I’m A Lean Mean Publicity Machine… In My Dreams (Part Two!)

From seeing a tweet offering an internship, submitting my CV on a complete whim, to then find out three days later that I was picked, and, to now, sitting at my own desk, with my own desktop log in, my own company email address and my own sign off signature.  And unlike my other one, I was here for six and a half weeks!

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<untouched intro from when I was still there… I continue, now having finished>

My first surprise when I stepped into the Simon & Schuster office was how small it was. Coming from Macmillan, which was four floors, Simon & Schuster is tiny – only being on one floor! But all in a good way as I found myself knowing where everything is (ie where the holy wall of YA books were.. but I’ll get to that bit later on). It was also very ‘office-y’ compared to Macmillan, which was open plan and more modern than what I would expect. Simon & Schuster was what I imagined the offices to be like.

Of course, with the small size of the office, there were also smaller teams. The publicity team is made up of eight people (add one if you include the intern), which I found nicer because I was able to familiarize myself with everyone and I knew everyone who gave me work.

I guess the next step is to say the work I did…and sorry to disappoint but it is as mundane as expected, but yet again, I had a great time! (When the novelty of interning at a publishing house wear off? I was equally as giddy when I started. Equally as enthusiastic and determined to get everything done… When will the idea that this is a ‘job’ kick in?)

Some of the things I had to do:

Hand out the newspapers (and then scan and file the article)

Create promotional material for events

Create press releases

Update event schedules

Bind books

And book post!

Funnily enough, there was a chance where I got to help out at another book signing! But this time I got to meet the author herself too. During this period, I also got a chance to meet the other interns in the office at the time and it was really nice to take a break from the computer screen.

On top of the list above, I had to cover reception for two and a half weeks during lunch time – both good but daunting since I hate answering phones. We used to have to do reception cover in my primary school, when we were in year 6, and I would always do everything wrong. I have always avoided tasks that involve calling someone up.. What made it worse was that intern was telling me about his experience on the desk. Let’s just say I was screaming on the inside as I took my seat. It wasn’t as bad as he made it out to be. The first time I sat on the desk, I was too nervous to do anything but after a few days, I figured it wasn’t so bad after all, and I kinda enjoy it.!

I met so many amazing people both in the industry and those who want to be in the industry. I really enjoy making friends with other interns because we all relate and talk about what we’re experiencing, which I always find reassuring. And being me, I always find it a bit daunting talking to others in the office because of how little experience I have.. I feel safer with the intern chatter. But in general, I loved hearing about everyones experience, like where they intern before being where they are. I’ve learnt a lot about small things that I can do just to give me that extra boost – but at this point I feel so useless with all this information I can’t use until I can actually get a job! I really hope that all the people I’ve met I’ll keep in touch with because they are awesome. Meet up this time next year at Simon & Schuster, yeah?

I’m so happy I took a chance and submitted my CV for this internship. It was an amazing experience. Actually properly settling into the office. I am surprised how quickly I felt comfortable but going into the office with a desk – it just felt right.

Side note: They have a wall full of YA books (and children’s, but I’m focusing on YA here). Oh my gosh. Like. The first time I stood in front of that wall I was more upset that I didn’t have anyone to share my excitement with rather than the fact that I was interning with this publisher that publishes awesome titles! I never make note of who publish what books and Simon & Schuster are one of my favourites, and I’m not just saying that because I worked for them.

The ending was more emotional than expected. I entered the office thinking nothing of the end. But when it came down to it.. Closing my very own email address with a ‘simonandschuster.co.uk’ ending and shutting down my computer with my very own log in.. it tore me apart. I don’t even know how to describe it but I’m so upset that it’s all over. (Must mean I had a great time).

I have to say a huge huge thank you to the publicity team for piling their work on me and keeping me busy, Isabel for offering me this opportunity and for guiding me through my weeks, Jade for allowing me to stand in front of the YA shelf in amazement for hours and finally Marc for sorting out all the post that I had to do and sending it all off and all his help with everything in the hub. And then a quick thank you to Emma in editorial for giving me an amazing proof copy of a book that I couldn’t take my eyes off when I saw it land on her desk – I felt invincible after I got my hands on that book (I still do!!). So many thank you’s to hand out and none of them will really reflect how thankful I am. But thank you thank you thank you!

 

 

If you’ve missed it, check out my first interning experience here.

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