|Worth it? Definitely.|
Recently, I received my publishing certificate from NYU for successful completion of the 2011 Summer Publishing Institute. This six-week intensive publishing program provided me with a solid overview in book, magazine and digital media publishing. Even though I forked out $5,000 for the program and an additional $1,200 or housing in NYU dorms, I think the program was a worth-while investment.
Initially, I learned about the NYU Summer Publishing Institute because I saw a brochure on my school’s bulletin board. The brochure intrigued me because I was an English major who had always wanted to break into publishing, but coming from Iowa, there weren’t too many job opportunities available in the book publishing industry. After copying down the contact information, I decided on a whim to apply for the program. The application process was the easy part: I wrote a personal statement, asked two of my favorite English professors for reference letters, filled out the application, sent my college transcripts and paid a $50 application fee. The hard part was deciding whether or not to pay the money to attend the program. Luckily, I had savings bonds that covered the tuition expenses and so I was only left with paying the housing fee. Still, I felt like spending the $1200 housing fee was a big investment for me. However, other students had to take out personal loans to cover the cost of the program.
But, I paid the money and packed my bags and set off for the city. After spending a few days with my mom visiting the typical New York City touristy attractions, it was time to start the NYU publishing program. The first three weeks were devoted solely to the magazine sector of the publishing industry. Since I am not an avid magazine reader, this was a real learning experience for me. I heard from Cindi Leive, Editor-in-Chief of Glamour magazine, David Carey, President of Hearst and other leading professionals in the magazine industry.
In the book portion of the publishing program I also had the opportunity to hear leading industry experts speak on behalf of book publishing. Aside from listening to lectures regarding the magazine and book publishing industries, I also helped launch a hypothetical magazine and hypothetical book imprint. And while there was specific information that pertained solely to magazines or solely to books, I also found that a lot of the information overlapped and was interchangeable in both the magazine and book sectors of the publishing program. For example, I learned about the business side of publishing, and I also learned how the digital sector of the industry is changing the landscape of publishing.
Finally, I learned that there was much more to the publishing industry than editorial work. While all of this information was eye-opening and extremely valuable for an aspiring publishing professional, perhaps the best part of the program were the various networking opportunities. After each lecture, we had the opportunity to go up individually and talk with the speakers and get their contact information. The NYU program also had an awesome networking party and career fair. While I did not get a publishing job, I learned more than I ever could have imagined about publishing. In addition, I also gained valuable interviewing experience, I have the option of enrolling in the NYU Publishing M.S. program and I also met some wonderful people who share my passion for the written word. Yes, it was challenging, but it was certainly an experience that I am glad I had.
♥AUTHOR: ANDREA WHITLOCK