A Wonderful Working Relationship:
Pace University and Simon & Schuster
As a Professor and the Executive Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach for the MS in Publishing program at Pace for 14 years, I have been in the fortunate position to work with a number of stellar HR representatives and publishing professionals at Simon & Schuster; working with them to place our students in both internships and full-time positions. Over the years I have watched their internship program grow and our students flourish in their professional careers (at S&S and elsewhere) as a result of the outstanding experiences they have had interning there. Each semester, and during the summer, there are numerous opportunities for qualified, bright, ambitious students to intern in positions that provide them with a strong, practical, real world, foundation for their careers. Some of the positions available at S&S include editorial internships, social media marketing internships, e-book production internships, design internships, HR internships, sub-rights internships, supply chain internships and digital internships to name a few.
Every semester, I love to hear about the experiences our students are having there because not only are they learning essential skills and putting their Pace education to good use but because they are also making excellent industry contacts, being mentored by some of the best professionals in the industry, making friends and having a lot of fun!
Simon & Schuster is only one of the many companies where our students intern and where our graduates find themselves working and we are proud of longstanding relationship with them. It is a relationship that I value and appreciate; for the excellence of their internship program, the innovative nature of the company and the amazing quality and quantity of the books they publish.
This past spring, as I was working with current students to place them in internships and while I was corresponding with some of our alumni, I was struck by the truly incredible internship opportunities and by just how many of our students are now working there in full-time positions. Elieen Manito, the Staffing Coordinator and Ms. Joy Bertan, the Director of Staffing are consummate professionals in working with Pace to let me know about the positions that they are looking to fill and in making the interview process a rewarding and exciting experience for our students. Having met them both, I understand why so many students speak so highly of their experiences at Simon & Schuster.
For this piece we interviewed Ms. Manito and have shared some of the experiences of Pace MS in Publishing students who have interned and/or are working there now. We hope you enjoy hearing what they have to say and learn about what some of our alumni are doing now!
Simon & Schuster: A Legacy Publishing House
History: Simon & Schuster, Inc. is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, providing consumers worldwide with a diverse range of quality books across a wide variety of genres and formats. It is the publishing operation of CBS Corporation, one of the world’s premier media companies. Simon & Schuster was founded in 1924 by Richard L. (Dick) Simon and M. Lincoln (Max) Schuster. The company has grown to become a multifaceted publishing house that publishes 1800 titles annually, and whose seven divisions — Adult Publishing, Children’s Publishing, Audio, Digital, and international companies in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia — are home to some of the most distinguished imprints and recognizable brand names in the world of publishing. Click here to learn to learn more about the history of Simon & Schuster.
Divisions and Imprints: Simon & Schuster publishes Adult, Children, and Audio books. The Adult Publishing Group includes a number of publishing units that offer books in several formats. Each unit has its own publisher, editorial group and publicity department. The Children’s Publishing division is one of the leading children’s book publishers in the world, is comprised of the following imprints: Aladdin Paperbacks, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Little Simon®, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, and Simon Spotlight®. This division also publishes best-selling books in a variety of formats for children ages preschool through teen, including characters as Olivia, The Hardy Boys®, and Nancy Drew®. Simon Spotlight®, an imprint based on media tie-ins, has become one of the fastest growing imprints in children’s books, with bestselling series based on Nickelodeon’s®, Rugrats® and Blue’s Clues® properties. Simon & Schuster Audio is a leading publisher of general interest audiobooks including bestselling fiction, nonfiction, business/finance, self-improvement, inspiration, language learning programs, and original audiobook productions. To learn more about Simon & Schuster imprints, click here.
The Human Resources Perspective: An Interview with Ms. Eileen Manito
Prof. Denning: We are very grateful for the support of our students as well as the relationship we share with Simon & Schuster.
Ms. Manito: I think it is very important for publishing houses to maintain relationships with universities. Students should feel encouraged to apply for internships because they can really get a “hands-on” experience by working within a publishing house.
Prof. Denning: Do you require students to receive college credit for the internship experience and what does that mean?
Ms. Manito: Yes, one of our requirements is for students to receive credit for their internships. Candidates must register for academic credit internship with their college or university for spring, summer, fall semester and must provide official documentation on school letterhead confirming this information upon acceptance of the internship.
Prof. Denning: During your time at Simon & Schuster, you have been instrumental in the placement of many Pace students in the S&S internship program and you now have 10 Pace alumni working there. What stands out to you about Pace MS in Publishing students?
