Victoria Dominesey is an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, pursuing a double major in English and Film, Television, and Theatre. In this piece she discusses her early days as a marketing and sales intern at Notre Dame Press, including the excitement and trepidation she felt taking on social media campaigns, blog posts, creating book trailers, and designing author event posters. She is considering a career in publishing, something she would not have even thought of had it not been for her internship.
The beginning of a new year signifies an abundance of things. As a college student, the start of 2022 meant, for me, a fresh selection of classes, a host of extracurriculars that I was eager to try out, and my highly anticipated marketing and sales internship at the University of Notre Dame Press.
Like most things in my life up until that point, I was both excited and doubtful: excited for the opportunity that lay ahead of me and doubtful that I was prepared to succeed at it. As an English major there was absolutely no uncertainty that I love the written word, but what on Earth did I know about the process that brought a computer document to hardcover treasures in the hands of many? Further, what compelled me to believe I knew anything about marketing or sales? These were two realms of the publishing world that I had never explored at any capacity beyond surface-level conversations with my peers studying business.
Needless to say, my five-minute walk from the entrance of Flaherty Hall to Flanner for my first day at the Press was slightly anxiety-ridden. However, I would learn rather quickly that the thoughts making it so were, well, mostly futile.
One of my first assignments as an intern was to create social media posts advertising book events for a poet whose collection would be published later that Spring. I remember feeling a twinge of excitement as well as pressure when I realized the said collection was set to be studied in my Latinx Literature course a few months down the road. Knowing this, I wanted to make the most impressive posts possible, so I took a gamble by creating graphics that were more than a little different from the example I was given and suggested to copy.
To my surprise, it worked out!
Throughout the next six months, I was given a range of projects, and many of which were geared towards the creative skills I showcased with that initial assignment. To name a few, I aided in producing a number of social media campaigns, wrote blog posts, and created book trailers and event posters.
My time at the Press has provided a medium to utilize my creative energy in ways I never had, and it also introduced and taught me to do such things as collect and input metadata, pitch authors to podcast producers, and research serviceable contacts for effective outreach.
The most rewarding undertaking I had was my capstone project: a campaign for Mental Health Awareness Month. When I pitched this idea, I learned that it was something that had yet to be done at the Press, making it all the more important for me. Destigmatizing mental illnesses is a primary motivation for my work as a writer and filmmaker, so I could not pass up the chance to bring light to this social issue with the platform Notre Dame Press has. After a little digging, I was able to find a collection of published works dealing with mental illnesses that I could write a blog post and design a social media campaign for.
For any student considering an internship at the Press, I have two words: do it!
This job has opened my eyes to the notion that certain interests and skills of mine are assets in a professional setting, too. Going forward, I will no longer be apprehensive to take risks and try things I do not think I am “qualified” for. My time at Notre Dame Press has inspired me to seriously consider a profession in publishing as well as take on my second marketing internship while I am studying in London—something I would have never even considered applying for had it not been for this position.
As my first internship as a college student, Notre Dame Press has provided me with my primary real taste of the professional world, and I couldn’t be happier.