Moeko Noda '17: Summer Internships
his summer, I stayed in Boston and did two internships: one, a part-time internship at Publishing Solutions Group, an educational publishing company, and two, a remote internship for a book scout. Both internships provided me with valuable experiences – I got exposure to the publishing world and was able to gain hands-on experience, which was exactly what I wanted out of my summer!
At PSG, I wrote blogs, managed the company’s social media, received training on fact checking and copy editing, and got to work on live projects as one of the three editorial and marketing interns. PSG has a well-developed internship program, so that they actually take time to train you and let you participate on all aspects of their work. The internship also comes with a mentor system, where each intern is paired with a senior staff member. I got to meet with my mentor once a week to discuss anything about publishing and hear about her career trajectories. For anyone interested in publishing, especially educational publishing, I would highly recommend this program.
For the second internship, I read manuscripts and wrote reader’s reports almost every weekday for three months. For four to five days a week, I would receive a manuscript first thing in the morning, read 100 pages, write a reader’s report, and send it back within 24 hours. Over the summer I read manuscripts from a wide variety of genres such as middle grade, young adult, suspense, and literary fiction, as well as non-fiction book proposals and even travel guidebooks. Writing reader reports for a book scout meant I had to think from a new point of view; I was asked to give my honest opinions (some manuscripts I loved, some others not so much), but I also had to analyze whether I thought the book was marketable, and if so, to what audience. I came out of the internship realizing that people in publishing go through a sea of manuscripts in search for the gem that could be the one. While the work was grueling at times, getting to read beautiful stories before anyone else was genuinely an exciting experience. For anyone interested in finding gigs like this, bookjobs.com is a good place to look.
Overall this summer gave me a good perspective on the publishing world. I’m still trying to see whether I want to go in to publishing professionally – we’ll see what I’ll be doing next summer after graduation!
Keton Kakkar '19: Summer Internships
This summer I interned at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Specifically, I worked with the Lumen Database, which, in the name of transparency, maintains a record of takedown requests for online materials. For Lumen, I studied and blogged about issues of copyright law and began a research project on Twitter’s Periscope. Along with this, I attended weekly intern talks and learned about topics such as digital security and the semantic web. This past spring I was enrolled in Harvard’s online course in copyright law, CopyrightX, which helped to spark my interest in this field.
Robert Zipp '18: Summer Externship
This summer, I left my hometown of Dover, Delaware for the big city (NYC, to be exact) with two questions in mind. The first: is becoming a full-time educator something I could do in the long term? The second: could I handle living in NYC, and could I see myself there after my time at Swarthmore is over?
The answer to both of those questions is "No".
But by no means was my summer a less than valuable experience! It was made possible through the externship program & grant money available at Career Services. Originally, I externed at HEAF, the Harlem Educational Activities Fund, a small nonprofit in central Harlem, over this past winter break. During my week at HEAF in January, both the program staff and the students (known as HEAF scholars) charmed me, and I was lucky enough to be offered to return for the summer.
I wasn't prepared for the sweltering walks in khakis and dress shirts on the city streets, and I wasn't prepared for many a meltdown and dispute that happened under my watch. But I was so delighted when I saw my 7th grade scholars beaming with pride over the short stories they had written in my Writer's Workshop sessions. Teaching is a valuable experience, regardless of your long term goals, and even though I've learned it wasn't for me, I wouldn't trade my summer experience for the world.
But wait, there's hope for my future! Not all was lost. In addition to my summer at HEAF, I took a night class in the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, and I was so impressed with the course material, my professors, and my classmates. That Columbia class made me realize that there are many ways to get involved in the world of education without being in the classroom. I met the former deputy executive director of Human Rights Watch, Carroll Bogert, who I found out began her career as a journalist, and stressed the power of narrative in human rights work to me. Maybe a career in a human rights NGO awaits me?
Either way, it was a wonderfully exhausting summer, and I can't wait to see what next summer holds.