We got the pleasure to interview both Nick Van Orden & Hailey Briggs separately about their internship as WLP majors. The WLP landscape is extensive in terms of positions someone can hold from translations to editorial to publishing.
Let’s get to know our Emtern Spotlights!
Nick Van Orden ’21
Publishing Intern at Future House Publishing
Hailey Briggs ’21
Editorial Intern at UptoDate
How did you find your internship?
NICK: Funny enough I found this internship through this very program. I saw an Emtern highlight on Instagram of a friend of mine last Fall and I decided to reach out to them and ask them about their experience.
HAILEY: I found my internship on LinkedIn.
How long is your internship?
NICK: My internship is about 4 months long. I started in early January and I end at the end of April.
HAILEY: I started my internship in October, and I’m finishing it right before I graduate.
Where is your internship taking place? All Virtual? Hybrid? How do you feel about it?
NICK: I am doing this internship completely virtually! Future House is located in Utah so they only opened up to virtual interns last summer. It has had its benefits and downsides. It is nice to be able to work at my own pace while I work, and I have definitely learned to be more self-motivated. But I never get to see the people I am working with face to face, save a few virtual meetings with my boss. It kind of lessens that sense of community you would normally have at a job.
HAILEY: My internship has been completely remote. I would have liked to visit the office to get to know the team in person and see how they operate, but I did enjoy working remotely. Everyone transitioned really smoothly to using technology and working from home. I think in a perfect world I would have a combination of both!
What does your daily routine look like?
NICK: Every weekday I start my internship work around 11 and work for 3-4 hours. I try to keep all the work I do within my assigned hours so I can focus on my school work and social life in the afternoon and evening. I basically check on this website Asana for my work for the day and move on from there.
HAILEY: I log on at 8AM. I check Teams for any urgent messages, and then I check my email. After that, I either return to a project from the day before, or I get an email about details for a new project. Typically I will spend the majority of the day adding author/editor edits to a document or proofreading. I have an hour for lunch. If I’m not working on edits, I’m working on a spreadsheet, a miscellaneous project, or helping run a virtual meeting.
The hardest part of the internship is becoming familiar with the company’s style guide and implementing it into my edits. A style guide anywhere from 10 to 200 pages, so it’s a lot of information to digest.
What are you currently working on?
NICK: Recently I have been working on setting up Future House’s website. I’ve been inserting links, images, and book descriptions.
HAILEY: I’m currently working on styling a new topic, which is a new article that has been written but not edited for style or content. This topic will probably take approximately 20 hours to complete. I format the document so that it follows our style guide, and I copy edit the text for grammar and clarity. Once I’m finished and it’s been reviewed, the editor will edit the document for actual content.
What is something you wish you learned before taking your internship?
NICK: I definitely wish I had learned how to just ignore my phone while I am at work. Sometimes a 5 minute break becomes a lot longer when I get sucked down some Twitter rabbit hole!
HAILEY: Luckily I felt pretty prepared coming into this internship from previous work experiences.
What are some essential skills/abilities/knowledge someone in your field should have?
NICK: I think the most important skill in publishing is being able to copy edit. It is the basis for all the work I have been doing. And even when I’m not copyediting myself, the tediousness of that job transfers into a lot of other work.
HAILEY: You need to be able to speak on the phone and write professional emails, basic understanding of Word and Excel, and basic understanding of the editorial process. You don’t need to be super knowledgeable about editing. The most important skills are being a careful reader and double checking your work. Also being independent and a self-starter is important!
Why did you decide to take this internship?
NICK: Future House is a fantasy and science-fiction publisher, and I wasn’t sure how many chances I would have to get to work with my favorite genres. I snatched up this position minutes after they offered it to me!
HAILEY: I took this internship because I knew it would be editing-intensive. I want to work in the publishing industry and I knew that I needed experience from editorial internships. This was a great opportunity!
Nick love to play board games or Dungeons and Dragons with his friends! In terms of projects, Nick is the editor-in-chief of The Emerson Review so he is obligated to bring up the release of their 50th volume is this April!
In Hailey‘s free time, she read, watches TV with friends, and bakes!