Jordon’s dream of working in publishing is boosted by a prestigious and highly competitive internship at Penguin Random House

Thu 08/11/2022 – 14:55 | From: David Tisdale

A distinguished graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) English program is gaining invaluable experience for her chosen career through a highly competitive internship at one of the most celebrated publishing houses in the world. world.

Abigail Jordon, who graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in Spring 2022, has been selected for the Penguin Random House (PRH) internship program sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, which offers candidates the opportunity to work in its Adult & Children’s divisions, attend weekly professional development programs and learn about the world of publishing. The Paid Internship is a highly competitive 10-week program at Penguin Random House headquarters in New York City and provides opportunities for racially/ethnically underrepresented groups in the publishing industry. Jordon is a Guyanese American and a first-generation U.S. citizen.

At USM, Jordon served as vice-president of his chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, England’s international honor society. Last summer, she participated in the Rutgers English Diversity Institute, a program that selectively attracts some of the best students from across the country to participate in a series of lectures, workshops and cultural activities. After being accepted into several prestigious graduate programs, Jordon chose the New York University Center for Publishing graduate program, where she will enroll in fall 2022 and study content development. multimedia, which includes creating and publishing engaging and immersive content across multiple media platforms.

“I know if I want to get into publishing, it’s about doing an internship, making connections, and getting my foot in the door,” Jordon said. “Penguin Random House is one of the Big Five publishing houses in the country, and their internships are very competitive and selective. I never thought in a million years that I would have the opportunity to work with a publisher of this size right out of college.

Last summer, Jordon also interned at the University Press of Mississippi, the state’s academic publisher, and at Pelican Publishing, an imprint of Arcadia Publishing, which focused primarily on children’s books.

“I’ve known about this camp (Penguin Random House) since my freshman year when [USM English professor] dr. [Luis] Iglesias, thinking I was older than a freshman, asked me to join the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society,” Jordon said. “Asking him what I intended to do with my life, I told him that I wanted to get into publishing. He informed me that Sigma Tau Delta had sponsored an internship with Penguin Random House, and I decided on the spot that I would pursue this opportunity once I reached senior status to qualify. The circle was complete from being selected. I know 19-year-old Abigail would be stunned and freaked out.

The internship provides opportunities to learn about the world of book publishing, including in the Adult and Children divisions of PRH in business areas such as contracting, publishing, finance, design graphics, editorial management, marketing, online marketing, production, advertising, sales, subsidiary rights. , and operations. Interns are also exposed to the publishing process and activities through panels, networking events, and employee speaker series. Jordon works directly with the advertising department of PRH’s Young Readers Division.

“The Publicity Internship works directly with advertising professionals to generate exposure and ‘buzz’ for new books,” Jordon said. “Advertising professionals are the biggest defenders of titles to the media. Publicists feature newspapers, television, radio stations, websites, and bloggers in the hope that the press will review our titles and feature stories about upcoming books and authors. They also help create social media outreach, author tours, author signings, readings, and other events.

“I enjoyed learning the ins and outs and working directly with the publicity manager to help generate buzz and attention for their titles, and diversify my skill set while absorbing all the wonderful tips and new knowledge. ”

At the end of her internship, Jordon must submit an article as a member of Sigma Tau Delta for WORDYbyNature, the company’s official blog, in which she will share how the internship has contributed to her professional growth or to her field of study. ; its impact on his career plans; and the importance of funding for the internship experience.

Abigail is a stellar student who I have mentored since she was a freshman,” said Dr. Iglesias. “She is one of the best and brightest students I have had the honor of teaching in my 20 years of graduate school. His commitment to his education, service and scholarship is impressive and his many accomplishments testify to his high level of performance and dedication. It is no surprise that she has been accepted into several prestigious graduate programs across the country.

According to Dr. Iglesias, the selection process for the PRH Jordon Internship went through several stages of review: Sigma Tau Delta members, national and international, submit a detailed application along with a letter of sponsorship from their Chapter Advisor ( at USM, Dr. Iglesias plays this role), the organization selects and selects only four students from hundreds of applications, and then these four students are selected and interviewed by Penguin Random House for the final selection.

“This is one of the most competitive and selective internship programs sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta,” continued Dr. Iglesias, “and Abigail was selected. It’s impressive.”

Jordon’s career goal is to work with children’s and young adult titles as an acquisition and content editor. “I want to enter the world of publishing, a predominantly white, male industry, as a young woman of color to help champion representation for black and brown people and help increase diversity in general,” a- she declared. “I hope one day to work for a publisher whose goal is to amplify black and brown voices because representation is essential in the lives of children and young adults. I want to show that there is room for black women in this industry and that we deserve visibility.

Praising USM’s English faculty for its “phenomenal” undergraduate experience, Jordon said faculty like Dr. Iglesias, Dr. Joshua Bernstein, Dr. Olivia Clare, Dr. Jameela Lares, Dr. Sherita Johnson and Amy Carey, “to name a few” were instrumental in his development as an academic and professional.

“When I transferred to USM in the spring semester of my freshman year, I was worried, lost, and not even sure if I could even handle higher education,” Jordon explained. “I had no idea what my time in the English department at USM was going to do for me and how much the next four years would change my life. of my teachers who diligently helped me throughout my undergraduate years and pushed me to become the best.

The USM English program is housed at USM College of Arts and Sciences’ School of Humanities. Learn more about the program at https://www.usm.edu/humanities/index.php.