Carin Siegfried ’95 (English) and Sarah Dotts Barley ’07 (English, German) came to campus Thursday, October 17 to give a workshop on careers in publishing. Siegfried has worked as a buyer, editor, and sales rep and now runs her own business, Carin Siegfried Editorial; and Dotts Barley is an editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books.
Their main task was to be sure that everyone understood there are many jobs in publishing and that being an editor does not always mean what one would assume. They explained the intricate web that makes up the publishing business, including buyers, sales and marketing staff, agents, publicists, art and design staff, editors and of course, authors. Students should remember, both speakers agreed, that editorial jobs are typically the most competitive, pay the least and promote the most slowly.
The first advice that Siegfried and Dotts Barley gave to students interested in the field was read, read, read: paying particular attention to contemporary books. “Way too many people want to work on literary fiction,” said Siegfried, suggesting that students pay attention to all kinds of books that are on the market. She also suggested highlighting administrative experience when applying for entry-level positions, as you will likely be answering a lot of phones and watering plants in your first job. In the process of applying for editorial assistant positions, you will be asked to complete a reader’s report – you will be given a manuscript and asked to write a one-page evaluation of it. In this evaluation, you should be honest but remember that the publishing house has already bought this book, so you ultimately should recommend that they buy it.
Siegfried and Dotts Barley told some humorous stories about entry-level positions in publishing houses, explaining that you are essentially signing up for an apprenticeship. You are someone’s assistant, but it is important to remember that you are working under someone who has probably been in the business for a long time. They recommend that you take the opportunity to learn from them, arguing that this will make you better at your job down the road.
The alumni concluded the talk by reminding students that if you can get through Davidson, you have the stamina and intelligence it takes to be successful in the publishing world. Read, pursue internships, network and follow your passion, and you will have opportunities.
Students who missed the talk but would like the handouts from the session should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org requesting them.
Senior Vice President of Red Ventures Jason Carlock ’97, and young alumni Anne Tab ’13, Nicolette Taggart ‘13, Lucy McMurry ’13, Robert Lorenzen ’13, and Jamie DyBuncio ’13, visited Davidson yesterday to hold an information session. Red Ventures, located just south of Charlotte, is looking for Strategic Analyst Associates, Digital Media Marketing Associates, Web Developer Associates, and Strategic Analyst Summer Interns. The deadline to apply through WildcatLink is tonight (Wednesday, September 25) at 11:59 pm.
Red Ventures is a strategic marketing and sales firm that creates multi-channel marketing and sales strategies for partner companies. They use original and comprehensive data technology in order to generate sales and create revenue. Carlock emphasized the great opportunity at Red Ventures, as the company is growing at a pace of 35% each year. The company works with internet, satellite, security, insurance, and energy firms and is currently partnered with well-known brands such as Verizon, Direct TV, ADT, Safeco Insurance, and Just Energy. Red Ventures has been named the Best Place to Work in Charlotte for two consecutive years and has ranked in the top 10 on the list for the past four years.
The Davidson alumni highlighted how Red Ventures is unique in that is was built to be “a company that people want to work for.” In this sense, Red Ventures is characterized by a fun and quirky environment, where people will even play basketball or go bowling in the middle of the workday! The company has a work hard, play hard environment with a fast learning curve, where employees will constantly work in teams with people of multiple skill levels and positions.
Sara Davis ’12 recently began a position as a Fellow withLEVICK, a Washington, DC-based communications firm. She began her career as a Recruiting Analyst with Aon Hewitt in Charlotte in May 2012 and talked to us about how she landed her first dream job less than a year later.
CCD: Congrats on the new position! How did you make the move from HR to PR?
SD: Upon deciding that I really wanted to make the transition from Human Resources into Public Relations/Marketing, I realized I would need to learn a lot more about these industries. I spent the first few months of 2013 using AlendaLinks and LinkedIn to connect with Davidson alumni, all of whom were extremely receptive to helping me out by chatting on the phone, sharing their advice and experience in these industries, and even revising my resume. I can’t say enough about the incredibly helpful and kind Davidson alumni network. My job search was specifically focused on Washington, DC and the Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations industries.
