My tasks at this internship right now have become pretty regular and steady. In the morning I make spreadsheets that contain contact information for every single Professor in certain departments in about 20 universities around Ireland. If you ever want to consider going to school here, I can give you a wealth of information on it because I spend so much time perusing their sites.
In the afternoon, I head upstairs to the publishing department and spend my afternoon reading manuscripts. Since both of these tasks need to be completed soon and there's lots of work to do, this is what I've been working on for the past week and a half. It gets boring, but it has to be done by someone.
The other day while reading manuscripts I was chatting with the managing editor, Deirdre, as usual. She mentioned that she had to send one of the manuscripts off that afternoon to the editor so it could meet its deadline. I jumped at this opportunity to finally ask how things are run around here in the editorial department. Since, she is the only editor on staff, I always wondered how they got everything edited and where they sent it to, etc. She uses a few trusted freelance editors to help her with the editing process. She's met these people throughout her years of experience and she'll use each for different projects, different aspects of publishing, etc. I then asked how she found these people, and if they had just been hired from looking at their CV's (resumes) what she looked for in their education and experience. Overall it was a really great conversation. I even asked her what she honestly thought about my major versus an English degree, to which her response was that she would almost take the Professional Writer over an English major because our education is more honed in undergraduate than is an English majors'. I then took the opportunity to ask about grad school. She suggested that if I were really serious about publishing to get a degree in publishing or editing rather than in english, creative writing, or professional writing. These degrees were too theoretical to be practical in the real world. Then she went on to actually suggest grad schools! Higher education is much cheaper in Ireland and the UK versus in the States and she suggested a couple of great Masters degree programs in Publishing: one in Galway, one in Scotland, and one at Oxford. I don't know if I could actually see myself living here for a long period of time though...it rains too damn much, haha!
I'm glad I jumped at the opportunity to ask questions, because I think I learned more about editing and what I want to do with my Professional Writing degree in that 45 minute talk than the rest of the time I've been here. It really got me thinking seriously about whether I want to go into book publishing, pursue my other career dream of translating, work for a music magazine (always thought that would be cool), or scrapping everything and being a ski bum/instructor for the rest of my life...okay maybe not the last one.