On Interning at Island Press: I Can't Wait to Return

I am a junior at Georgetown University interested in pursuing a career in publishing. I major in English because I believe in the power of the written word. As Development Intern, I have learned that it’s not only the words written in books that affect concrete change.

Island Press operates as both a publishing company and a nonprofit. The Development team maintains the nonprofit aspect of our organization. My work cultivating relationships with donors requires extensive research, communications, and outreach strategies. This requires carefully crafted outreach, especially letters and emails.

I arrived knowing very little about nonprofit operations, and I have since grasped the skills necessary to help Island Press thrive. On my first day, I applied Island Press for a federal grant.  I began my journey to proficiency in Blackbaud software, which organizes fundraising information for nonprofit organizations. I have been privy to development projects that are fundamental to the operation of Island Press ever since.

I also enjoy creating content for our website and blog. I love utilizing InDesign and Photoshop to prepare images for our website. I’ve also had fun drafting development oriented blog posts, research summaries, and even tweets.

I contribute to everything from documenting our incoming gifts to preparing personalized thank you letters. Every day I am heartened by people dedicated to both saving the environment and supporting our books. We have passionate and engaged authors and staff members who never fail to amaze me.

Despite that I am young and I tend to fall on the quiet side, I felt welcomed and included at Island Press from the minute I walked in the door. The entire staff, regardless of hierarchy, enjoys lunch together in our beautiful kitchen. (One doesn’t appreciate the miracle of a dishwasher until you reside in a college dorm.) I have even been privileged to sit in on our annual prelaunch meeting with all of the senior staff. Our office layout is open and conducive to our friendly atmosphere. There’s even hope that dogs may be allowed in the office soon.

Starting a new job is both nerve-wracking and exciting. I didn’t know the first thing about developing nonprofits. I am proud that I was able to apply my own skills and interests to a new field. The amazing work of Island Press would not be possible without the fundamental efforts of the development team. I can’t wait to return next semester!