Rutgers University Press and Princeton University Press Visits November 13-14, 2019

Rutgers University Press and Princeton University Press worked together to have their interns visit each other’s offices. The goal was to give our interns a different perspective into another university press and to encourage the interns to engage with working professionals from all departments. We hoped to broaden our interns’ experiences and help them focus on which aspect of publishing they would want to pursue. The Princeton interns visited Rutgers University Press in New Brunswick. They took a tour of the office, learned about how RUP partners with other organizations outside of Rutgers University to create new opportunities, and had an informal Q&A with RUP staff members. The Rutgers interns, in turn, visited Princeton University Press, where they toured the Princeton campus, learned about the history of PUP’s Scribner building, and had in-depth presentations and Q&As from PUP staff. During the visits, we discussed networking advice, company work culture, how to handle interviews and resume writing tips, and shared personal stories of how we (full-time staff) got into publishing.

—Jasper Chang, Assistant to the Editorial Director, Acquiring Editor, RUP

—Ali Parrington, Senior Production Editor, PUP

“The only other University Press I’ve ever visited was the main branch of Oxford University Press, so this was my first time seeing how a publisher with a much smaller staff operates. It was interesting to see how people learned to take on multiple roles within the organization, so that they can still produce 150 books a year with a full-time staff of only 18. I learned that smaller presses are a good opportunity to learn a diverse array of tasks and take more responsibility for the final product, even, it seemed, as an intern. It was also interesting to get some completely different perspectives on strategies for applying for jobs in publishing. Many of the RUP staff on the panel discussion talked about the importance of learning about rights and contracts, which was not advice I had heard much from PUP. The RUP staff were all very generous in offering further support and advice, and I feel that I’ve made some valuable new connections in publishing. It was also fun, and an opportunity both to get to know the staff at RUP and get to know my PUP co-workers better outside the office.”

—Nadia Tivvis, Production Intern, PUP

“I enjoyed my time at RUP and found it very interesting to meet everyone and to experience a different publishing company. What I believe helped me the most was having the opportunity to listen and ask questions about the RUP staff’s employment history. Having that perspective gives me a better view of how to venture into the job landscape. I found Jasper and his associates to be very welcoming and knowledgeable in their fields which is something that is similar in PUP, and having that comparison is good for interns in that they can see that companies can be very nice.”

—Hernan Sanchez, Editorial Intern, PUP

“What a lovely working space Rutgers University Press has in the Gateway Building in New Brunswick! I have been around that building many times—it was nice to see it on the inside! The Rutgers Press staff were friendly and generous with their time. I enjoyed looking at the shelves with the books that Rutgers UP has published, particularly the books on New Jersey culture and New Jersey history. I had a good time with colleagues eating lunch in a nearby local restaurant.”

—Nathan Carr, Production Editor & Intern Supervisor, PUP

“I had such a great time visiting Rutgers University Press! It was interesting to see the ways departments were structured at a smaller press. In particular, I was impressed by the collaborative spirit that drove everyday function at the press. The RUP staff gave our interns a warm welcome and a lot of great advice. Their impressive backgrounds demonstrated the fact that there are many opportunities to explore different areas, exercise and build new skills, and follow one’s own mission in publishing. I know our interns left with new insights and ideas on how they might move forward in their careers.”

—Alena Chekanov, Editorial Assistant & Intern Supervisor, PUP

“This visit was valuable because it gave me a chance to converse with people from different divisions. There were similarities between the two presses, such as the meetings they held, editorial, production, and marketing duties, and the chronology of a book. It was also interesting to learn that they had international departments, which would be an intriguing choice to work in a different country. The real meat of the visit was the Q&A session with individuals from each department and the information they shared. Listening to them describe their daily tasks was interesting because, though each of them had their own specialty, the important part they emphasized was the life cycle of the book.”

—Hope Dormer, Editorial Intern, RUP

“It was so nice of Ali and everyone to give us their contact info so we could reach out with any questions. I wish I had more time to talk to production editors from the Princeton Press since that’s my current department, but I did appreciate the time that Jess spent with us talking about design. Being able to really see everything that goes into academic publishing gave me a lot to think about, and I think even doing something similar here would be helpful, too.”

—Veronica Meliksetian, Editorial Intern, RUP

“Touring PUP gave me a brighter perspective on RUP. Our company is so small compared to PUP and yet we accomplish so much! I loved both RUP and PUP but the culture and company culture at Rutgers is unmatched in my opinion!”

—Prathigna Yerakala, Marketing Intern, RUP

“I found the tour of Princeton University Press to be very insightful. If was especially nice to engage with people from other departments. I found that this provided a more well-rounded understanding of the publication process. I enjoyed learning about the production and marketing processes, which I have been only peripherally aware of at Rutgers University Press. That said, I think that I would ultimately like to remain in editorial/acquisitions. I like the idea of being able to more directly engage with authors and their work.”

—Blake Ritchie, Editorial Intern, RUP