Ms. Manito: I have been with Simon & Schuster for two years and during each semester, I have hired a handful of Pace publishing students. It is because of their passion for books, knowledge of the industry, and their interest in directly learning from publishing professionals in the business.
Prof. Denning: Please tell us a bit about the Internship Program at S&S. What kind of training/programs do you offer interns?
Ms Manito: The internship program at Simon & Schuster is a fantastic program for students who are interested in exploring careers in publishing. I run the internship program and I always encourage the interns to stop by my office whenever they have any questions. Each intern also has a direct supervisor within his or her department.
Every semester, we provide training for specific programs. We also host lunch & learn programs for the interns to learn about several departments within the company and social events so that the interns can get to know each other.
Click here for more details about Simon & Schuster’s internship program. The application deadline and program details can be found there.
Prof: Denning: Can you tell us a bit about the Associate’s Program?
Ms. Manito: The Associate’s Program is a 12 to 18 month entry-level rotational program where the employee will have the opportunity to participate within one of the following areas: Adult, Children’s Publishing including but not limited to Editorial, Publicity, Marketing, Subsidiary Rights, Managing Editorial, and Digital.
Prof. Denning: How do you feel that interns develop their professional skills and understanding of publishing during their time at S&S?
Ms. Manito: Interns can develop their professional skills and understanding of publishing by being in the building, interacting with their team and supervisors, and attending meetings. There are so many talented employees who are willing to take the time to talk to the interns and to provide them with encouragement. As mentioned, we offer lunch & learn programs for the interns so they can be exposed to the book publishing process.
Prof. Denning: How would you describe the working environment/corporate culture of S&S? And what advice would you have for students interning there?
Ms. Manito: Simon & Schuster has a very welcoming and nurturing environment. Everyone is friendly and willing to help out. For the interns, I encourage them to ask a lot of questions and bring up any ideas to their team. I always tell students to make the most of each opportunity. The more effort they put into the experience, the better!
Prof. Denning: What are important qualities and key words that you look for in the resumes and cover letters of potential interns? Does it matter if students have previous internship experience?
Ms. Manito: It helps if students have previous internships. I look to see if students were involved in their school’s newspaper or magazine or if they have their own blog. Specifically for their resumes, I look at the format and organization of the content. Definitely include cover letters and make sure everything is grammatically correct.
Prof. Denning: What interview advice would you offer to students looking for internships?
Ms. Manito: If you have a scheduled interview, make sure you arrive on time, bring extra copies of your resume, dress professionally, and do your research—read about the company and the imprint you are applying for.
Prof. Denning: Should students who don’t have a definite idea of what area of publishing they would like to work in still apply for internship positions?
Ms. Manito: Definitely! Students who are unsure, but are interested in publishing should still apply. That is the whole point of the internship program—to figure out which department and imprint best suits you.
Prof. Denning: How often do interns get considered for full-time employment at S&S? And, what steps do you encourage students to take at the end of their internships? (Schedule a meeting with their supervisor or HR?)
Ms. Manito: Many interns get considered for full-time positions at Simon & Schuster. If they are interested in any positions after their semester, they can let me know. They can also notify Ms. Bertran and/or their immediate supervisors.
From the Trenches: The Internship Experience
Many Pace students have had the opportunity to intern at Simon & Schuster. Ms. Heather Allen and Ms. Diana Cavallo were Marketing Interns for the 2013 academic year. In her second semester in the MS in Publishing program, Ms. Allen said this of her time at S&S: “I’ve had an extraordinary time and I am very thankful that S&S and Pace have such a great relationship and they are willing to take us on as interns (and hopefully for jobs in the future as well!)…I also felt very welcomed. I never had an internship before, but based on all the stereotypes I’ve heard about internships, I never felt marginalized or put out by the work that they would ask me to do.” Ms. Allen continued also noted that one of her goals was to meet an editor, as her intended career path is editorial, and experience the day-to-day duties of this position. Ms. Allen was able to read for a senior editor and who“has been very helpful and patient with my questions.”
Ms. Cavallo said this about her internship experience: “Being able to call myself a Simon & Schuster Intern was one of the highlights of my academic experience. This experience allowed me to learn a great deal about the publishing industry in a positive and professional atmosphere. I was so excited for the chance to spend time at Simon& Schuster, but I didn’t know what an impact this internship would have on me, completely changing my desired career path to marketing.” During her internship, Ms. Cavallo spent time working for the Little Simon, Simon Spotlight, Pulse and Aladdin imprints. “I’m so grateful to have worked for some very talented and kind people, especially my supervisors, Mrs. Julie Christopher, Ms. Carolyn Swerdloff, and Ms. Emma Sector, who truly made me feel like I was a part of their team,” she noted.