Through a mutual LinkedIn connection (and Davidson alum), I was able to connect with a Senior VP at LEVICK. We were able to chat about the company, DC, and public relations in general. I was definitely interested in the firm after speaking with her and having scoped out their company website. I applied for their Fellowship position the next day, and interviewed and received an offer for the position as a Spring 2013 Fellow in May.
CCD: How has the experience gone so far?
SD: I have absolutely loved my first month here at LEVICK. The program itself has been heralded as perhaps the best (and most intense) introduction to Public Relations in DC. I’m in a class of four Fellows, all of whom are 2011 – 2013 college graduates eager to delve into the PR industry. We have three great supervisors who monitor our workload, give us advice, and schedule weekly Lunch & Learns for us to ask questions and learn more about PR. Additionally, given that this is a mid-size firm of about 50 employees, I’m able to work directly with all employees ranging from Account Coordinators to Senior Vice Presidents, which has been a thrilling experience. No workday is ever predictable here. As a Fellow, I can be tasked with anything that needs completing, which is great for getting a holistic view of the PR world.
CCD: What are your responsibilities as a Fellow?
SD: My general responsibilities include pitching media stories to reporters to give LEVICK executives and clients an opportunity to comment in top-tier news outlets, conducting and presenting research, reporting social media metrics, summarizing and analyzing the day’s media for clients, developing new business ideas, and providing administrative support to all LEVICK employees.
The program is highly selective, paid, and for college graduates only. Fellows are hired seasonally. LEVICK’s Fellowship program has a proven record of training its Fellows so quickly and comprehensively that they have no trouble finding positions at any premier PR firm following the Fellowship, if not a position at LEVICK itself.
In sum, it’s a fast-paced introduction to life in a highly-successful, full-service communications firm that covers many areas including crisis, strategic communications, public affairs, finance, and digital communications. I’ve loved how open and encouraging everyone at LEVICK has been, and hope that this will be the start to a great career! I spent 5 long months searching for an opportunity to transition into PR, and have been thrilled by how this has turned out.
CCD: If you are interested in connecting with Sara, you can do so through LinkedIn or by e-mail at email@example.com. She would be happy to share tips on how to network effectively during a marketing-related job search.
Elise Breda ’13 is an Economics Major who interned in the Consumer Marketing Dept. at Guideposts Magazine in New York City this past summer. Elise took time out to talk with Paul Van Peursem ’13, Career Services Ambassador, about her experience.
Where did you intern this summer? My summer internship was at Guideposts, a non-profit organization that publishes magazines such as Guideposts and an assortment of Christian books and devotionals. Guideposts was founded by Norman Vincent Peale in 1945 to encourage and uplift soldiers returning from the war. The organization’s purpose is reflected in its motto: “America’s Source of Inspiration.”
What sort of work were you doing at Guideposts? As a Consumer Insights intern, I worked in Consumer Marketing with the marketing and editorial teams whose goal was to improve the company’s understanding of its target market and consumers. This group focuses on gaining a clear picture of the consumer’s decision-making process in order to deliver and position goods more efficiently and more competitively.
Can you describe the particular work you did at Guideposts? My main project was designing a survey to collect consumer feedback on Guideposts’ newest devotional book. This involved creating a direct-to-consumer digital survey, and using social media platforms to select consumers to receive and review the marketing materials and devotional.
I compiled and analyzed all of the data and feedback from the surveys, looking for consumer trends in product preferences, expectations and responses. My findings were presented to the marketing and editorial teams in a product report, along with my recommendations for future development and positioning of the devotional.
Can you tell me about where you lived and worked in New York City? This summer I lived in The Village in NYU student housing. The location could not have been more ideal — minutes from shopping in SoHo, walking the Highline in Chelsea, or kayaking along the Hudson River. I worked four days a week in the 34th Street Guideposts office (right beside the Empire State building) and commuted one day a week to the Danbury, CT office. The view from the 21st floor was spectacular. New York City certainly has a piece of my heart.
