UPDATE: Because It’s Been Weeks

First off, I’m sorry I’ve been gone. I wasn’t entirely certain I’d keep this up since it was originally started to log my time at NYU. I don’t think I’ll keep up with it completely, but I had made myself a compromised in that I’d come back and update when I felt like things in my move to New York solidified. Well, now I’m back (if momentarily) to update because…

I GOT A JOB.

I’m going to back up a bit and go over the process.

First: I applied for literally everything I was even remotely interested in and qualified for within book publishing. I checked multiple sites, multiple times, every single day for postings. LinkedIn, bookjobs.com, mediabistro.com, publishersweekly.com, publishersmarketplace.com, the corporate sites for the the big five and career pages for the smaller/mid-size houses, etc. The sooner you apply, the higher your chances of getting contacted.

Those roles included: editorial assistant positions, internships, marketing assistant positions, publicity assistant positions, literary agency assistant positions, administrative positions, managing editorial assistant positions, production assistant, ad/promo assistant, etc.

The companies varied in type: start-up/small indie book publishers, academic publishers, all of the big 5 (Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster), mid-sized houses, university presses, lit agencies (both large and boutique), Disney (for both Marvel and Hyperion Books), etc.

Second: I waited. I waited a LOT. Most places will not get back to you unless they’re interested. I heard back about two of the 30+ positions I applied for, and I was lucky. The first was for an editorial assistant position with Macmillan Learning (Macmillan’s academic textbook publishing entity) and the second was for a production assistant position with Skyhorse Publishing (small indie trade publishing house based in New York).

I heard from Macmillan Learning on Tuesday, July 19th and then interviewed on Wednesday, July 20th with the editor I’d be working with most in the position – I also met with two other staff members in the department. I was given a test, to return to them by Friday, July 222nd. I did. And then was told they’d liked to have a decision by early the following week. I waited. I was contacted back on Tuesday, July 26th that they were making their final decision within the next day or so. I waited again. And waited some more. I followed up via email to check in about the process on Monday August 1st, to discover that the editor I’d be working with most (and the gentleman who interviewed me) was out of the office for the rest of the week. I waited some more. I got an email from HR on the morning of Friday, August 5th asking for some time for a phone call that afternoon. Half an hour until the end of the business day on that Friday, I got a phone call with the office.

The other interview process: I was contacted via email Wednesday, July 20th by their HR department (no name, just “HR”). Went in to interview on Thursday, July 21st. Was asked to do a short write-up follow up by the following morning (Friday, July 22nd), and was told their aim for a decision was the end of day that Friday (the 22nd). I waited. I waited over the weekend. I emailed a follow-up/check-in with the interviewer on Tuesday, July 26th, again with an assistant on Wednesday the 27th, and yet again with HR on Friday the 29th. On August 1st, I emailed my only other contact from that company (who wasn’t involved in my interview process and actually works in a completely different department) to see if she had any insight. She did not respond. Instead, on Tuesday, August 2nd. I received a non-descript rejection email from an HR rep (who I had not met during my time at their offices). Nothing more.

Currently, I am still waiting on the official offer/employment letter and contract/other paperwork from the Macmillan Learning Offices. I very sincerely hope to get it tomorrow, because I need it to get an apartment.

Words of advice for those who want it: Apply for everything you think you qualify for. Ask everyone who you think would know about job openings. Ask them to send your info along if you think it’s worthwhile. If you’ve started the interview process – FOLLOW UP REGULARLY AND POLITELY. It keeps your name fresh in their minds, and keeps you from going completely insane with the waiting.

What am I doing now? I’m packing, and I’m hoping to get an apartment soon. I, and three other girls who went through the program, put down a deposit on an apartment today – I’m hoping to approval is quick. I need to get the last of my paperwork in (basically just waiting on official proof of employment letters from my employers) so it can move forward – so that’s quite literally the last little hoop on this end. I also need to know what my official first start date is, because I’d like to go home and get the rest of my belongings.

I’ll be back again once I’m all settled into my new place and job. But, as a heads up, I think that’ll be it for this blog. Until then though, I hope you’re all doing well.

Advertisements

VICTORY

Our imprint won the “Best Website” award! This is especially rewarding because I made the website! I haven’t had much experience with wix.com before, but I got the hang of it eventually. There really isn’t too much freedom in terms of the design if you pick a template – you can customize colors and such, but the general layout and build of the website isn’t as customizable – but that makes sense when you pick a pre-made temp! Which is absolutely what I did. I worked really hard on the website, and while my part in the presentation wasn’t the best (I didn’t really look at my notes???? I don’t even know why I took them up there besides the fact that having them helped? //shrug), navigating through the website was actually really helpful.