This summer, Pace student Mr. Miguel Cervantes will be interning at the Gallery/Pocket imprint of S&S as their Social Media intern. “I feel lucky to have a landed an internship at a publishing house of such great esteem and cannot wait to start my internship,” said Mr. Cervantes, after learning about the program at a Pace Career Fair, where the company was represented by Ms. Joy Bertan.
Mr. Michael Howard and Mr. Trey Prothro will also be interning at S&S during the fall 2013 semester. Mr. Howard enthusiastically thanks Prof. Denning for helping him secure this internship. “I didn’t finish my first semester before I got an internship with Simon & Schuster,” Mr. Howard said,“This is the first environment I’ve ever experienced where failure seems harder than success. Everyone isn’t just pulling for you; they’re pushing for you,” he continued.
Mr. Trey Prothro will be the Digital Marketing Intern for the Gallery and Pocket imprints this fall. Of his upcoming internship, Mr. Prothro said this: “I’m excited for the opportunity to intern at such a dynamic publishing company. The staff I’ve met so far have been friendly and supportive. I’m also eager to learn current marketing strategies for the digital world of publishing.”
In the Real World: The Alumni Experience
Many Pace University MS in Publishing Alumni have also become Simon & Schuster employees. There are currently nine Pace alumni working at S&S in a variety of exciting positions. They were kind of enough to share their publishing experiences with students in this article.
Ms. Ashley Stout has been working at Simon & Schuster for two years and is currently a Data Manager for the Contracts Department. Her responsibilities range from handling rights and contracts inquiries from various departments, agents, and authors, to managing the Contracts department workflows and data entry. Ms. Stout’s advice to students is to have an open minded view about future jobs. “It’s sometimes difficult to get a foot in the door in this industry, so applying for a position you may not have really thought about before could be the best decision you make…No matter what job you end up with, the knowledge you bring from other departments is only going to help you succeed.” Of her time in the Pace Publishing program she notes, “I have definitely used the knowledge I gained in the program to give me an edge when it comes to working with the other departments and knowing how the publishing jigsaw puzzle actually works.”
After switching her career from radio to publishing, Pace graduate, Ms. Rachel Zugschwert worked for Simon & Schuster from 2006-2011 in the Touchstone and Atria Books imprints. She currently works as the Marketing Manager at Consortium Book Sales & Distribution in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At Touchstone, formerly Touchstone Fireside, Ms. Zugschwert worked as a PublishingAssistant, and as a Marketing Manager for Atria Books. She identifies working as a publishing assistant as “a great place to start at a house,” for the variety of departments that she was able to work with, from editorial and publicity, to marketing and sales. As marketing manager, Ms. Zugschwert planned and launched the marketing campaigns for best-selling authors like Jodi Picoult and Vince Flynn, while maintaining Atria’s social media accounts and worked with authors to create their online platforms. Of her time at Simon & Schuster she says, “I found S&S to be great at recognizing people who work hard, and I consider myself very lucky to have worked there…Simon & Schuster is a legacy publishing house with a very open mind towards the future of publishing…S&S is a great career place, and it’s possible to move from department to department once you’ve got a foot inthe door.”
Ms. Ebony LaDelle is a Marketing Coordiantor at S&S’s Education and Library Department since the beginning of 2013. She began in S&S’s Associates program, an entry-level rotational program where participants work in different publishing departments. “It was a great opportunity to gain experience and build relationships,” Ms. LaDelle notes, “my first rotation was with the education & library department and once a position opened up for me I was able to apply and get the job!” She assists with award submissions for S&S’s children’s and adult imprints, represents the house at many teacher and librarian conferences throughout the year, interacts with authors, manages the education & library’s social media accounts, and also writes copy for the academic newsletter. Her advice to Pace students is simply to “Network.” Ms. LaDelle encourages students to attend career fairs where they may meet members of the S&S Human Resource department, and to intern at S&S while at Pace. “They’re always looking for interns,” she notes, “the access to S&S employees and the learning experience would be invaluable, and certainly help you to secure a position.” Ms. LaDelle acknowledges the important role her classmates had in both her academic and professional careers. “My peers and I looked out for one another; because we were all entering the same field, we were willing to forward our resumes to HR departments on behalf of our classmates because we all knew each other’s work ethic.” Click here to read her Alumni in the Spotlight Interview.
