As an intern I worked twice a week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) alternating between two people, the National Accounts Coordinator, Louisa Brody, on Tuesdays and the International Sales & Marketing Assistant, Jodie Hagerman, on Wednesdays. I enjoyed working with both Louisa and Jodie, however, the tasks I was given were completely different between the two of them.
Louisa’s job is mainly focused around numbers so I was usually working with Excel for many assignments. I started out using what is called a BN title card template which is an Excel document that lists books and how many the company has sold of each on a monthly basis. I retrieve this information by logging on to a website provided by Perseus called “Helix”. My task required me to collect information on books in the current month and the company’s sales for each.
In addition to this, I was also responsible for extracting information on each of these books and compiling them onto an Excel spreadsheet. This task was pretty tedious considering the amount of information I had to search for on over one hundred titles. This includes ISBN-10, ISBN-13, previous ISBN (if any), title, category, format, imprint, author, author city & state, author previous works, and tour cities.
There are many events that Perseus must attend and meet with representatives so it is important for the people representing the company make sure they come prepared to show customers and reps at their scheduled meetings what books are coming out and which are projected to be the most popular. Using the same list of books I compiled on the Excel spreadsheet, I had to print out cover pages on each that contained the same information from the Excel sheet but in a more attractive way. The Excel sheet contained strictly words and numbers, whereas the cover pages for each book title included pictures and colors which ultimately make it easier on the eyes. Presenting these compilations of new releases to customers makes them more appealing to the eye and gives customers more of an incentive to purchase large orders. I was also responsible for organizing these sheets into a binder making it more accessible for customers to skim through each page hassle-free. Most of the information customers were able to see from these cover pages match up with what I laid out in the Excel spreadsheet.
Working with Jodie Hagerman was very different than working with Louisa because Jodie’s position involves more customer interactions domestically and internationally. I was responsible for sending out samples orders to various customers. However; prior to completing this task I was to send out a sample order template through Excel to each customer who requested something as a brief overview and confirmation of what they wanted us to send out to them. Information used in this includes ISBN, book title, and quantity of each book they requested. Each sample needed to contain specific and accurate information in order for the packages to be sent out to the correct representative or customer. This job was tricky considering some companies had multiple branches domestically and internationally and there are sometimes more than one representative within companies, hence the sole purpose of the sample order Excel template.
When it came to actually sending out the samples, each representative is assigned a cubby in Jodie’s office which contains all the book samples and catalogues they requested. These cubbies are normally filled regularly so it was important for the books to be sent out on a weekly basis. A lot of the tasks I was assigned by Jodie worked hand-in-hand with one another. Each box of books needed to be package strategically to avoid causing any damage to the items. Bent cover pages and or creases in book bindings were unacceptable. In addition to the actual packaging, I needed to print out labels for each box to be sent out to the appropriate representative. I worked closely with the UPS website in order to accomplish this task. Each label had its typical information, including contact information, designated address, weight, etc. but I also needed to include each company’s international documents if the package was being sent to a company located overseas. Again, as I previously mentioned, the cubbies for each representative was constantly being filled with more book samples and catalogues so this task from the sample order email to the sample order packaging was done one a weekly basis.
The tasks that I completed between Louisa and Jodie were completed regularly; however, I was assigned additional tasks throughout my time at Perseus. For example, I was once asked to create a document meant for advertising the latest bestselling books coming to the market. My role main role was to design pages of book cover pages (similar to those I used in my tasks with Louisa) and make them extremely attractive and consistent to one another in terms of design layout, fonts, etc.
Working with both Louisa and Jodie also required me to test my organizational skills when it came to filing and restocking shelves with more catalogues and book samples. Overall I think the tasks I was assigned covered both a marketing and administrative side for me to benefit from, especially with a dual concentration in marketing and management.