On my first day as an intern at Oak Knoll, I wasn’t so sure about working in a 200-year-old building for a company that published “Books about Books”—a slogan, however catchy, which seemed to indicate academic droning.
Through these three months of interning, my first impressions have proved wrong: the books are interesting and working in this beautiful building was one of my favorite parts of the job.
And as my time here draws to a close, I must conclude that my internship was definitely not boring; it was challenging, interesting, and even fun. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned through this experience. I’m leaving here with invaluable skills, more than I learned in any college class, about editing, proofreading, public relations, and the ins and outs of the publishing industry. Things that would have taken me hours before Oak Knoll, like writing and formatting a press release, I can now do with my eyes closed. Even updating a webpage doesn’t seem half as scary as it did before.
Through the valuable feedback from Laura, James, and Danielle, I also learned a great deal about my own strengths and weaknesses—something that will serve me well as I prepare to enter the real world.
There are many things I will miss about working here. The beautiful old building, the comfortable routine that I’ve established, my little desk, but most of all I’ll miss the people.
I want to thank the other Oak Knollers for everything they have done for me. Thank you for teaching me awesome tricks with InDesign, for giving me constructive feedback that helped me grow as an editor and writer, and for being so understanding when I made mistakes. But most of all I would like to thank you all for making me feel like a part of the Oak Knoll family. I will truly miss this special group of people.
It’s funny that people always think an English degree will get you nowhere in life. As an English major, I have always felt that my career options were overwhelmingly broad. As several of my professors have said, “Everyone needs someone who can write well.” Through my studies as an English major in the University of Delaware’s professional writing concentration, I have met writing professionals from many different fields—technical writing, editing, blogging, journalism— all of whom do very different things day-to-day.
One of the most appealing paths to me has always been publishing. In the media portrayals I’ve seen, a publisher is like a god, deciding which books live or die—and who wouldn’t want to be a god? Before I came to Oak Knoll, I also took a publishing class where I learned that there is a lot that goes into editing and publishing a book, magazine, or other publication.
Through my internship here, I hope to learn as much as possible about editing and publishing and to determine whether or not I am suited to a career in either of these fields. I also want to practice my skills in editing and proofreading as well as to enhance my knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop, and other programs.
So far, I’ve enjoyed applying my editing skills to Oak Knoll’s manuscripts and catalogues. It’s exciting to have the chance to work with material that’s going to be published into a real book that people will actually buy and read. It’s great to feel you have helped to create something so concrete.
Hopefully I prove myself useful to the kind folks here at Oak Knoll, who have given me this wonderful opportunity.
I can’t believe this semester has flown by so quickly. It feels like just yesterday that I was frantically looking up the directions from the University of Delaware to Oak Knoll for my interview, and now I have done that drive twice a week for about three months.
I have become used to my routine of coming to Oak Knoll on Mondays and Wednesdays and being greeted by Laura with a list of tasks. I have become used to Danielle approaching me with flyers to edit, to James leaving me a stack of books to photograph, and to everybody else who has given me advice and support.
What once seemed scary to me, like editing a picture in Photoshop or creating a flyer in InDesign, is now simple, easy, and fun. A long manuscript may still be daunting, but I can now approach it with confidence because I know that I am capable of completing the assignment. I have even completed the most frightening task of all: creating a page of a website. I’ve learned about Adobe Dreamweaver at UD and never felt comfortable with the coding. When I was asked to make a website for St. Paul’s Bibliographies, I was eager to use the skills I learned in class to accomplish a task on the job.
While learning the ins and outs of book publishing, I learned as much about myself as I did about Oak Knoll. I have always recognized my passion for writing, so working in editorial seemed like the obvious choice. However, after creating a flyer and completing some marketing research, I realized that I also enjoy the sales and marketing aspect. I will certainly not close the door on editorial, but I now realize that I have more than one door open for me.
I want to thank everybody at Oak Knoll who has made this internship valuable and fun by assisting me with my assignments, being friendly, and trusting me with tasks other than fetching coffee and filing papers. I am sad to leave Oak Knoll , but happy to have had this fulfilling experience. My ultimate goal is to work in book publishing at home in New York, and I will always credit Oak Knoll for starting my career.
A few weeks ago, University of Delaware student Julie Becker began her college internship here at Oak Knoll. She has written a blog post about her first experiences in the publishing world.
I have to admit, I was pretty nervous on my first drive to Oak Knoll. I’ve turned thousands of pages full of mystery, suspense, and horror, but that was all inside of a book. Now, everything I’m doing here is non-fiction; the characters are real people, my assignments affect the entire company, and I won’t find out the ending until December.
However, I am confident that my time here will be rewarding and enlightening. I’ve been spending my first week proofreading, and I’m getting more out of it than I expected. Yes, I’m improving my editing skills, but I’m also learning about new genres. I’ve read best sellers, assigned reading for class, romance and mystery novels, and a few in between, but I can’t say that I’ve read much about the Grolier Club. Actually, I knew nothing about the Grolier club until I proofread a catalogue about books on the topic. I look forward to learning about many more books before I leave this internship.
I’m eager to create my own catalogues full of books using InDesign. As a University of Delaware senior majoring in English Professional Writing, I’ve been learning about Adobe programs in my classes, but have yet to put my knowledge to practical use. Oak Knoll will allow me to do so while also providing me with physical evidence of my work.
Oak Knoll has already shown me a glimpse of the professional world, and more specifically the publishing world, and I am already enjoying it all. I look forward to proving myself as a valuable asset and learning about book publishing.
I would like to thank everybody at Oak Knoll for this opportunity, and I look forward to all of the excitement that will follow over the coming months!
Hello everyone! As a senior English major at The University of Delaware, I am pleased to be sitting at my first internship desk and writing my first Biblio-Blog entry at Oak Knoll. I’ve only been traveling into Old New Castle for a week, and already I have been exposed to more of the book world than ever before.
Luckily for me, I came in at the most exciting time of the year—Oak Knoll Fest. I had never put much thought into how intricate the process of creating a book could be, but as I witnessed the creativity and the quality of materials used throughout the exhibit hall, I was blown away. I’m so used to reading my favorite stories, like “The Yellow Wallpaper,” in dull, chunky textbooks, and there it was in front of me, a unique and delicate copy of the book with beautiful pages of yellow wallpaper placed throughout. If only every story and its book could be so inspiring.
Although I was reluctant to place my favorite copy of “The Yellow Wallpaper” back onto the table and walk away, I will always look back to it when I think of how beautiful a book can be.
Like the artists and their books displayed at Oak Knoll Fest, I am sure Oak Knoll has a great deal of pleasant surprises and learning experiences in store for me, and I am sure that I will take in and come to love every single one.
I look forward to our time together, Oak Knoll family!