Invasion of the Interns

guide-internships

 

Finding a job isn’t what it used to be. No longer can a college graduate walk from the steps of their convocation, cap and gown still freshly pressed, and march confidently into the office of his or her future employer, ready to begin the next forty years of their working life. Now, companies demand that their new hires have some form of practical experience– the kind that isn’t found in a stuffy classroom or a barely used textbook. So what’s a young, hungry person to do? Where does one go when the words on their just-printed diploma fail to compete with invaluable, hands-on experience?

Cue: Internships. The bridge that safely guides one from the soft banks of the college campus to the seemingly distant mountain, surrounded by ominous storm clouds and squawking birds of prey, and labeled in bold, block lettering, “CAREER.” An internship is meant to callous the hands and feet of a fresh newcomer, and ready their mind and body for the harrowing climb ahead. This process isn’t always gentle, but it’s not meant to be; an internship is like a stern, but loving slap on the back from a tough uncle at Thanksgiving. It’s like the pain one’s fingers feel from playing guitar for an entire afternoon, or running an absurd distance in some color chalk splash paint midnight glow mudder marathon — it’s going to ache a little, but in the most rewarding way.

All this to say that Zoozil has had the privilege of getting to know many interns over the course of our company’s history. They’ve come to us with passion and drive, ready to change the world one book at a time, and we’ve done everything in our power to equip them with the skills, connections, and resources to do so. Not only have our interns played integral roles in furthering Zoozil’s success, but they’ve also become part of our tight-knit family of book nerds and history junkies. As the summer comes to a close, and our interns move on to wrestle with the fate of their futures, our wish is that their callouses feel good and ready to take on whatever comes their way, whether it be school, work, travel, or simply finding joy in the everyday. But before we say farewell for now, we’d like to take a moment and share with you a bit about them and their experiences, as well as formerly thank them for all of their hard work and commitment. Dotty, Meredith, and Taylor — you guys rock.

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Meet Dotty. She’s an ambitious graphic design student striving to combine odd and innovative ideas with design and narrative. When asked about her interest in books, she says, “I’m a huge book worm and spend more than $100 a month on books. I know, I know, I have a problem. But I love the emotions that stories can stir and aim to bring that moving force to my own work.” An adventurous spirit, Dotty loves to travel, meet new people, read, participate in outdoor sports, and anything else that allows her to remain in awe of how exciting the world is.

What was your favorite part about working for Zoozil?

Meeting the team! The Zoozil family is fantastic and they are each lovely people. Our group messaging is the funniest.

What was your dream job when you were a child?

I had 100 dream jobs, including: a cowgirl, an indian, a knight, and a pirate. But eventually I turned practical and decided I wanted to be a painter and live in Paris….

What was your favorite book when you were a child and what is your favorite book now?

His Dark Materials (the Northern Lights Trilogy) by Phillip Pullman. And now, I still adore that trilogy! But my new favorite is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

What is your favorite hobby/pastime?

I love love love playing tennis and rock climbing, but my absolute favorite hobby is to draw. I do a lot of urban drawing.

Where do you go if you need some inspiration or source of creativity?

I like to get up crazy early in the morning, make a cup of tea, and watch the sunrise. That, or I like to sit on the loo! Honestly, that’s where I have my best ideas!

What’s your favorite joke?

I’m dyslexic, so I love to say “I put the Sexy in Dyslexia”. I find it far too funny and I get a lot of awkward nods.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m not too sure. I’m a dual citizen so I could go back home to England or I could stay here. I love Richmond, so after I graduate it’s likely that I’ll stick around for a little while. But travel is definitely on the books. Either way, I know I want to tell stories for a career. In what media, I’m not sure yet. I like to learn as much as possible but then let the chips fall where they may.

What is one thing you’ve learned from working with Zoozil that might help you achieve your future goals?

That having a great team inspires great things.

And finally, who has the best dance moves at Zoozil?

Probably Joe himself. He pulled out some pretty great moves at our team event!

**

This is Meredith. She is an English major at VCU, and enjoys researching, literary analysis, and studying the craft of storytelling. Aside from her interests in writing and publishing, Meredith spends her free time investing in extracurricular activities in the arts, whether in theater, dance, or photography.

