Yesterday Chloe, a high school student from a neighboring town, spent the day with our company as part of an internship in the publishing industry (we have a publishing company named For Beginners). This activity, limited to one day, takes up valuable time for both me and my staff, and doesn’t add a dime to our bottom line or productivity. But we as a business feel that it is important to support initiative with opportunity. We feel that it is important to encourage young people who take the risks of asking for learning experience to assist them in deciding where their dreams and interests lay. They should be rewarded when possible with an opportunity.
Chloe’s morning began with an overview from our Editorial Director, Merrilee Warholak, who gave her an overview of the entire publishing industry from inception of an idea to delivery of books to the booksellers from our distributor. Then she was given some internal copy to proof; and she found a typo that had been missed by two others – bravo!
During the morning, she had the opportunity to sit in on our daily company meeting to observe how our staff interacts with one another and how the staff participates in group action plans. Then she got a taste of all the different computer programs and applications we use to navigate and handle our daily workload.
Chloe then sat down with our two college interns who on their own initiative had prepared a list of shadow jobs that she could participate in. With tasks varying from preparing blog posts to ad copy, website updates to searching for library listings, Chloe got to see and learn a little bit of everything about the business of publishing. Now there’s one industry that is not just an abstract idea to her, but rather an industry comprising a variety of jobs that she may decide to pursue - or not.
Today’s visit was a chance for us to show off as well and show her that there are a variety of creative professions within single industries, professions that can span and be applicable to a number of industries, companies with talented and caring individuals, and interesting jobs to be had. All she has to do to begin that career search is to continue what she’s been doing – be unafraid to take a risk, virtually and literally knock on doors and show her initiative, passion and inquisitiveness. I know that there are so many other people that will meet her more than half way and step up to the plate to provide what could be life-changing opportunities.
Summer is here – it’s time to open your doors to interns.