On Thursday, April 21st students were invited to visit Simon & Schuster. Students sat in on a panel of alumni of the Pace Publishing program who now are employed at Simon & Schuster.
The panel included: Angela Zurlo ’07 (Production Manager, Children’s), Natascha Morris ’13 (Editorial Assistant, Children’s-Atheneum), Tatyana Rosalia ’15 (Production Assistant, Children’s), Melanie Mitzman ’12 (Imprint Marketing Manager, Gallery/Pocket), Jisoo Leones ’13 (Sales Assistant, Client Communications), Ebony LaDelle ’10 (Marketing Manager, S&S), Ashley Stout ’12 (Director of Contract Systems & Data), and Clare McGlade ’12 (Production Editor-Managing Editorial, Children’s). Students were welcomed with free books and the panel was moderated by the head of Human Resources, Joy Bertran. Bertran asked the alumni a series of questions and then opened the floor to students. Below are some highlights.
Things Alumni Wish They Knew Before Their First Job:
- You are never going to stop learning!
- Be open to opportunities, learn from everything.
- Take as many different classes as you can, while you are a student.
- Persevere hard for the job you want!
- Never undervalue the power of networking.
- Don’t burn any bridges, the publishing industry is small.
- Understand that if you’re really dedicated, you need to start from the bottom.
Applying for Jobs:
- Look for a job you Love.
- Make sure your resume matches the subject matter of the imprint you want to work for.
- Your cover letter is a writing sample. Don’t repeat what is already on your resume.
Students were very grateful for the opportunity to meet with the panel and ask questions about entering the industry. There were a mix of students in attendance ranging from undergraduate Pace students that are looking to enter the program and students currently in the M.S. in publishing program.
Students like Brittany Fuller, whose main interest is magazines, found the panel to be informative and enlightening when they discussed each job role and the many benefits and opportunities of working at Simon & Schuster.”It was great to hear from Pace students about their journey to Simon & Schuster, not to mention getting a whole bunch of books!” said Annie Rosa.
Jordan Forney is a Graduate Assistant for the M.S. in Publishing program at Pace University. She’s a proud alumnus of Seton Hill University and calls the United States Virgin Islands her home. If you need her you can find her typing away in the Pace publishing computer lab.
There are countless blogs about publishing available to the curious reader, but a few stand out from the crowd. One stand-out blog is written by Nathan Bransford, an author, former literary agent, and current social media manager at CNET. Bransford has written two Jacob Wonderbar books, and previously worked for Curtis Brown Ltd. He has put this variety of experience to great use in his blog, posting about topics ranging from “How to Write a Query Letter” to “Why Some E-Books Cost More Than the Hardcover.” Keeping up on industry news, Bransford also periodically publishes a post on “The Last Few Weeks In Books,” where he examines new titles and current events in publishing. His posts are well-researched, informative, interesting, and easy to read, culminating in a blog that is equally useful to experienced professionals and newcomers to the business.
Most grad students in the M.S. in Publishing program are on the hunt for jobs or internships, and any connection or bit of advice that we can use to get ahead is extremely valuable.
It was for this reason that so many of us could be found sitting in the Midtown Center computer lab last Tuesday, listening to a presentation given by Deborah Friedman, the Human Resources Assistant from Random House, Inc. The M.S. in Publishing program, in cooperation with Bookjobs.com and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), hosted the informational session.
Miss Friedman opened the talk by asking each of us to introduce ourselves, what undergraduate work we did, and which aspect of the publishing industry we are interested in. Once she had a sense of what we were interested in, she started in to her presentation. She began with an overview of Random House, Inc., and then delved into the entry level positions and career paths for each of their many departments. She also impressed us with the benefits package that Random House employees enjoy.
Then she gave us what we were all waiting for – those valuable tips for applications, resumes, cover letters, and interviews. Here are a few of the valuable tidbits we picked up from her:
- Don’t apply across the board to every job that is offered – be specific and make sure your experience matches the criteria that the position requires.
- If you are asked to provide references, be sure to notify those people that they may be contacted!
- Your cover letter is often looked at even before your resume, so make sure it stands out!
- Tailor it to the job you are applying for – don’t just send a general letter. Talk about why your experience fits the job description.
- Make sure you have the correct names of the people and of the company! It sounds obvious, but she said that they often receive letters written to a different company. Yikes!
- Try for 3-4 paragraphs to fill out the page. But go for quality over quantity!
- Highlight your experience! It represents YOU, so give it effort. Make it clean, simple, and show attention to detail.
- Office and administrative experience is ALWAYS a plus, and internship experience is very valuable.
- If you have a blog or are involved in social networks, make sure you include those too.
- Show up ON TIME. Even early is acceptable, but don’t show up any more than 15 mins early. That can throw off someone’s schedule and make you look too eager.
- Dress appropriately. If possible, ladies should wear a skirt and heels, and gentlemen should wear nice slacks and shoes (no sneakers!)
- You are usually meeting with more than one person, so try to get (and remember) names.
After the interview:
- Send a thank-you note to every person you met with, and send it as quickly as possible after the interview takes place. Make sure you write more than just a line or two, and try to personalize it to each individual you met (mention something they said or something that you connected with them over). This can be just as important as your cover letter and resume!
- Follow up. After you send your thank-you notes, give it about 5 days to a week before you send a follow up email. If you don’t get a response after a few more days, then try calling.
- If you don’t get the job, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. If there’s something that you could have done better, you’ll know for next time!
Check out the career opportunities available at Random House here: www.careers.randomhouse.com
Ms. Friedman’s presentation was extremely informative, so be sure to keep an eye out for more opportunities to attend guest presentations at Pace!