Ms. Allyson James has been a Production Assistant at Simon & Schuster for the past two years. As a Production Assistant, Ms. James deals with bound galleys, which can be considered book prototypes, and are used as marketing tools or to build author and brand awareness. James encourages Pace students to “try to stay positive and ask a lot of questions. That’s the only way you’ll really learn.” In the fast-paced environment of Simon & Schuster, she has yet to work with a Pace intern. Ms. James continued to say that she learned a great deal from the professors in the Publishing program and “felt that I was in good hands.”
Mr. Noah Efroym has worked as a Manager of Digital Content Development at S&S since 2011. Mr. Efroym describes job as an “eBook shepherd,” overseeing construction from print production to the final product. A major part of his job uses HTML and CSS “to manipulate the files myself and get them looking perfect so every reading device will display the eBooks in the manner in which the author intended.” He also noted that the MS in Publishing program had a large role in preparing him for a career in book publishing, especially Professor Kerstin Diehn’s (link to her bio) design courses. In his advice to students, Mr. Efroym said, “It’s important to equip yourself with 21st-century skills. Knowledge of web design, the Adobe creative suite of products, database management, and even a little Excel wizardry will take you far. Stay ahead of the curve of any new technology or business strategy in the area of publishing you’re interested in penetrating and dress your resume with that arsenal of skills.” Click here to read Mr. Efroym’s Alumni in the Spotlight Interview.
Ms. Lauraliz Morales-Silva recently became an International Sales Coordinator for Simon & Schuster, after being a Contracts Assistant for the publisher for one year.
Ms. Jacquelynne Hudson currently works as an Ebook Developer at Simon & Schuster, after having worked as a Senior Desktop Publishing Associate. Ms. Hudson creates eBooks in-house and works to coordinate proofreading and archives finished eBooks in both the children’s and adult divisions.
Mr. Wilkin Cabrera has worked as Publishing Associate at Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, for the last two years.
Ms. Clare McGlade works as the Reprints Assistant for the Managing Editorial department of Simon & Schuster Children’s Books. She is responsible for any changes or updates made to the children’s imprints’ backlist titles, as well as proofreading material and managing workflows. Of working in the Children’s department, she says: “I have to say I am incredibly lucky to work where I do… It is a relaxed atmosphere without being overly laid-back – there is still a strong sense of professionalism. We work hard, but still remember to have a little fun.” She also called S&S’s Associates Program a “fantastic way to work into a career.” The Associates Program allows people to gain a better sense of each area of publishing by working full-time in various departments. Ms. McGlade also notes that Pace’s Publishing program aided her understanding of the industry. “I entered the program with a BS in Business Administration and a BA in Dance – not exactly the qualifications that direct you to a career in publishing,” she said, “But the Pace program helped me learn where my strengths and interests lay, gave me insights in to how the industry has worked in the past and where it is headed, and most importantly, gave me the opportunity to network and make valuable connections with my classmates and through my internship experience.” To students applying to S&S internships or jobs, Ms. McGlade praises the relationship between the publisher and Pace: “S&S knows that Pace’s students come equipped with a good education in the industry. So you’ve really already got something on your resume that will catch S&S’s attention on a job application.”
Ms. Angela Zurlo is a Production Manager at S&S. Some of her responsibilities include scheduling new titles, officially ordering books, reviewing samples for accuracy. She reminds students that networking is incredibly important, and shares that her position at S&S was a result of networking with a friend and former S&S intern. “You never know where your contacts will lead you,” she advises. Of the work environment at S&S, she says: “There’s a good balance between “professional” and “casual”…Even though we work individually, it’s a team-oriented environment where we can also depend on one another.” Like her fellow alumni, Ms. Zurlo credits the Publishing program for preparing her to work in book publishing and interact with different departments. “It definitely helps to know what goes on in other departments—especially when you’re just starting! It makes learning and working easier when you have a more well-rounded knowledge of the industry,” she says.
It has been wonderful reconnecting with our MS in Publishing alumni and so exciting to hear about all of their professional accomplishments. Thank you to Ms. Elieen Manito for her support of our program and the for the wonderful internship program at Simon&Schuster!
-From the Trenches: The Internship Experience and In the Real World: The Alumni Experience interviews were conducted, summarized and written by Ms. Diana Cavallo.