What I learned and how I got there

Wherever there’s an envelope to stuff, we’ll be there. Whenever there are books to mail, we’ll be there. Whenever mail needs to be delivered to the post office, we’ll be there. Who, you ask, are these intrepid individuals? No, the answer is not post office workers. These fearless machines of efficiency are interns. During my time here at Heyday I have mailed many a package, most excitingly to real, flesh and blood authors like Gary Snyder. What I have gleaned from mailing and stuffing so many envelopes is simple. Never again will I take the people who stuff envelopes for granted. There is a surprising amount of work and patience that goes into stuffing envelopes. You have to check and make sure you have the letter folded neatly, and hopefully not eaten or torn by the dreaded folding machine, a small return envelope, and any other goodies that need to be mailed. After you’re sure everything is safely inside the larger envelope you must then seal it, making sure not to leak water everywhere, and stamp it, sometimes in the machine and sometimes by hand. And once that’s done you look over and realize you still have 500 to go. Not to mention the war wounds inflicted by said envelopes.

Typically when you think of interns you think about them toiling away doing tasks like the one I just described. And yes, we do a lot of toiling and work no one else wants, that’s true, but an internship is much more than just endless busy work. An internship is about learning everything you can about the business you are in from the people around you who have successfully made it. At Heyday, learning about publishing is made delightfully simple. Everyone is so willing to answer any questions you have about any subject, talk to you about their jobs and how they got there, and give you insider advice. I came to Heyday at an interesting time when a lot of books were being published for the fall and winter season. I did do a ton of mailing, but I also got to learn how to successfully write a pitch letter for both marketing and events, which is much harder than anticipated and really makes you think about who you’re directing the pitch to, read an unpublished manuscript and use what I learned as a Literature major to analyze it, meet a few interesting authors, and attend many lively meetings.

As my internship winds down, I can’t believe how quickly it flew by. It seems like just yesterday I was lost in Berkeley frantically looking for Heyday and realizing it was the brown house with only a piece of paper on the door signifying what it was. My time here has been both rewarding and confusing. It seems the older I get the more confused I become about nearly every aspect of life but about careers in particular. According to Malcolm, the founder of Heyday, this is normal and persists no matter what age you are. But perhaps it’s this confusion that makes life so interesting. If everyone stayed put in the first job they could find we wouldn’t have books like Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit or inventions like the airplane. While I loved my time here at Heyday, I’m keeping my options open. I realized that I don’t have to plan my life starting now, and no one really expects me to. As a wise TV show once stated, I’m going to take it one day at a time and see what happens. 

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