How has this experience impacted your job searching in the future? I realized my passion for Behavioral Economics and fell in love with the blend of social science and mathematic foundation that was used in data analytics and consumer research. Moving forward, a big-city atmosphere is my first choice for living in — with any luck New York City will be my next home. After my internship experience, I feel confident and enthusiastic about my plans for the future; all thanks to Guideposts!
Iris Leung Major: History Minor: Chinese Davidson Class: May 2012
What internships have you had while you have been at Davidson?
During my freshman summer, I interned at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, assisting the museum’s Education Department in creating and leading interactive tours for summer camp visitors. I also translated their “Journey to the Stars” planetarium show from English to Chinese. The following summer I taught English in Xian, China to kindergarteners using bilingual classroom exercises, drama performances, and songs. During my junior summer, I interned with Emanate PR, a public relations firm that specializes in consumer, healthcare, and business communications. Not only did I create a business pitch proposal for a mock client, I also assisted in a product launch, blogged for the company website, and helped facilitate a social media contest for one of our products.
What are your plans after graduating this May?
After graduating in May, I will begin my first job as an Account Associate at Emanate PR—the public relations firm where I interned during my junior summer.
How did you find your internship?
To find my internship my junior year, I talked with my career counselor who suggested I use a variety of measures for seeking opportunities, such as LinkedIn and Alenda Links (our Davidson alumni networking system), as well as word of mouth. She explained that by proactively demonstrating interest and seeking advice from alumni, professors, and even family friends, they could provide me with great tips on finding an internship. I connected with an alumna who recognized my great interest in the PR field and recommended me to the HR Director of the firm as an intern candidate, where I landed the internship and ultimately my full-time job.
What resources in Career Services have helped you the most?
Two resources that were helpful to me in Career Services were, first, the one-on-one sessions with career counselors who showed a genuine interest in helping students find not only jobs, but careers that match their passions and strengths. I did not know what I wanted to pursue when I first started my search, but after I listed my interests and described my ideal workplace, my counselor helped me narrow down a list that allowed me to realize my dream job.
Second, the annual Etiquette Dinner was extremely useful. Since all Davidson students will undoubtedly have meetings or job interviews over meals in the future, this experience really helped me sharpen my table etiquette as well as the necessary communication skills for such stressful situations.
What other resource has helped you with internship searches?
A resource that helped me learn about opportunities is, surprisingly, Google. While students may know what they are capable of and interested in doing, many do not know what is available. When I wanted an internship that allowed me to interact with many people while constantly learning, I ran Internet searches seeking names of museums to get me started. I would never have been able to work at my favorite museum where it not for Google.
What advice do you have for fellow students?
If you know what you want, don’t be afraid to search online for something related, but more exciting. We’re Davidson students—the world is our oyster!
If you have a flair for communication and a passion for Washington DC, check out the DC Public Affairs and Communications Jobs blog. It’s updated regularly–about once per day –and includes a variety of jobs (many of them entry-level) and internships in public affairs, communications, public relations, media, web development, lobbying, and related fields. Bookmark the site and check it regularly for opportunities!
On Thursday, October 27, Davidson alum Carin Siegfried ’95 spoke to a group of Davidson students about careers in publishing. Here are just a few of the useful tips she provided during the 90-minute session!
Think past jobs in Editorial. These are the jobs that everyone wants, and therefore are the most competitive and the lowest paid. Look into other areas of publishing, like Subsidiary Rights, Production & Managing Editorial, Art & Design, Publicity, Marketing, and Sales.
Consider Agenting if the idea of discovering new writers and nurturing relationships with writers over time excites you.
Consider Publicity if you were the social chair of your eating house or fraternity. This role involves someone outgoing and enthusiastic.
Consider Sales even if you have never seen yourself in a Sales role. It’s not like selling used cars: you are selling books to book people! And starting salaries can be $10 – $20k more than Editorial starting salaries.
