How I Got An Internship At HarperCollins | Part 1

Hello, my name is Gabby (short for Gabrielle). I am one of the co-bloggers at The Book's Buzz. You've probably seen some of my reviews floating around on the blog, but today on a more serious note, I will be talking about my experience working at the publishing behemoth, HarperCollins. 

Last year, I interned at HarperCollins during the fall semester of my senior year. The program spanned over 10 weeks. At HarperCollins, I was the Editorial and Design intern for Harper Design. The imprint specializes in “fashion, television, art and popular culture, music, crafts, lifestyle, and interior design” which was a perfect match for me! My internships in the past have also been in design but in different fields such as fashion and media. Little by little, I built up my design experience in and out of school. In this 3-series post, I will be explaining my experience from the initial application to my time at HarperCollins.

This was actually my third round applying for publishing internships. I was studying Packaging Design and torn between working in branding or publishing for my first job out of college. I was lucky to have a schedule with two days off (even though I had a night class on one of them) and thought it was now or never. I knew I wouldn’t be able to have another chance to apply for a publishing internship once I finished school.

For my application, I filled all the required information and included a cover letter and resume (also required). In my one-page cover letter, I wrote about why I wanted to work at HarperCollins (as opposed to other publishers), the skills and experience that proved my capabilities for this role, and my dual love for design and books. Since I was applying for a design position, I also submitted my portfolio (PDF) and website. I would recommend sending a portfolio of your work whether that be writing samples or mock projects that proves your skills and strengths beyond what you say. As I mentioned earlier, I was in Packaging Design and therefore lacked publication work. To supplement my packaging projects, I joined Blush, a “student-run beauty and fashion publication” at school, where I was a layout designer. As a result, I had branding/packaging and publication work, thus I had a lot of projects that I could and pick and choose to include. Participating in the magazine allowed me the unique experience of collaborating with writers and working with an art director (who is an amazing designer and happens to be my BFF!)

I wasn’t betting on anything and to be honest I was afraid of the stress that the internship would bring. However, I received an email from HarperCollins asking me for a quick phone call. Holy crap! This was big! The fact that they even contacted me was a shock.

I remembered taking the call between the shelves in the library filled with nervousness. The recruiter explained to me that the position would be on the adult side with Harper Design. It was a short call about the responsibilities and tasks I would be taking on as an intern. After letting her know that I was still interested, we scheduled a meeting for my interview.

Research your interviewer and the company beforehand so you can go in with some knowledge. I looked at her Linkedin, social media, published work, etc. and found an old article that she wrote about on how to land a job at HarperCollins. I also researched any recent news I could find about the company and imprint. Having background information prepared me for the interview; for example, I could mention the article that she had written. However, I wouldn’t recommend speaking about information found exclusively the interviewer’s social media.

On the day of the interview, I saw Adam Silvera in the lobby which was a nice surprise! When I met with the recruiter, we talked about why I wanted to work here and my experience thus far. An important thing to do at all interviews is to ask questions. What are my responsibilities? Who do I report to? What your favorite part about working here? Engaging with them demonstrates that you are serious about the position and it also helps to clarify any confusion you may have. I actually had a small hiccup in the interview, which I apologized and then took a second to recompose myself. A small mishap is okay — don’t rush, take your time to absorb as much information out of the interview and show them why you are the best person for this job.

Afterward, I met with a member of the Harper Design team. We had a brief conversation about my skills, where I was at currently in school, and I also presented my portfolio. Again, I asked questions such as about the size of the team and the workload. Lastly, I sent a thank you note to both thanking for their time, reiterating my appreciation, and a detail from the interview. A personal detail goes a long way in helping them remember who you are because they interview a lot of people.

...And a day later, I received an email asking for me to call them, so I knew this had to be good news! They called letting me know that I received the internship and I was stunned! I didn’t believe it, really. Immediately after, I messaged Alex letting her know who freaked out a lot more on my behalf.

The whole process took around a month from the initial contact to my starting day. In the next post, I’ll be discussing my experience during the internship. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll round them up for a Q&A post at the end!




The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody

Title: The Geography of Lost Things
Author: Jessica Brody
Pages: 458 pages
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Source: Hardcover from Simon Teen
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?

Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.

He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.

And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.


Buy it now!
**I received an unsolicited copy of this book from the publisher. This has not affected my opinion of the book.**

Road trip contemporary stories are my kryptonite. This book tickled my desire to read a cute contemporary story about a road trip but also delivered in other aspects. I despise how I initially thought this was going to be yet another "road trip romance book", fitting the mold of all the road trip contemporaries I had read in the past. Beyond the surface, it is so much more. In fact, this book is one of the strongest contemporaries I've ever read.

I love contemporaries that are good at being cute and romantic, but I also appreciate when they succeed in teaching me valuable life lessons. I mean, going on a road trip with your ex-boyfriend? Straight from the start, I knew this book was going to be juicy! However, I did not think I was going to tear up, much less feel any emotional attachment to the characters in this story.

The relationships in this book are fragile and complex. In fact, there were so many relationships that could have each had their own books written about them! Ali and her father, Ali and her mother, Ali and Nico, Nico and his mother... Too many to name! I cared for these characters' well-being and carried their emotional burdens with me as I read on. I found the ex-boyfriend, Nico, to be especially interesting because from the start of the story he's introduced as this mystery.

