A Day in the Life of… Intern Edition
Every few months a batch of brave young creatives joins our crew for a while to learn, explore, and help out around the office. Some volunteer for fun, experience, out of boredom, or for school credit, and every year we get more and more requests for “how can I help!” and “do you take interns?”.
So I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to what being a volunteer here is actually like, from the volunteers themselves. It’s been a while since I was one myself, so I asked a few others to talk about their average day.
Check out the juicy details below.
Whenever you find out about a company at PRIDE, it’s almost guaranteed to be a good experience. I’d slipped the catalogue I’d gotten into what my girlfriend dubbed my “swag bag” before heading home and sorting through everything. I applied for the internship not too long after, though it took a while for me to get started.
Once I did, it felt like I hit the ground running – there always seem to be too many tasks, too little time, but that seems to be the day in the life of a publisher. If I’m not unearthing myself from beneath a pile of envelopes, I’m finding homes for Joe’s wayward commas.
Day-to-day life as an intern is grinding through a lot of the same tasks – editing, mailing, sorting, product descriptions… there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that keeps the whole system moving the way it should. One of my first major projects was to put together a mailing list of places that might want to display our 5-Minute Therapy pack – narrowing down the masterlist of some 30,000 potential locations was no easy feat.
The variety of tasks is what makes Microcosm fun. If I start to get antsy on one thing, there’s always another. The best part is, with such a small publishing house, there is no busywork. Everything is essential (if not the most time-sensitive). I’m looking forward to what the next couple of months will bring!
My average day as an intern at Microcosm consists of a only a few things in one day, but many different things each week. Recently, I’ve been extremely grateful to have worked on two different video projects, one being a video for a recent kickstarter campaign for The Stoner Babes coloring book, and the other, a mini documentary feature on Scraper Bikes that originated from Oakland, California. You’d think that spending over twenty hours just editing those two projects alone would have me running, but I’ve gotta say, I love a challenge.
I also get to read books and zines and do a mix of developmental and line editing. Basically, I do a lot of editing. Thank goodness I love it, otherwise I’d cry and ask myself what the point of getting an English degree was.
Some other smaller, but no less important tasks I work on in a day may include updating items on our website, addressing and filling envelopes to send out, researching comp titles (which are basically books similar to ones you’d publish), doing social media research, preparing posts, and more. Since I’m the kind of person that craves change and endless possibilities, this internship is perfect because it provides that for me every single day.
Something really cool that I never thought about is how many new ideas I get exposed to because of this internship. I learn that while I may not have an interest in something like pooping in the woods or getting enough sleep, I can still appreciate and take notice of the effort authors put into their work, and I can also come away with something to tell my grandparents about when they call me five times a week.
If you were to walk into the office, you’d most likely see most of us staring at our computer screens, endlessly typing away, but we’re all working on a small piece of a much larger project. It’s extremely inspiring, playing a part in publishing and sharing someone’s beloved creation to the world, and during that process, I’m also getting to obtain knowledge of how to get my work out there in the future should I choose to do so.
An “average” day at Microcosm doesn’t exist, and that’s my favorite thing about interning here.
Want to know what happens after Microcosm? Check back later this month for a “Where Are They Now” post revealing just that. ;-D
Stay strong out there,
Cyn & the team
From day one, I knew I’d walked into a room full of good people for two reasons—the plethora of tea and the office setup. Although a few of my friends appreciate the taste of tea, seeing several desks at Microcosm Publishing holding piping cups sparked joy in me knowing I’d found kindred tea drinkers. Second, not only are the people in the office open communicators but the space is arranged in a way where we can’t not talk to one another.
As an intern, my day is focused on taking on important tasks that may otherwise go by the wayside, like cross-checking references, compiling book spreads for online catalogs, copyediting excerpts, and researching community resources. Among these, however, the task I enjoy the most is mailing out catalogs to book buyers. Knowing these envelopes hold the potential to connect people outside of Portland’s immediate community to books that could change lives and ways of thinking makes me feel like a small, necessary part of a larger purpose.
the mailing never ends! (just kidding)
And that’s exactly how Microcosm Publishing functions. Bringing light to voices who otherwise may not find a place to share insight on the economical benefits of bike riding, DIY beer brewing techniques, and improved punk rock-inspired recipes. Where else would you find an adult coloring book featuring post-structuralist vulvas breaking the walls of gender identity in the most empowering fashion? The publishing house does this for the greater purpose of serving a community who has yet to see this information but definitely needs it.
Continuing my journey as a Microcosm Publishing intern, I look forward to basking in the tea-infused space, connecting people with world-changing ideas, and participating in work that matters to the community.
Y’know, just your average day in the office.