Yeah, you’re probably going to have to move to New York. You don’t *have* to start in New York, but it is where most of the jobs are and where you can best network and will make lifelong industry connections. Also, being close to broke in New York is much less painful when you are young.
If you’re looking at publishing internships, look at rotational programs that expose you to various aspects of the publishing business. Seniors should look for paid fall internships (significantly less competition than for summer internships) in addition to entry-level assistant positions.
Don’t think you need a graduate degree or publishing certificate. Maybe 25% of people who work in publishing have graduate degrees, but an undergraduate degree in the humanities the best preparation for most of the jobs. Your employer will likely pay for you to take some relevant graduate courses once you get your foot in the door and prove your value.
Remember that Davidson has prepared you well to start this career! When applying and interviewing, focus on the workload balance, time management, and organization skills that Davidson has taught you.
You may not get in to publishing right away, and that’s okay. Focus on developing soft, transferable skills in whatever other job you land — like how to deal with difficult personalities.
Network, network, network. Get on LinkedIn today, if you aren’t already (and link to Carin!) Remember that informational interviews are the next best thing to actual interviews.
Did you miss the session but are seriously interested in pursuing publishing as a career? Contact Carin Siegfried at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also keep an eye out for opportunities for resume reviews that we’re looking to set up with Carin during the spring semester!
Many Davidson students express a vague interest in publishing as a career, but are unsure what the field entails or what specific career opportunities it provides. If you’re one of these students, come to Union 313 next Thursday, October 27, at 4:30 pm, when we will welcome Carin Siegfried ’95 as a guest speaker. Siegfried has worked in publishing as a buyer, editor, and sales rep, and recently started her own business, Carin Siegfried Editorial. She will discuss four main things: the different jobs in publishing, different publishing houses, how to get into publishing, and what Davidson students can do to facilitate starting a publishing career.
If you’re interested in learning more before the session, check out the Publishing and Journalism page of our website, which includes helpful basic resources. You can also see Siegfried’s LinkedIn profile to get a better sense of her professional background. If you are interested in networking with additional Davidson alumni working in publishing, stop by our office for an introduction to Alenda Links, Davidson’s internal networking system. This system currently lists 78 Davidson alumni with the keyword “publishing” in their professional profile, all of whom are available for you to contact!
This post is the first installment in our new blog series Young Professional Spotlight, which will profile a variety of young professionals (some alums, some not) working in fields of interest to Davidson students.
Here, Stephanie Tarbet shares her experience working as Manager of Executive and Management Communication at Michelin North America in Greenville, S.C.
What is corporate communications? How does your field of internal communications differ from public relations?
Corporate Communications means a lot of different things within different companies and may be called something different within companies as well. For example, within Michelin, it is referred to as Communication and Brands. Our department encompasses Internal Communication, Public Relations, Community Relations and Image & Brands. A widely accepted definition of Corporate Communications would simply be the communication issued by a corporation or organization to all its publics or internal and external audiences. This sentiment is true within Michelin as our Communication and Brands department is responsible for engaging people in Michelin’s story both within the company with our employees and outside of our company with the community, our shareholders, the media and local, state and federal governments.
Internal Communication differs from Public Relations because we focus on two different audiences. Within Internal Communication, we focus all of our communications on our internal stakeholders which includes our employees, and Public Relations focuses on all of our external stakeholders. We all have a common goal to engage people in Michelin’s message, but the intended audience is the differentiator.
What does your job entail?
I am responsible for executive and management communication. Under executive communication, my main responsibility is to provide communications support for our Chairman and President. This support includes developing presentations, speechwriting, planning his annual site visits to all of our facilities and plants (here you can read a recent article that features this communication practice), and executing his monthly Coffee Break meetings with employees as well as his quarterly Town Hall meetings. I also work closely with him to develop our company’s annual priorities and develop the communication package that is sent to all of our sites to reinforce those key messages. There is also some event planning within executive communication. Each year, our Chairman and President hosts over 150 managers for a full-day meeting to discuss the company’s priorities for the year. I am responsible for the content development for the meeting as well as the support details including the agenda, invitee list, catering and meeting logistics. In addition, I collaborate with my colleagues in Public Relations, Government Affairs and Community Relations to develop the annual strategy for executive communication and identify the communication priorities for the fiscal year.
