This page features blog posts from interns working for sister companies or imprints of Pearson – enjoy!
Nicole Banholzer, Dutton publicity intern
Nicole works for Dutton, and as such she is part of a vast network of interns who are related to Pearson. Pearson is the parent company of Penguin, and Dutton is one of the hardcover-only Penguin Group imprints, publishing authors such as Harlan Coben, Ken Follett, Kelley Armstrong, Sarah Stroehmeyer, and Jennifer Chiaverini.
The first few weeks of a new internship can be downright scary. It’s intimidating to be thrown into an office where you’re the most junior member and everyone already knows how to interact well together, both personally and professionally. Going into a huge company like Penguin Group, I didn’t think I would come out of the experience with any real connections with other interns. Experience? Yes. Friends? Probably not.
But that’s the great thing about the summer program at Penguin: they make it impossible for you to feel isolated or unnoticed. They have a series of brown bag lunches, where all of the interns meet for lunch and listen to a presentation by two Penguin employees in various departments: editorial, marketing and publicity, art and design, subsidiary rights, and more. Even the CEO took time out of his hectic schedule to spend over an hour with us, which was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
On top of that, each intern is assigned to a group with four or five other interns, and are expected to meet once a week to really get a feel for what other departments do, and how the whole company works together to produce books. To me, that’s what really sets Penguin apart from other publishing houses: its dedication to making you the most well-rounded, informed employee you can be. Although I’m in the publicity department, I’ve also learned about many other departments that I otherwise would know nothing about.
I’ve been very fortunate to have a supervisor who from day one has made sure to give me the full experience of being a publicist. I’ve read several of our summer books, and written galley letters (which are sent out with advance readers’ copies to reviewers) and press releases (which are sent out to the media with the finished books) for them. In order to target our books to the right audience, I’ve done extensive research and met with my supervisor to brainstorm ideas on how to pitch to these target audiences. After going over this research and fine-tuning it, I was able to pitch to the media both through email and phone.
With all of these responsibilities I’ve never felt like “the intern.” My supervisor gives me projects that I complete independently and turn in to her. When we do mailings, I’m stuffing envelopes not by myself, but alongside my supervisor and other publicists. Any meetings that come up, I attend along with everyone else in my department. I’ve even been able to help out other departments with different projects, which has really broadened my experience at Penguin. I really feel like I’ve gotten an amazing opportunity to understand what it means to be a book publicist; and, I have to admit, I love it. I can’t believe my internship is over half-over…but I can’t wait to see what else these next few weeks have in store for me.