5 Things I Learned While Interning at Wise Ink


Every year we work with the most wonderful, thoughtful interns. As we say goodbye to our Fall, 2018 team, we asked intern Hanna to come up with five things she learned while interning for us.

On my last day, these are the things that I needed to hear on my first. They’re more practical than they appear because, in the end, I found that the point is to enjoy being here!

1. Always check the Chicago Manual of Style. Always.

a. Crack it open or log into it. This big blue brick isn’t always required reading in college classes, but that’s okay. It doesn’t matter when you make friends with it, just so long as you do.

2. An internship is not going to stoke a blind love of the publishing business.

a. Interning with Wise Ink has given me the opportunity to work through the expectations I formed in my college classes and to finally be honest with myself about which tasks I can’t get enough of and which I simply don’t like doing. I am grateful for the variety in this internship because it allowed me to finally get to a place where I allow myself to dislike some aspects of the job. At the same time, I have more confidence in my skills, and I feel more comfortable throwing myself in for the long haul.

3. Someone will hand you a project and say, “Make decisions!” Enjoy it.

a. The more comfortable I became with being in charge of something, the more I engaged with the manuscript and sought out what would be best for it. My favorite instance of this was being told to decide where pictures would appear in a nonfiction manuscript. Imagining myself as the reader, and figuring out where I would want to see certain images, allowed me to positively contribute to someone else’s reading experience.

4. This is more of a creative job than you realize.

a. One of my biggest pet peeves is reading the back of a book, falling in love with the idea, and then having the actual book diverge significantly from that baseline description. Being given the opportunity to write back cover copy was vindication for all those misleading summaries, and it allowed me to use my writing skills to more accurately represent someone else’s work.

5. Relax with projects.

a. This is actually my second internship, and now that I’m wrapping up, I am finally at a place where I’m ready to tell myself that it’s okay to relax. After balancing assignments and classes and work shifts throughout college, being handed a manuscript and told to do a developmental edit on it was overwhelming simply because that was my main task. I had a hard time slowing down and simply letting myself enjoy the process.

I really loved my time with Wise Ink, and I am so thankful for what their projects and encouragement taught me about enjoying the awesome jobs we get to do.

Thank you, Hanna and Maggie! We are wishing them all the best as they move forward in their own writing and publishing journeys!