On Interning at Island Press: A Place United

When I graduated from my university last year, I wanted to start working in publishing, so when I found Island Press’s summer internships I signed up right away. From my first day as publicity intern, I was already mailing out advance reader copies to reviewers and reading chapters of the book I would write my first press release on. By the next week I was attending my first DTP meeting, where all the different departments of Island Press gather to discuss their concerns and progress for potential new books.

I was surprised by that first meeting, not because I wasn’t familiar yet with the titles, but by how everyone came together. Instead of just hearing what my department’s concerns, I learned what editorial was working on and what production thought. I didn’t feel like I was isolated in one field. I felt like I was part of an actual publishing house that cared deeply about the product they were putting out into the world and the impact on their audience. I was also able to see and hear how all the other departments came together to work through concerns or plan future projects, making sure that everyone had what they needed to move forward.

This was furthered when I attended the IP 101 meetings. It was activities like these I found the most valuable. I learned how connected all the departments were and their individual duties, but also by taking the time to set up these meetings, I knew my training and time was valued and the people here genuinely wanted me to grow from this experience.

When I started I was worried that since I lacked a background in environmental issues, I would have trouble keeping up or I wouldn’t fit in, but that has never been the case here. I’ve learned so much about publishing, but more importantly what it looks like to work in a team with a cause. Being a part of Island Press has probably been one of the most valuable experiences I have had since graduation, and I will not soon forget it. I hope I can find a place as united as this on my next job.