Fáilte! My name is Sophie Schmidt, and I’m a current senior studying Professional Writing with a minor in Asian Pacific American Studies. With the help of my Citizen Scholars funding, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland this past summer.
What differentiates my study abroad from many others is that I was actually an intern while in Dublin. I had known that I wanted to study abroad going into my freshman year here at Michigan State, so when I had my first meeting with my advisor at orientation that was something I brought up. My advisor recommended the internships in Dublin program, so I had set my sights on it from the very beginning. I received my placing and program from the Office of Education Abroad. While I did formal interviews, my internship was more or less chosen for me, and it was a perfect fit.
I spent my summer as an editorial intern at New Island Books and Brookside Publishing Services, which is located about 30 minutes out of the city center by bus. New Island Books is an independent publisher supported largely by the Arts Council, and Brookside is a company that does marketing for publishers. At New Island, I worked closely with the commissioning editor, the person who determines which books are pursued for publication. A large part of my internship was reading manuscript submissions sent to New Island and writing reader reports for the commissioning editor. I would usually read the first three to six chapters of a manuscript and then write up my thoughts in a report that my commissioning editor would use for her decisions on pursuing certain titles. I also did a few typical intern-y things like running to get pastries and getting books to the post.
Something I’m particularly proud of are the two novels I did production checks on, Farewell Happy Fields by Norah Hoult and The Best of Benedict Kiely. Production checks are the final passes through the novel before it goes to print to look for small typesetting errors and to make any last-minute changes. Through this I was able to learn even more about publishing on the back-end, and I got my hands on every single page of these books!
I worked four days a week from around 9 to 5, and my office was close enough for me to walk to and from my flat, which saved me 20 Euro a week on bus fare. With all the money I was able to save on transportation, I had the privilege of travelling to other places in Europe! I travelled to London twice, once with friends from the program, and the second time with my high school best friend to visit another best friend who was studying in London at the time. I also got to go to Italy with a friend (we were in the toe area), and my favorite side trip was definitely to Paris with my best friend.
Of course, I didn’t spend my whole time in Ireland outside of Ireland! I visited Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, and Galway, to name a few. Getting there was the hard part, but once I was in Ireland, it was so much fun!
Now that I’m back Stateside, I’m in my third and final year to finish a degree in Professional Writing. After graduation, I hope to work first as an editorial assistant at a publishing house and work my way up to senior editor.