Working at Perseus helped me improve my skill set tremendously; most of which could not be taught in a classroom setting. I believe I especially benefited from this experience because I was able to shadow two individuals within the office who worked in completely separate parts of the company. I was able to dig deeper into more than one job which definitely helped me start to decipher what kinds of jobs I might be interested in applying for in my senior year of college. Working alongside Louisa, the National Accounts Coordinator, and Jodie, the International Marketing and Sales Assistant, was a pretty memorable experience. Aside from working in your typical retail store, I had never gained any real office experience prior to receiving this internship so the skills I had acquired from my previous work experiences were definitely enhanced throughout the summer.

Among all the tasks I was given, I believe time management became a crucial skill to possess especially with an office full of employees depending on me to meet deadlines just as well as they did. Having a good work ethic and excellent time management skills will definitely help me in the long run and will also increase my colleagues’ trust and reliability on me. It will help me become a greater asset to the company thus moving us forward with tasks that will ultimately accomplish our set goals. Working more so with Jodie is where I acquired more of my time management skills because I had to get out so many samples to representatives within a certain time frame. Bear in mind that I only worked there twice a week and only one of those days was with Jodie specifically so tasks like sending out packages were top priority for the day and needed to get done as soon as possible. Having this mindset gave me a better understanding of the significance behind meeting deadlines especially when working with people in and outside the office because they too must meet deadlines-some of which rely heavily on other people meeting their deadlines first. Many tasks given to me created a domino effect with other people in the office along with customers outside of Perseus relying on me for their orders. Completing each task given on time prevents any issues that might take a toll on someone else other than myself.

The tasks given to me by Louisa were a lot more tedious in that I was constantly working on Excel spreadsheets compiling a lot of information together. Working with a lot of numbers helped me stay focused to avoid making any mistakes. These spreadsheets that I was responsible for were to be distributed throughout the office and looked at for reference by customers at large events so one error could potentially lead to a lot of confusion and misinterpretation. Not only did I become more attentive on my work but I also grew to be more knowledgeable of the company as a whole. I learned a lot about the books that they advertise to their customers and what genres they particularly liked to represent. I started to become more familiar with which publishing companies they own and the kinds of customers they typically attract.

During my time at Perseus Books Group, I was given the opportunity to sit in on a marketing meeting presenting the latest books to be brought in to the market. Not only was the entire office a part of this meeting but representatives from various locations were included in the conference via phone calls. The meeting was solely focused on choosing the new selection of books to be advertised to customers for the new season; however, a summary of the books were not the only deciding factor in this process. Many of my colleagues were there to explain the deeper meaning behind these books in regards to the tone of voice and the style of writing. They were responsible for reading these books in order to share their thoughts to the rest of the office. How they presented the book to the group was also what shaped each person’s decision on whether or not they voted to represent the book. The way these books were described and the thought process that went on in this meeting was really fascinating to be a part of and just observe. I gained a lot of insight of what kinds of questions my colleagues considered and what characteristics they expected books to possess before they accepted to advertise it to their customers.

Overall, I think this was a really beneficial experience. Not only did I gain a lot of valuable experience and learned about the company in depth but I also learned more about myself as an employee. I was able to get a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses and what I can do to take my skill set to the next level. This experience definitely shaped me in terms of my work ethic in and out of the office and has given me a starting point of what to expect upon graduation and entering the workplace.

Three defining experiences during my field experience.
Jessie Stone He-Professional Development Coordinator