There was one other group who made an actual website (as opposed to creating a mock-up via InDesign and/or Photoshop). I liked theirs too! Lots of colors, fun designs, all that good stuff. They were the entertainment imprint (we were lifestyle) and their set up wasn’t too different from ours. They had everything separated out by individual titles though, as opposed to lumping all the authors together, the titles together (to then lead to individual pages), and then having news/content/events separate. Neither way is wrong, but I’m obviously partial to the latter, since that’s what I did haha.

Tomorrow is the career fair, so I’m brushing up on the companies that will be there, I’ve got my resume printed out (re-designed for a change of pace and now typo free!) to hand out, and I’m figuring out my elevator pitch. I’m going to work on that for the next little while, but Tiffani (my friend from Bozeman) is here for the weekend. She’s still at LaGuardia, but she’ll be in Manhattan soon so we’re going to get dinner and basically just do whatever for awhile before I get a good night’s sleep (I SLEPT THROUGH MY ALARM THIS MORNING! OOPS!) before the career fair in the morning. I should be all wrapped up with this by about 1 PM tomorrow, which is fantastic. I really plan to take the entire weekend to kick back. I’ll follow up with any of the recruiters who asks me to before the end of the day tomorrow, but honestly, most people in publishing have Friday afternoons off in the summer, so I’m just going to take the weekend to spend time with my friends and decompress.

Real life begins Monday! Maybe Tuesday! And it’s going to be fabulous! I’ll be back to write a couple final posts about the program as a whole and really get into the details. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to keep this wordpress blog going, since that wasn’t the intention when I started it, but it’s something I’m considering. In any event, I’ll be back with a few more posts and more photos, I promise. (:

Adulting is hard

Remember that stuff I wasn’t supposed to think about…? Well, I’m thinking about it.

A couple weeks ago, early in the program, I made a post about all the stuff I probably shouldn’t be worrying about yet. And a few posts ago, I started tentatively planning for the future. Well, apparently… I should have been worrying (or at least actively thinking) about all those things and vigorously planning for the future.

We didn’t jump right into the book stuff yesterday, as I’d thought we would (which was frustrating given the assignments we have now, but I’ll get into that later). Instead, it was “Career Day.” There were a couple panels: one of four HR managers and Talent Acquisition -ists (Simon & Schuster, Hearst Magazine, Twitter, Hachette), and the other was of SPI Alumni (seven who’d taken the course last year, who talked about the program, the job hunt, the apartment search, and what they do now.

The entire day was pretty helpful, except for the fact that now I’m really seriously torn about what to do. I started to realize a few weeks ago (about the time I started worrying about this sort of stuff) that trying to find a place to live and a job wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to do from 1800 miles away in Montana, where I would also be working and have other responsibilities. It’s not impossible, but it’s definitely a lot more stressful. House (Apartment) hunting is something I absolutely despise, and I prefer, heavily, to do it in person. To get a sense of the place, the neighborhood, etc. Job hunting also is much easier while in the city you’re looking for jobs. Employers have questions when it comes to things like “why is your address in _____, this job is in ______”. I get it. But in terms of the job search, I’m absolutely terrified that if I’m not actually here in New York (where most of the publishing jobs/roles are available), I won’t actually get a job doing what I want to do?

So, I thought a lot about it since yesterday afternoon, and I’ve talked to a few people, and I plan to keep thinking about things, but here’s what the situation is at the moment and what the options are as I see them.

  • I have flights back to Montana for the 16th – I may or may not take them, depending on 1) whether or not I find a place to live and 2) if I get a job or not.
  • There are dozens of job postings going up, several of which I’ve looked into and intend to apply to (after my resume review on Wednesday).
  • Until then, I’m looking into different imprints and companies and finding specifics about them that appeal to me so I have a better sense of direction.
  • Several of us from the program are going tentative apartment hunting next weekend. I’ll keep looking online during the week too though.
  • I’m also going to have some really serious conversations with people about rooming together, as well as with my parents and the other adults in my life about the actual feasibility of my making the jump to New York entirely in… 4 weeks. Why is that thought so terrifying????
  • I may or may not extend my NYU housing through the end of July. I think this will depend on how initial rounds of apartment hunting go in addition to the job hunt. I will decide on whether I’m extending housing or not by the last week of the program, and apply on July 5th.
  • If that does not work out, I will look into Airbnb options, and/or crashing on friends’ couches until I find something – maybe?

Other options:

  • Return home via my original tickets on July 16th. 
  • Return to work at YTI for an undefined period of time. 
  • Apply for jobs when I feel I’m ready to move to wherever it is I’m applying to go, if and only if I actually get th job, whilst being 1800+ miles away.

I will have lots of conversations to be had with people. Namely my parents, my boss and co-workers back home, my friends, and several of the people here in New York that I know and feel comfortable potentially living with in the near/distance future. I also have a lot of legwork to do regarding job and apartment hunting. Research to be done, resume and cover letters to revamp (ughhhhh), and a lot of hard decisions to make.
The good news? I have a good support system. The bad news? I have terrible anxiety that I need to work through before I actually get anything done. Ugh, being an adult is hard 😦

STRAND!

