Reflecting on My Two-Year Internship at UAlberta Press

A Guest Post by Tanvi Mohile

It has been a wonderful two years at UAlberta Press as their first PhD Intern. Time has simply flown by, and as my internship comes to an end, I was asked to reflect on my time at the Press and to share my experiences.

My Press colleagues invited me to attend meetings in early 2019, where I generally sat quietly and absorbed everything that was being said and discussed around me. This was especially helpful because it helped me to listen and understand terms and phrases commonly associated with the daily work at the Press, get acquainted with everyone I would be working with for the next two years, and learn about the projects underway. When I officially began my term in Fall 2019, I felt right at home with the people and the work and was able to integrate myself within the Press in a short time.

Over the four terms of the internship, I was given opportunities and tasks that helped in my research and gave me a range of professional experiences. They also strengthened my resolve to keep working in publishing and have led to immense personal growth. The team at the Press has been really open about answering my questions and involving me in discussions and tasks at various levels. Since the internship did not focus on a particular area within publishing, I was able to experience everything from acquisitions to marketing and understand the nuances of getting a book out into the world.

For example, I had the opportunity to join in discussions with a new author, proofread a manuscript, fact check manuscripts, format manuscripts and bibliographies, create cover copy and marketing material, write grant proposals, learn about budgeting and finance, assist with a major inventory review, and attend press committee meetings. I was excited to work on some of the Press’ first audiobooks and alt-text creation projects. There were also many opportunities to network and meet people, such as the AUPresses’ annual meeting and their various webinars, the Alberta Book Day event (when we could still meet in person in 2019!), the BPAA awards, meetings and events, and several other events. Not only have these events and tasks given me substantial knowledge of the Canadian and North American book publishing industry and improved my skills but they have also helped me create contacts and make new friends. 

I am grateful to Doug, Cathie, Duncan, Alan, Mat, Mary Lou, Monika, Michelle, Ren, and Elisia for their support, encouragement, and help and in making this internship such a joy! Although the pandemic forced us to learn new ways of interacting and communicating with one another, working with a group of people who are so passionate about their work meant that the transition was easier than expected. I will always be disappointed about not having had the chance to work out of our brand new offices in Rutherford South for more than two weeks though!

I sincerely hope that the PhD Concentration in Editing and Publishing program continues and benefits both English and Film Studies and UAlberta Press. It is a unique program that enables an amalgamation of academia and publishing and provides new and exciting opportunities for both professional and personal growth. It has definitely given me skills and friends for life!