There are some really small details in this book that I appreciated and GOD, THEY MADE ME LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH MORE. The story is so well thought out and the author pays so much attention to details like the information she puts in at the beginning of each chapter. You're going to have to read the book to find out what I mean. As you can see, I'm trying really hard right now to keep the spoilers out of this review!

There are so many beautiful things about this book, but mostly the true beauty lies in the lessons and message the book imparts. Messages about forgiveness and finding value in things and in relationships. This book isn't your typical road trip YA. It will tug your emotional heartstrings and possibly make you see the world in a new way. Although this book is nearly 500 pages long, it didn't feel that long. It was fast-paced and it almost felt like I was embarking on the road trip with these characters.

I was really nitpicky with my rating, which is perhaps the only reason I didn't end up giving it a 5-star rating. The book alternates from present to past with flashbacks, but I often felt it quite confusing determining whether we were in the present or the past. But overall, this book exceeded my expectations and I couldn't recommend it more. Brody's writing is reminiscent of a Morgan Matson book, which is probably why I flew through this one. For you die-hard contemporary readers, you will devour this book. For those who haven't read much contemporary, this one would also be perfect to start out with.



How to Juggle College & Reading

When I first got accepted into my college, I was hit with a sudden moment of realization. Would I be able to continue my passion for reading books and sharing bookish content while in college? In high school, I somehow managed to keep up my grades, film for my Youtube channel and post photos on my Instagram. But even doing so in high school was a struggle, so how would I pursue this passion in college? Hopefully, this post will help you through the same problem I'm facing at the moment. In the end, the world will make time for the things that you love. Also, note that these tips are from my personal experience. They definitely won't be the same for everyone. 

Tip 1: Acknowledge That You Won't Be Reading As Much

The first step in managing your reading time right is first facing the fact that you probably won't be reading as much as you used to. College is a pretty demanding environment where you'll be asked to do things you've never done before. Some days you just won't have time to get any reading done. Acknowledging this will help you avoid squeezing time in your schedule to read as much as you read before going to college. Hopefully, it will help you step back and create a more reasonable schedule for your reading.


Tip 2: Get Rid of Your Goodreads Challenge! 

If you're an avid reading, you probably have a Goodreads challenge. Before college, Goodreads challenges were my life. I would always get super disappointed when I didn't achieve my reading goals or try to speed up my reading by the end of the year just to meet my goal. We can have a whole discussion about why Goodreads challenges hurt more than they help, but if you are even slightly pressured by your GR challenge, I would highly recommend holding off from it until winter break or something! 


Tip 3: Don't Eat More Than You Can Chew

Something I've learned in the past month of being in college is not to purchase so many books if I don't have enough time to read them. You'd think that buying more books would motivate you to read. However, studies show that when you have too many books to read, you actually feel more overwhelmed and unmotivated to read (and by studies I mean that my life has been the only test subject lol). This doesn't just apply to book buying. When you're packing for college, don't bring your entire bookshelf. Going back to step 1, acknowledge that you won't have as much time to read and pack accordingly. If you underestimate your time, you always have the chance to purchase more books or borrow from the library. 


Tip 4: Switch to Audiobooks

Let's face it, there won't always be time for you to pull out a book and start reading. Sometimes reading gets in the way. We want to read a lot of books but we don't want to take away time from more important things like studying for a test or sleeping. Audiobooks are great for multi-tasking! Usually, I listen to my audiobooks while I'm on the treadmill at the gym. That's 40 minutes of some good reading and working out. I understand that audiobooks can get a bit pricey, and as college students, we're always looking for cheaper alternatives. I find my way around the price by borrowing from audiobook libraries or simply asking friends to borrow their audible accounts if they have the book. 


Tip 5: Make It A Social Event 

Before I arrived at my campus, there was always a constant fear that if I wanted to read a lot I would have to sacrifice my social life. However, that is definitely not the case! You can host reading parties where you and your friends all come together and read. It could also be a lot simpler! You could read with your roommate while they are doing their own readings. You could join a study group, but instead of studying you could read your own book. I've found many ways around it since coming here. 


Tip 6: Change Your Reading Environment

Just because you can't read in your dorm room or lounge doesn't mean you can't read at all! I know every time I'm in my dorm all I think about is taking a nap, so I don't get any reading done in there. All you have to do is take your book and move to a different environment. The best place to go is the library, where others will perhaps be reading and it will be quiet. This method will also allow you to better explore your campus. It took me quite a while, but I finally found my reading spot! It's a giant circular window in the library (see picture below). 

As I spend more time on campus and it gets closer to the midterm season, I will come across more tips and methods for reading more. But at this time, these are just a few of the ways I've been able to come up with that have helped me so far. College is an all new experience, and I am glad that I am able to still continue my passion and do what I love on the side of my education. That's all for now folks.



From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Title: From Twinkle, With Love
Author: Sandhya Menon
Pages: 328 pages
Release Date: May 22nd, 2018
Source: Hardback from the library
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 stars
Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

Buy it now!



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