As a high school senior, I have not done any internships. After all, it is not really expected. However, I wanted to start the internship grind early. So, I thought, why not do an internship that combines two things I’m interested in: writing and the environment. Luckily, Island Press came onto my radar because my father has published a book with them before.
Since my internship was short and sweet, I was able to try a little bit of everything. Thus, I learned a little about every department. I saw how detailed the editing process is. I listened to the production team try to overcome problems with their authors (including some very interesting captioning choices). I learned how international publishing rights work. There was really a bit of everything in this D.C. office.
I’m extremely grateful that Island was my first internship, as it really gave me a rewarding experience. Instead of fetching coffee for the higher ups in the office, I was given the ability to actually participate in the process of getting a book published and on the shelves. One of my favorite tasks was reading a book proposal and writing a review for it. After a few of the DTP (decision to publish) meetings, I was able to determine whether or not a book fit the Island Press mission. That is another thing about Island that I really admire: its mission. They aim to shine light on issues of importance, create tangible change, and publish authors who share their ideas about protecting the environment and creating a sustainable society. During every meeting I sat in on, the editors would ask several questions. What can this book accomplish? Does it bring new ideas? Can it cause people to think differently? To see them discuss each book with such care is quite admirable. My experience at Island was enjoyable and memorable, and I’m glad for such an opportunity.