International Spotlight

International students are a common sight at Pace’s publishing program. Publishing is a global affair and we welcome the chance to have new students who are from different countries. We decided to ask two current students and an alumna about why they chose to go to Pace and their plans for the future.

Marie Merveilleux is in her second semester at Pace. She is French originally, but spent part of her youth in Belgium where she got her BA in Comparative Literature and Linguistics. She is hoping to become an editor, an agent, or a scout and is particularly fond of literary fiction and non-fiction. She is freelancing as a reader for two literary agencies and looking for a summer internship. When she’s not reading she’s usually watching a TV show or listening to old French pop.


Diana Menendez is in her second semester in the MS in Publishing program. She is from Vancouver, BC, Canada, has an affinity for digital media, and loves to drink lots of coffee.

 

 

 

 

  1. What started your desire to choose publishing as a major?

Marie: Growing up I’d never imagined doing something un-literary but, like many people, I hadn’t figured out exactly what a literary career entailed. In 2015 I did an editorial internship at a publisher in Paris. They were a small team of incredible people who were lovely to me, and seemed to think that I knew what I was doing – I really didn’t. No two days were the same; it was completely exhilarating, and a little scary. After three months there was no doubt in my mind that that was what I wanted to do with my life.

Diana: I started to think about a career in publishing when I noticed my interests in books turning to topics that seemed more important as I grew up—experiences I could personally connect with—immigration and displacement stories, bilingualism, or stories that made me feel empowered even when it seemed like the world was out to get me. It was very disappointing when I realized that the types of stories I was desperate to read were very hard to come across. As I realized the significance of these stories, I started thinking about the fact that I might not be alone feeling this way, there must be thousands of stories that have yet to be told that others like me are dying to read. The affinity for reading these untold stories, ultimately, is what made me want to pursue a career in publishing.

  1. Why, as an international student, did you choose Pace? 

Marie: In the summer of 2017 I was working in New York and simultaneously starting to look at Publishing courses for the fall of 2018. As luck would have it, Pace was hosting an information session for prospective students. Professor Soares was hosting and I was really taken by the sound of the program. I think the main reasons I chose Pace were the location of the school, the hands-on nature of the program and the feeling that I would be supported in my professional endeavors. Also the French building looks cool.

Diana: The program encompasses topics in every single aspect of the industry as well as what is needed to succeed in it, besides the fact that Pace is in the middle of the capital of the publishing world here in New York City. I knew I would be able to gain a holistic knowledge of the publishing industry from its well-rounded curriculum and from opportunities the program offers to network and work with professionals and top players in the field.

  1. What benefits has the program provided you with?

Marie: I feel like the main benefits I have drawn from the program are an in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry, and the connections I have made. The students and the faculty are all so welcoming and willing to help.

Diana: Even though this is only my second semester in the program, I have become very confident in my ability to have a successful career in the industry thanks to the invaluable lessons learned from my professors, both academically and from their personal and career stories. I have found the networking opportunities from having guests speakers in class to be the most important when considering a path I would like to pursue. Particularly, having Jane Lee as a guest in Prof. Fauset’s Web Development for Publishing class explain her career path to founding Epic Reads inspired me to pursue digital marketing.

  1. What are your plans once you graduate? 

Marie: Once I graduate I will definitely stay in New York for my OPT (Optional Practical Training) which allows international students to work in the US for a year. After that, provided no one decides to hire me in the meantime, I will probably return to France where I hope to make good use of the knowledge I have gained at Pace.

Diana: I plan to stay in New York after obtaining my OPT and pursue a career in digital marketing. With everything I have learned from the program, I hope to be able to find new creative ways to help publishing houses market their titles to the widest audiences possible and be able to connect with readers in innovative ways through their social channels.



Ana Ban is a translator and writer from Brazil with more than 150 published books and comic books translated from English and French into Portuguese. She moved to New York City in 2013 to pursue a Master’s Degree in publishing at Pace University and today works as Contracts & Rights Manager at The Experiment, an independent publisher of nonfiction based in New York.

  1. What initially started your desire to choose publishing as a major?

I am a writer and translator from Brazil. My BA was in social communication – journalism and I worked for many years for newspapers and magazines in Brazil. In 2001 I decided to shift my career to being a translator (besides my native Portuguese, I’m bilingual in English and read French and Spanish). After many years doing that, I realized machine translation was growing, and soon there wouldn’t be enough work for the type of work I do (which is mostly creative, where writing well is just as important as translating accurately). So, I decided I wanted to get to the other side of the counter and work in the making of books, so I wanted to study publishing. I had had a bad experience trying to start a master’s degree in Brazil, so I wanted to study abroad, and I wanted to come to New York. That’s how I found Pace.

  1. Why, as an international student, did you choose Pace? 

The two choices for publishing in New York are obviously Pace and NYU. When I decided to do the Publishing MS, I went to both universities to talk to the admissions officer. At first, Pace said that my experience would have less weight in the admissions process than my academic record, and for that reason I thought NYU would be a better choice, because they said my experience would count more. I applied to both, and when NYU started to find all kinds of issues with my application, I went to Pace again and talked to the admissions person and she was so helpful, and then I talked to Barbara Egidi, who was so helpful discussing the course and what would be best for my situation, that I confirmed my enrollment right there (eventually, I was accepted at NYU as well, but it was too little, too late). The help I received from Pace faculty and the international students office was invaluable, it was just what I needed coming to the US to live for the first time.

  1. What benefits has the program provided you with?

I think the main benefit I took from the program was getting to know how the US publishing market works. Coming from a different country with a completely different business culture, it was great to have my assumptions replaced by real-life information. Also, I learned things in areas I’m not that interested in, such as production, which ended up being useful for some of the things I had to do, like monitor warehouse shipments (something I never thought I’d be dealing with). Networking was also very important, seeing that the program brings in so many professionals for in-class talks and online Q&A. For my internship, for instance, I had a recommendation from an agent who had been a guest to the Children’s Book class; I’ve often asked professors for contacts and recommendations; and I keep meeting people I got to know through the classes in the course of my job.

  1. Since your graduation, how has what you learned prepared you for the real world? 

My interest always has been (and still is) foreign rights. I wrote my thesis about books in translation in the US, which is a small sliver of the market that not many people are that interested in. Now I work at an independent publisher (The Experiment) that is doing more and more translations, the knowledge I acquired about the translation market has been really useful, particularly regarding grants offered by different countries.

  1. What advice would you give current or future international graduate students?

Don’t be afraid of the market because you’re a foreigner. In my experience, employers are not too worried about your nationality and welcome experience from different places.

2 thoughts on “International Spotlight”

  1. If I have the resources and chance to study at Pace, I would likely take the opportunity as well. Like Diana, Im also interested to pursue a career in digital marketing as this is how the world is evolving now. Congrats to those who made it and for sharing their wonderful experiences here.

  2. We’d love to have you here! If you’re interested, feel free to fill out an application on Pace’s website or contact puboffice@pace.edu for more information on the program!

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