By: Abegayle Neri
Living and working in New York City during the summer of 2011 was like looking at a snap shot of what life after college could be for me. With my December 2012 Graduation date looming over me, I am glad that I took advantage of every opportunity that came my way while I had the chance. Enriching experiences and connections are going to play a major role in the next chapter of my life as well as the lives of other fellow pirates. Pirates don’t waste opportunities; it’s up to us to take responsibility for our future!
After landing my dream Penguin Group Publishing Internship, I took it upon myself to make my time in the Big Apple count. Moving to a new place with no friends, it was only natural that I would bond with other interns. Together we explored the city cuisine, did too much shopping, went to concerts, and established a weekly Happy Hour gathering. Today, I am still good friends with a few of the interns I met that summer. Some of my friends received full time jobs with Penguin while others moved on to other great companies.
Jumping into a competitive industry, with a business-marketing background in a publicity world, I felt like the constant underdog. Unyielding to the pressures of the fast paced environment, I was eager to prove myself to my boss and the Penguin Young Readers team. Through the entire summer, I actively sought ways to learn as much as I possibly could about the publishing and publicity industry, while making strides to improving upon every task that was given to me.
My supervisor that summer was a Penguin Young Reader Senior Publicist. Through her mentorship and Penguin’s enthusiastic stance on the learning environment, I was able to become the Publicity Contact for a book, MR. SAM: HOW SAM WALTON BUILT WAL-MART AND BECAME AMERICA’S RICHEST MAN by Karen Blumenthal. After sending out press documents I drafted to several media outlets, I was rewarded with a review of the book in the New York Times book review. That experience is now a major part of my resume and my portfolio.
FIVE TIPS FOR SUCCESS
1. Dream big and make use of every resource possible.
Don’t sell yourself short by settling for mediocrity. Work hard and try to develop and improve upon skills that make you a competitive job candidate after graduation.
2. Don’t be another face in the crowd…
Have fun and let your personality shine in your working environment. I think one of the reasons why I was able to learn so much from the Publicity team at Penguin was because I got to know many of the team members.
3. Shake as many hands as possible and always carry yourself with dignity, you never know who you might get the chance to meet.
I met my two closest intern friends by taking the initiative to introduce myself to every intern I came across my first few weeks at Penguin.
4. GET LinkedIn, It’s what all the cool kids are doing.
Today I am LinkedIn to everyone on the YR Publicity team and all of the interns I befriended. This professional networking site will be an important tool after graduation.
5. Work Hard and Play Hard
It’s important to take time to relax and have fun outside of the office so that you can give 100% while you’re at work.