Category Archives: Digital Media

The Intern Life

Jill Weiss

I landed the World Languages Intern position after three rigorous and challenging interviews.  I had always known about Pearson, since most of my high school textbooks had the Pearson symbol on them and I knew they owned subsidiaries of other large companies, including Prentice Hall.  When I first heard that I got the position, I was thrilled! In this economy, not only is it extremely competitive to get an internship or job for the summer, but the fact that this internship was paid was fantastic.  Also, as an English major, I’ve always wanted to explore this industry and get a taste of what it is like to work in publishing.

Immediately upon my arrival at the office, I was greeted by my co-workers, who have helped me so much throughout my time at Pearson.  Whenever I have a question or inquiry, they are always there to help immediately. My second day at work, I immediately became apart of what I consider Pearson’s “digital revolution.”  My first project consisted of hot-spotting five foreign language textbooks.  Hot-spotting entails documenting and creating links on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to make videos, icons, and words clickable on Pearson’s online MyLanguageLabs.  Not only did I have to include links, but I also had to indicate on Excel where certain words and videos needed to be placed on the page.  On average, I would say for each textbook I had close to 1700 rows that were labeled on Excel.  For my largest text I had over 3600 columns.

While at first I was a bit flustered by my assignment, with the help of my project manager, I was able to get through the process very smoothly.  As I was doing this project, I was also meeting with various people for lunches to gain a sense of what other employees at Pearson do on a daily basis.  Some of the people I met with included employees from the Human Resource Management Department and the Marketing department, who gave me extremely useful advice about their fields and their own career paths.  I have always had an interest in both Human Resource Management and Marketing, so I figured it would be great to meet with people who were highly trained in those fields.

Currently, I am working on a Photography Research project, where I am helping to update older images in Spanish textbooks.   I am looking forward to working on my upcoming marketing project, where the World Languages Marketing Assistant and I are going to organize the information she has about which schools currently do not use Pearson textbooks, which we will give to the Project Specialists to target these schools for the upcoming National Sales Meeting.

One of the major skills I have acquired in this position is that I’ve learned how important it is to ask questions in a corporate environment.  At first, I was a bit timid and did not know if I was creating a burden on people by asking them if the work I was doing was correct.  I’ve learned though that there really are no ridiculous questions and in any job, by asking questions, you are making sure that you are completing your assignment correctly.  This internship has also helped me become adept with important programs, including Microsoft Excel. Any of these skills and programs can be used in a corporate environment, which is another great perk of being a Pearson Intern.

What I personally love most about this internship is that I’ve been exposed to every division within the company.   While I have primarily worked on editorial and marketing projects, I have become familiar with parts of production and sales.  I have an amazing mentor who has helped me grow so much and I look forward to my endeavors with Pearson this summer!

A Passion for Pearson

Kari Leibowitz

My first two lunch & learn sessions for Pearson interns (read: free food) highlighted one of the company’s best assets: employees who love their jobs.  Even though the speakers came from two different departments and spoke about entirely different subjects, they both talked about their work with a contagious excitement and an intense passion.  The enthusiasm for their careers and for Pearson itself was palpable in the conference room, and while the day to day activities of Brandy and David are totally different, love for their jobs unites them as Pearson employees.

I liked Brandy Dawson right away – she’s exactly the kind of fun and happy adult who makes me think, “I want to be like that when I grow up.”  She’s petite, has dark hair, and radiates an energy that wakes up the whole room.  I supposed it’s this energy that makes her so good at her job.  As Pearson Education’s Vice President and Director of Marketing, Brandy is in charge of the big-picture of Pearson’s marketing, so it’s lucky that she has a personality large enough to handle it.

David Alick is a former science teacher, which came across loud and clear in his

David Alick

David Alick

presentation.  Interns answering his questions elicited shouts of “Yes! Right answer!” and during our learning activity David responded to questions of “Can we do it this way?” with an enigmatic “Well that’s an interesting idea…”  David is reminiscent of the fun uncle you call when you find an awesome new website or have a computer problem.  As Pearson’s Senior Digital Media Editor, David oversees some of Pearson’s most interesting products in Higher Education – like video games that supplement textbook material.

Both Brandy and David had somewhat unusual beginnings at Pearson.  Brandy is a history major who spent time selling yellow page ads to business.  She recalled how her stomach would sink every time she used her charm and intelligence to sell a larger ad to someone whose company truly didn’t need one.  After switching to on-campus sales of Pearson textbooks, she felt that instead of peddling a product, she was now solving problems for professors and students alike, and she’s been at Pearson ever since.  David was a high school science teacher frustrated with an education system that focused more on students’ test scores than actual learning.  With no foreseeable way to change the school system as a teacher, David came to Pearson to make educational technologies that would help students learn for the long-term instead of for a grade.

Challenges exist for both Brandy and David.  Brandy described the difficult conversations she has with authors and editors when one product appears to get a larger portion of the marketing budget than another.  David talked about the obstacles to getting professors who don’t use anything but Powerpoint in the classroom to adopt digital media as a learning tool.

Despite these complications, Brandy and David have been at Pearson for years and show no signs of leaving. Maybe that’s because they have an intense belief in what they do, and they come to work brimming with excitement at the thought of making a difference in modern education.  Brandy described her job as “motivating and exciting” the people who work with her in order to market Pearson’s products in new and innovative ways, while David said his job is to “make the professor look like a rock star in front of the class.”  You can tell that rather than dreading Monday mornings, these two are genuinely happy to be at work, which makes me really happy to be an intern here, because the part that comes after the internship is finding the dreaded job, and if I get to intern at a place where the people around me are loving what they do, maybe some day I, too, can find a career with Pearson that I love.