I'm an advocate of taking care of two birds with one stone. Take, for example, CCNY's publishing certificate, which I'm persuing. For years I wanted to attend NYU and recieve an MS in publishing. However, I'm completely tired of school and would rather be paid for my work instead of paying a university to do work for it. Thus, I'm persuing a certificate in publishing from CCNY. The classes I take there count toward my BA in English at Hunter, and I'll get a certificate with which to distinguish my résumé.
The Publishing Certificate Program is amazing. The professors are both enthusiastic and honest about the industry, and I've learned so much. Instead of gushing about the program and its professors in the preface, I'd rather kill two birds with one stone and write an essay, which then will be edited, printed, and handed in.
While searching for an internship for the summer of 2006, I discovered Bookjobs.com and read about education opportunities in publishing. Though I had heard of and planned to participate in NYU's graduate program, CCNY's Publishing Certificate Program appealed to me, an undergraduate student at Hunter College, since I could simultaneously complete my degree at Hunter while persuing a certificate in publishing. Because I had worked for a small guidebook company during my latter two years in high school, I was skeptical of what I would learn from CCNY. As a second-semester student in the program, I am ashamed of my early naïveté.
The superb Publishing Certificate Program guides students step-by-step through the labyrinth of publishing. In Introduction to Publishing, Professor Lisa Healy outlined how books move from author to customer and explained every intermediate step from acquisition and editing to publicity and bookstore sales. She also ensured her students knew the up-to-date gossip by lending her own copies of Publisher's Weekly to the class, and at the beginning of each session a student or two gave a short presentation on an article, on which Professor Healy would elaborate with examples from her career. Professor John Jusino, who taught copyediting and proofreading, expected nothing less than professionalism from students and regularly assigned work that workers, in publishing or not, would have to know, like interview skills and cover-letter writing. I'm currently taking Publishing Practicum where guest speakers, experts in their field, talk about what their aspect of publishing and the Editorial Process where assignments help students hone the craft of editing.
Participating in the certificate program has revived the passion I felt for editing, and I always assumed I would become an editor. After meeting literary agents in Publishing Practicum, however, the freedom of being my own boss and helping an author navigate the business -- becoming a matchmaker in some respect -- appeals to me. The fluidity of publishing amazes me, and since I hope to be interning for a major trade publisher this summer, my principal goal is to meet people and build a list of contacts. Having this information after graduation next January will improve my chances of success in the industry, whether I choose editorial or agenting.
I'm over the 250-word limit, so the final essay will be blander because I have to cut.