With PT and especially Trendsetter, I really appreciate that a working environment has been created where I’m not afraid to make suggestions or share ideas (I know I said I want to come up with more, but I know that once I do, I’ll have no problem sharing them).

And actually, the more I think about this question, the more I think that I should work more this second half on making it more my own, not only by sharing ideas, but by asking more questions.

T: Half-way through, how would you characterize your internship to someone interested in publishing?

L: Well, unconventional, first and foremost. But that’s what makes it great, because even though I’m learning so much about the publishing process, just like an intern at a house probably would, I’m learning what all of the publishing houses are up to. The best analogy I can think of is that interning at a publishing house would be like working for an airline (most likely as a flight attendant), but I’m interning in the control tower.

I’d also tell them that I hardly had to file things or make copies at all!

T: What are the things you’ve enjoyed least, or have you learned you probably wouldn’t enjoy professionally?

L: Commuting! Although that’s gotten better, as I’ve gotten smarter about bringing good books and other things to occupy myself. Really, the only things I haven’t liked aren’t MPI/PT-related, they’re just office-job related–I don’t like being inside on sunny days, don’t like answering phones, don’t like being exhausted when I get off of the train at night. But welcome to the real world, I guess!

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