The English Publishing Internship offers students seeking careers in the publishing industry a unique view into the field. Housed in the Department of English, the undergraduate internship experience is overseen by New York City based professional literary agent and UB alumna, Monika Woods ’07.
In addition to working as a literary agent, Monika Woods is a writer, co-founder of Triangle House. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, and Catapult. Over her decade-long career in the publishing industry, she has worked with the leading voices in contemporary literature, and her clients range from political journalists to literary novelists.
Students who participate in the internship have the opportunity to develop fundamental skills in the field; composing memos, evaluating manuscripts, corresponding with authors and beyond. In addition, interns receive funding to travel to New York City for a nearly a week during the internship, where they establish valuable contacts through face-to-face meetings with agents, editors, publicists and authors.
Q: What motivated you to start the UB English Publishing Internship program in 2018?
MW: After graduating, I always thought about the type of internship opportunities I would have liked to have experienced when I was a student. Students need experience to put on their resume, to learn a trade or a skill and get insight on what’s possible with an English degree. So, I wanted to create a way for students to get the professional development opportunities they need, and to find a way to hook it into their education through a for-credit opportunity. If I could go back in time and create an ideal internship for myself, this would be it.
Q: What can students expect when they travel to New York City for the internship?
MW: When the students visit New York City, I take them all around. We’ll grab coffee with a marketing director of a small press, talk to a children’s editor for a roundtable and have lunch with literary agents for a mingle/mixer. I don’t expect everyone to become agents like I am, so I make it an open experience for the students to explore different aspects of the industry.
Q: What do you feel the student interns gain from the program?
MW: Not only do the students learn about what the work is going to be like, but they meet people in the field as well. The students who have completed my internship are now connected to and have emails for at least 10 different contacts in the industry they can reach out to once they graduate.
Q: Why should students participate in experiential learning opportunities?
MW: It is one of the most valuable things you can do for your education. Having graduated from a big college and then being out on the job market myself, I know how important it is to have work experience. It is so helpful to have knowledge in a bunch of different fields to see first-hand what the day-to-day is going to be like, and learn if it is a fit for you. I really wish I could have taken advantage of opportunities like this when I was an undergraduate student.
“I learned what it's like to work as an agent and editor. I also sharpened my writing and editing skills through reading client manuscripts and queries. I was able to make connections with potential employers and observe first-hand the way a book is made and the role that each department plays in the process.”
“I found this work directly applicable to the day-to-day life of an agent. The experience made me more aware than ever of what skills are needed to both survive and thrive in the industry.”
“This internship really shaped my future career path. I knew I wanted to work with authors and their books, but I never would have learned about the actual process without it.”
Contact David Alff, Director of Undergraduate Studies for more information.
*Interested students must apply to the English Publishing Internship to be considered. Students apply via essay contest and skype interviews during the spring semester. Three students are selected each year to participate. The internship is an independent study in the summer and upon passing completion, earns 3 credit hours.