I went to The Strand Book Store! Woooo! (: I also went with my roommates to see Me Before You (which was missing quite a bit of scenes from the books, but movie adaptations are always going to be off). And I just kind of hung out this weekend. After last week, it was nice to just relax. (:

People we met today:

  • Amy Farley: senior editor @ Fast Company
  • Lorin Stein: editor @ The Paris Review
  • Eric Gillin: head of product of the food innovation group @ Condé Nast Traveler
  • Susan Kittenplan: vp & exec. editor of digital magazines @ Yahoo!
  • Rachel Christensen: director of social media @ Buzzfeed Life
  • Jed Sandberg: digital editor @ Bloomberg
  • Laura Schocker: exec. editor @ realsimple.com
  • Adriana Nova: creative lead @ VaynerMedia
  • Janice Morris: head of lifestyle and entertainment news @ Twitter
  • Ethan Klapper: global social media editor @ Huffington Post
  • Stephanie Downes: senior manager of audience dev. @ Pitchfork
  • Paul Brady: deputy consumer news editor @ Condé Nast Traveler
  • Christian Hoard: senior editor @ Rolling Stone
  • Ray Isle: exec. editor @ Food & Wine
  • Jean Godfrey-June: beauty writer @ Goop

A lot of what we were “taught” today was based on the editorial test or social media. They’re two very different topics, yes, but the main take away? Know your audience and craft your copy (the text) to cater to the audience, whether it’s in the print or online or whatever your platform is.

As for our project, well, I’m just as confused about my role with this project as I was last week! Awesome!!! Okay, my group’s business team is going into our program director’s office hours in the morning to get a little more of a starting point. So in all honesty, we’ll have some direction, and it’ll be a-okay. I’m just a little stressed right now, haha go figure.

We also have an edit test that’s due on Thursday that’s giving me a headache. It’s basically a “test” that is intended to show HR peoples and editors at publications what you can do in terms of line-editing (grammar, etc.) as well as how well you’d channel the publication’s vibe/voice/etc. It’s not super stressful, just something else about the magazine hiring process that I’m not so excited about. I’m still trying to come to some kind of consensus about what I’d be willing to do in terms of working in the magazine publishing industry. But that’s neither here nor there.

In any event, I’m still leaning toward book publishing, but we’ll see how things go in the book session. Until then, more magazine work!

 

Stuff I probably shouldn’t worry about yet.

Recap of my time in New York thus far:

  • 93% – In Class / Doing Homework / At Program Event
  • 4% – On the subway or walking
  • 2% – Sleeping / Trying not to go crazy
  • 1% – Writing posts here and/or texting people and/or catching up on Facebook

Basically, I don’t have an answer for the people who’ve been asking me how I like NYC, because really, I haven’t really seen it, or gotten to know it much. Not really anyways, because let’s face it, this is what I know so far:

  • it’s hot outside
  • groceries are expensive
  • there’s a line, to everything
  • it’s hot inside
  • the subway system is kind of fun, if slightly confusing still yet
  • i’m in love with the narrow one-way side streets with the trees

That’s it. And based on that fabulous amoutn of knowledge, it’s kind of terrifying to think that potentially, in a month and a half, I might have to decide whether I take a job here or not.

In all honesty, a job offer almost guarantees that I will have to move, since there isn’t much in Montana in the way of publishing, whether in Digital/Magazine or in Book publishing. Moving means I’ll have to find a place to live (which is beyond stressful). And realistically speaking, I’ll really want the job that comes after the job I get offered, since it’ll probably be an assistant position of sorts. Or, I might get an internship placement as opposed to a job offer, in which case I’ll need to move and find a job, on top of (probably) not actually doing what I want to do (at least at first).

I mean, I’m not afraid to work through the assistant-type job. Experience is experience, and I’m all for learning new things and broadening my scope of skills and interests; I will bust my butt at any job or internship I take, because that’s just how I work – I don’t like disappointing people.

I just hope that regardless of the position and regardless of where I go, I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be – both in terms of the physical city/town/whatever, and in the workplace/among the other employees. I’ve worked jobs in the past where that hasn’t been the case, and I don’t know that I can handle that again. Particularly in this field because it doesn’t doesn’t just working difficult, it makes me hate what I do… and I don’t want to burn out before I even get where I’ve been working to get for the past few years. But I digress. If I go too much farther in this, I’m going to get ridiculously stressed out. And I’m already overwhelmed by this project. So.. yeah, IN OTHER NEWS:

Tomorrow begins the second week of the program! And we’ve got a lot of project reviews lined up. Not sure exactly how it’s going to go, since the business stuff is still completely over most of our heads. Not necessarily in terms of what it should look like – but more so where to start with our numbers. In any event, I’m going to sleep. I’m exhausted.