What initially attracted you to Zoozil/what made you want to intern for Zoozil?

I wanted to get experience in a field that relates to my major (English), and publishing seemed like a great fit. After a bit of searching, I found Zoozil on an internship website and decided to reach out to them.

What was your favorite part about working for Zoozil?

I loved interacting with authors and working in the book production process from the initial phases of recruitment. It’s exciting to see how authors progress from the writing sample phase all the way to the publishing phase.

What would you like to say to the future interns?

Don’t hesitate to ask questions. An internship is an amazing opportunity to learn and get a feel for an industry that interests you. Don’t worry about being all shiny and impressive and getting everything right. Instead, try to focus on learning through thoughtful inquisitiveness and opportunity seeking.

What was your favorite book when you were a child and what is your favorite book now?

My favorite book as a child was called The Dark Hills Divide, a part of the Land of Elyon series. My favorite book now is any book in the Lord of the Rings series, though the Return of the King is definitely a stand out.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My mom’s macaroni and cheese. Yummm!

What’s your favorite joke?

“What did the buffalo say when his son left for school?” “Bison.”
Hehehe…

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to graduate with a BA in English this coming May, and would like to seek out a career that involves writing in some capacity, perhaps in publishing (for books or magazines).

What is one thing you’ve learned from working with Zoozil that might help you achieve your future goals?

Working with Zoozil has taught me the significance of networking and building a community in the industry. Connections within education have been particularly fruitful in bringing avid supporters of Zoozil. It’s exciting to see the community rally around such a great cause.

Who would you say has the best dance moves at Zoozil?

My answer would have to be TESS! Such a groovy bulldog.

**

And last but certainly not least, here’s Taylor, a recent college grad who just wants to travel the world, raise dogs, and read a lot of great books along the way. She likes to sing, eat Spanish food, and spend way too much money on shoes. One day, she figures, she’ll figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.

What initially attracted you to Zoozil/what made you want to intern for Zoozil?

I first heard about Zoozil through a friend of mine, who had worked with Joe and thought I would be good fit for the company. So I did a little research, applied, and here we are! I was so excited about Zoozil’s mission and I knew from the beginning that everyone in this company was passionate about what they did and that made me even more excited to get started.

What would you like to say to the future interns?

Just get as much out of this as you can! It’s so great working for a company that is constantly growing and getting better and better each day. There is so much to learn, so do your best to absorb everything you can. And don’t forget to enjoy yourself and have fun!

What was your dream job when you were a child?

A zookeeper! I’ve always loved animals and when I was younger, I really wanted to take care of zoo animals. The tigers have always been my favorite.

What was your favorite book when you were a child and what is your favorite book now?

My favorite book as a child was “Mandy” by Julie Andrews Edwards. It was a beautiful story about an orphan who found an abandoned house in the woods near her orphanage and she would spend her days cleaning the house and taking care of it. In the end, she was adopted by a really great family. As an adult, I’m way more into science fiction and fantasy. The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Inheritance series are two of my absolute favorite. I never get tired of them.

What is your favorite hobby/pastime?

I don’t know if going to concerts could be considered a hobby, but I thinks that’s mine. I think I’ve seen about 70 people/bands live in concert.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Watermelon. Or hummus.

What’s your favorite joke?

Tell someone that you’re going to tell a joke. Ask them to say “knock knock”. You respond with “who’s there” and then the other person doesn’t know who’s there. It might not sound that funny, but someone did this to me and I panicked for a few seconds when I realized I didn’t know the rest of the joke.

What is one thing you’ve learned from working with Zoozil that might help you achieve your future goals?

I’ve always believed this was true, but the saying “good communication is key” is especially true when working with Zoozil, because so much of our interactions, both with each other and with our authors, are over the computer and not face to face. I’ve learned that it’s always important to just talk to one another.

And who do you think has the best dance moves at Zoozil?

Definitely Tess!

**

Want to intern with Zoozil? We’d love to hear from you! If you have an interest in publishing, reading, teaching, writing, editing, social media, books, history, dance parties, or English Bulldogs, send your resume and a short introduction to info@zoozil.com.