A Virtual Welcoming to the Writing Industry

A week ago, I had a Zoom call with my boss, literary agent Andrea Somberg, so that we could finally meet each other face-to-face— or as close to it as possible. During the call, I asked her questions about the writing industry, such as the best ways to network and seek education, how she became a literary agent and her daily tasks as one, and more. She gave me the opportunity to develop a realistic idea of what it would be like for me to be in publishing as a career.

The World of Work has differed from academic life in university by requiring me to seek out more specific career goals and as a result develop specialized tasks and workloads, whereas the university has prepared me to have skills and knowledge applicable to a greater variety of academic and career options. Skills I am building as a result of this internship, for instance, include a greater ability to judge and select quality writing, not just based on technical skill, but also on subject matter and agent/industry interest. Learning to understand the role I play between writers and readers has been key to my on-the-job education and development.

Andrea Somberg’s literary agent profile on the Harvey Klinger website

The Zoom call with Andrea also allowed me to add a more human aspect to my job, and put a face and voice to a name, so that the work I do feels more personable as I continue to intern virtually this summer.

Working virtually this summer has brought with it the common conveniences of remote working, such as avoiding commutes, more flexible worktimes, creating my own relaxing work environment, and the ability to travel without missing out on my responsibilities. Of course, it also removes the everyday social interaction in the workplace that not only makes networking easier, but also adds an element of excitement to the work routine.

As the internship continues, however, I am looking forward to making the best of the virtual arrangements, and continuing to develop my skills as a literary agent intern as well as networking connections with my boss, and possibly present and future coworkers.

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