Perks of an Unpaid Internship: A List

  • Free books. As many as I want. Limitation: Only books that the company I work for publishes (Aw man, no Hunger Games?)
  • (Occasional) free food/lunches. Why I love Author Days.
  • Quality coffee shops and eateries within blocks for those days I have to bring my own lunch, and decide to just buy one despite being on a poor college student’s budget.
  • Meeting the authors.
  • Finding out how well your favorite childhood books sell and where via Bookscan.
  • A pre-paid cell phone because they can’t get a second phone line in this office.
  • Being thanked by authors for rejecting their proposal by phone…every time.
  • Free pre-stamped envelopes from all the rejected proposals. I have no guilt.
  • Free office supplies!
  • Strolling in at 10 or 11am to begin my work day (Hey, I still do over 16 hours of work…there’s all that at home research and manuscript reviewing)
  • Dressing stylishly. I sometimes think the sound of heels on marble floors is the epitome of professional. This may just be me, though.
  • Doormen. Enough said.

    Ummm…there must more…let me get back to you on this.

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Week 1: The beginning of the Adventure!

This is the beginning of the Adventure, with a capital A. I’ve been anxiously anticipating having an internship, wondering what all it would throw at me, and if I’d measure up. So far, so good, though that’s not say there aren’t challenges.

As this is written in retrospect, it will be shorter, more of a recap of everything that happened the first week.

On Thursday (Jan 16th) I had my first introduction to unsolicited book proposals. Jeevan went through basic guidelines of More

“What area code is 415?”, or, How I Landed an Internship with Berrett-Koehler: Part 1

So.

It was a late Friday evening (two weeks ago, to be precise), and I was trying to get out the door to go shopping with my bestie Alex. An unused $90 gift card to Lush from Christmas was burning a hole in my pocket, and I wanted to get out of the Treehouse. But little things kept coming up, roomie emergencies, distracting conversations, etc. Then when I finally was grabbing a quick snack in the kitchen, my phone rang. An unidentified number. I usually let calls like that go to voicemail, but something told me I should ask, “What area code is 415?”

Jess immediately said, “San Francisco.” So I grabbed my phone, dashed up our crazy uneven staircase, almost tripping on the cats, hoping that by the time I reached the top the phone wouldn’t have stopped ringing. When I answered, it was Jeevan from Berrett-Koehler. He explained that because I’d sent my inquiry to the general email, it’d gotten lost and it’d just been forwarded to him.

Tip: If you are sending an editorial internship inquiry/application, send it directly to Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Executive Managing Editor, at jsiva@bkpub.com. (I spent two days trying to find the right person to send my letter to, and finally gave up)

After a bit of conversation with him and some questions, I realized he’d called me just based off the notes someone had sent him, so there were some awkward pauses. He asked what I was looking for, confirmed that I was available immediately, and other basic questions, then arranged to send me some more information on the internship and we’d reconnect on Monday to set up an interview.

I was ecstatic! Earlier that week More