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Fordham University Press Internship

Interview with Gage Desser

FUP english internship

Gage in conversation with Richard Morrison, Editorial Director of FUP

1. Could you describe your current position as an intern? What are some of your responsibilities?

Interning at FUP has allowed me to assist primarily in Editorial and Acquisitions, and occasionally in Marketing. My responsibilities at the press tend to vary depending on the department which I am assisting. A typical day would involve light manuscript editing, soliciting peer reviews, and maintaining a clear line of communication between authors and the editors that I work under. 

2. What are some skills you’ve learned? How might you describe your experience?

My time at the Press has been the most rewarding experience thus far at Fordham. It has allowed me to develop multiple skills, such as securing art permission, the handling of rejection letters, writing catalog copy, and promoting the sales of books through blog writing.

3. In what ways has your internship affected your understanding of publishing? Has your internship influenced your plans for the future?

I would say that it has provided me with an idea of just how much work needs to be done to get an academic text published. FUP books must go through a peer review process, which involves an author having their work reviewed by scholars in their field prior to publication. I had the intention of pursuing a profession in publishing prior to entering my degree program at Fordham, and my time at FUP has only further strengthened that resolve.

4. What has been your favorite aspect of interning?

I certainly enjoyed doing academic work in a non-classroom setting. Additionally, seeing the amount of effort required for the publication of a text on both ends is a humbling experience for somebody who has only ever received a book in its completed form. Having had the opportunity to look at what is involved in the production of a book is truly eye-opening. 

5. What advice might you have for other Masters students who are considering interning?

I would strongly encourage my fellow students considering the internship to take advantage of this unique opportunity that Fordham is offering. If your plan is a career outside of academia, then intern experience is always beneficial. If your plan is to go the PhD route, an internship at a university press can provide an intimate look at scholarship prior to its publication. As students, we only see scholarship in its final stages, but the peer review process at FUP allows an intern to see discourse between scholars and how scholarship changes as a result of that discourse. For the students who one day see themselves becoming professors and creating their own work, an inside look into that process is an invaluable opportunity.