On Interning at Island Press: Venturing out of My Comfort Zone

For me, summer has always been the perfect time to venture out of my comfort zone to explore new opportunities that I otherwise would not have during the school year. This summer was no exception. Since the election, I had taken up a sudden interest in the environment, fascinated by how the world around us was changing, and not for the better. As a community health major, I decided that I wanted to intern someplace that would give me even more of an insight on the environment.

Fortunately, I found a posting for Island Press, a non-profit publisher located in the heart of DC. On my first day, I was nervous because I had no idea what my supervisor or the office “environment” was going to be like. Luckily, my supervisor Meg made me feel welcome from the very first day and quickly taught me the ropes of being a development intern. I was introduced to eTapestry, a database site that was useful for inputting and keeping track of donor information. Along with eTapestry, I was also taught skills that varied from creating posts on the Island Press website, to learning different research methods for prospective donors.

But the biggest thing I learned from this internship was to be passionate about anything I do. The people working here at Island Press have exemplified that every single day that I’ve been here, always starting new projects, and continuing to stay excited about the old ones. They’ve shown me that while money is important, it is definitely not the biggest motivating factor; it is being able to spread knowledge and educate others on a varied amount of topics stemming from the environment. The gratification of knowing that you were a part of the process of publishing a book that will impact even just one person is more satisfying than the profit of a thousand best sellers. Interning here has been a wonderful experience and I’m thankful to have been introduced to the amazing people that work here at Island Press.