Internship of the Month: Simon and Schuster
Intern: Beryl Frishtick
Class Year: 2013
Internship Title: Editorial Intern (at the Atria and Emily Bestler Books imprints)
Company: Simon & Schuster
Briefly tell us about the organization you were with: Simon & Schuster is a world-renowned publishing company with offices in NYC, London, Australia, and India. I worked in the NYC headquarters near 30 Rock. S&S publishes all types of books, including adult fiction, memoir, celebrity authors, young adult novels, children’s books, and of course e-books.
How would you describe the various projects you did for your organization to someone who is unfamiliar with your field? I mainly worked on three types of projects. The first was to read manuscript submissions and either write rejection letters or pass them up the food chain to my supervisors if I really liked them. The second project was writing flap copy, which is the text you find on the back of a book that gives you a taste of the plot. The third was actually editing books, going through them line by line and looking for grammar mistakes and plot inaccuracies.
What did you like best about this internship? What was most challenging? The best part of my internship was definitely editing novels, because I had the chance to go through the manuscript on my own then sit down with Emily Bestler, the senior editor, and go through both our copies page by page.
The most challenging part about the internship was writing rejection letters, because when I first started I was hesitant and didn’t feel comfortable with that sort of power. But as I learned more and more about the publishing industry, I felt better able to craft rejection letters and I worked to include as much constructive criticism as possible.
How did you gain credit for this internship? I enrolled in Mary Beth Barritt’s EDSS course to receive one credit, since Simon & Schuster mandates that their interns receive credit in order to work there but I did not actually need the credit to graduate.
What impact did this internship have on your career direction? Because of my hands-on experience this summer with Simon & Schuster, I am definitely considering going into the publishing industry.
What advice do you have for students searching for internships? Try to find contacts at companies you wish to work for. Nine times out of ten that is how people find jobs, by knowing someone. It’s frustrating but it’s true.
Why should students do an internship? Interning, especially away from your home or college town, makes you a more responsible person. It’s great practice for future careers, and it’s also a lot of fun.