I am also responsible for management communication, which is focused on helping managers communicate with their teams and equipping them with the necessary tools and information they need to keep their employees informed. Michelin is a manufacturing company with close to 70 percent of its employee population consisting of wage employees who spend the majority of their days on the shop floor. Management communication is extremely important within our company because managers are an integral part of the communication process and have the responsibility to cascade messages to employees on the shop floor. Therefore, it is my responsibility to develop the strategy and communications for managers to help ensure that all messages make it to our employees on the shop floor.
What do you like most about your job?
This question is a difficult one to answer because there are so many things that I love about my job. Although my responsibilities all fall under the communications métier, I am constantly working on different projects and tasks, which makes each day different and exciting. One of the highlights of my job is getting to travel both domestically and internationally to places like France, Germany, Nova Scotia and Mexico to name a few. One of my favorite parts of my job is accompanying our Chairman and President on all of his site visits and getting to tour all of our plants and meet with employees. Although I am located at our headquarters facility, it is extremely important for me to spend time in our plants so I fully understand the communication process at each site and the challenges they experience.
How did you land your first internal communications position at Michelin?
After working for four years and gaining real-world experience, I decided to go to graduate school full-time to earn my masters degree in corporate communications. I attended Clemson University, which is located within close proximity to Michelin’s North American headquarters in Greenville, S.C. I wanted to stay in the Upstate South Carolina area because it is a thriving place with a strong international business presence. I had identified Michelin as the number one company that I wanted to work for in the area, so I completed a profile on their careers website and continued to look for communications positions available within the company.
What recommendations do you have for an undergraduate at a liberal arts college like Davidson who is interested in pursuing a career in corporate communications?
Get experience! I cannot express how important it is to get relevant experience within your field of interest. Even if it is in the form of an unpaid internship or volunteer work, gaining that experience will pay off big time in the long term. Learning theory and developing necessary skills and knowledge within your undergraduate studies is an extremely important foundation. In addition to building that foundation, you must be able to demonstrate that you can apply that knowledge and put it into practice. The key is getting relevant experience that directly relates to what you want to do.
Michelin HNA is located in Greenville, South Carolina, located less than two hours from Davidson. What does this city have to offer to young professionals?
Greenville, S.C. is a thriving area for young professionals! It was recently ranked by Forbes magazine as one of America’s Best Cities for Young Professionals. Many international businesses have chosen Greenville as their North American headquarters location. BMW, General Electric, Fluor, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin and 3M are just a few of the companies in addition to Michelin that have established a major presence in Greenville. There are also many young professional organizations such as PULSE (Professionals United for Leadership and Social Enrichment) that provide networking opportunities as well as community involvement. Greenville also has a lot of fun activities going on such as festivals, the Peace Center for Performing Arts, a thriving downtown area with lots of restaurants and shops as well as a minor league baseball team. In addition, Greenville is a very active community and home to the Greenville Hospital System Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail, a 13.55 mile walking/biking trail that runs along the Reedy River connecting Travelers Rest with the City of Greenville.
The Dow Jones News Fund provides competitive paid summer internships in business reporting (12 total positions available), news editing (80 positions), multimedia editing (12 positions) and sports editing (12 positions) for juniors and seniors. Benefits include free pre-internship training at various locations (travel expenses covered) and $1,000 scholarships. The application window is now open for Summer 2012 internships! Deadlines begin November 1.
Interested students can apply for just one of the four programs or for all four, rank ordering them in order of interest. Writing samples are required (the type of sample depends on the internship of interest), and all prospective interns must take a one-hour reporting or editing exam (I have received copies of these exams and will serve as the monitor for Davidson.)