By Vanessa Pesa
My learnings from my internship experience with Janice Beetle really fall into two life categories: Professional and personal. I’ll start with the former.
Janice is a bright businesswoman who has been honing her craft for many years. She has provided a foundational skill set that I can carry with me wherever I go. Aside from the blog writing and social media management I oversaw, which were extremely valuable experiences, I was also able to interview many local authors.
Beginning these relationships and being able to hear and tell the stories of so many gifted writers provided a more subtle learning as well as a network I can draw on to pursue career potentials. I expect I may reach out to some of the folks I met, all of them established individuals in the creative genre in the Pioneer Valley, and I may ask for tip and guidance.
I am not originally from the Pioneer Valley, so to be able to go out into the community and meet these wonderful people was a truly rewarding experience.
The remainder of my learning was more personal, and more gut-centered, than academic.
From the start, Janice and I discussed our meeting was fated; we wondered if some higher power had brought us together at just the right time; I still believe this to be the case.
Janice and I have put in a great deal of work on her fiction manuscript, Unleashing the Sun, and being involved in this creative project was most valuable in advancing my career goals overall. I hope to enter into the publishing industry in the editing field, so to be given the incredible opportunity to be the first set of eyes and hands on this piece of fiction is beyond my existing vocabulary.
I was granted the ability to also research and craft query letters, a synopsis of the book, and to research agents accepting queries in Janice’s chosen genre. The project did not come full circle in this semester. The manuscript is not yet complete, and four of the eight queries we sent were met with a “Thanks but no thanks” type of response.
But it was very educational to stand beside Janice every step of the way during the submissions process. I have no doubt in my mind that she will complete her work on the book because I believe in the quality and integrity of her writing, and I know she will update me on the process because she knows how much it means to me. She has told me when she gets back at it, I will again stand beside her, and I will be compensated for my work. Janice values my thoughts and opinions and treats me like an equal, a colleague.
And that takes me back to our fates.
Yes, working on the manuscript is partly how we were fated to find our way into each others’ lives. Yet, I also look to Janice as a mentor, someone who will guide me when I am struggling with life, when I’m feeling a bit lost, and she has demonstrated she will always be there for me.
Janice has been so much more than an internship supervisor; she has taught me how to be independent, how to stand up for myself but not be angry with myself when I can’t. She has been a support system in so many ways when I needed it the most. Janice has been a friend.
What is my biggest take away from my internship experience? A wealth of knowledge and an amazing friend.