Before her externship with HarperCollins Publishers, Vanessa Davis ’12 (New York, N.Y.) hadn’t considered a career in publishing. But after observing the business first-hand, she can see how the industry could be a good fit for her.
“This externship exposed me to a field that I could truly see myself striving in while furthering my interest in literature,” says Davis, who is majoring in government and law.
Over winter break, Davis shadowed host Alberto Rojas ’94, senior director of publicity at HarperCollins, learning the ins and outs of the business and meeting his colleagues.
“I had a wonderful experience at HarperCollins. I was able to observe how various departments work together to ensure the success of a book. It was clear that the people who worked at HarperCollins were passionate about their careers and books! I was delighted to be able to sit in their meetings,” Davis says.
One of the world’s leading English-language publishers, HarperCollins is headquartered in New York City and has offices throughout the world. Rojas joined the company in 2007.
The externship gave Davis a better perspective on what a career in publicity and marketing entails. From Rojas and his team, she learned what goes into marketing a book as she sat in on brainstorming sessions.
“Magazines and most productions have a lead-time of a few months. One of the things I learned was that planning for publicity campaigns begins way before the book is actually released. I realized that an important component of a publicity campaign in publishing is determining who the target audience would be, and then selecting the appropriate media outlets. I learned the importance of social media in marketing a particular book,” she says.