Career Options Broadened through Internship

Allie Campbell

Allie Campbell, RWU Class of 2019

Major:  Creative Writing
Minor:  Marketing

Like many creative writing majors, Allie Campbell envisioned herself working with authors, reading and editing their manuscripts at a publishing firm. However, after interning in the marketing department at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publishing firm that produced books like The Giver and The Hobbit, her options began expanding. This hands-on experience allowed her to see how skills from the creative writing major and marketing minor can combine and broaden the possibilities of a future career in publishing. 

As the marketing and publicity intern Campbell worked alongside Houghton’s marketing team to sell and promote newly published books by sifting through manuscripts, mailing books to eager readers and compiling newsletters with information on new releases. In addition, she attended weekly team meetings to discuss upcoming projects and books and how the team could best promote them.

“Knowing where books come from and seeing the whole process was really neat,” Campbell said. “And I never knew all the different departments that went into a publishing company. Knowing them now and seeing how they all work together has been really helpful for my own career.” 

In recent years, a new marketing trend has revolved around implementing storytelling and captivating writing to engage the audience — an easy feat for a creative writing major. Therefore, with her interdisciplinary work at RWU, Campbell is able to find a career path she loves that uses both fields of study.

Campbell largely credits marketing professor Kathleen Micken and her qualitative analysis class project for enabling her to dive deeper into this field. Campbell, along with one of her classmates, partnered with the town of Bristol to inquire about what the residents would like to see for a revamp of the downtown area. Through this project, Campbell not only used her creative writing skills to come up with potential solutions, but stepped out of her comfort zone to market to the public and present her findings to town officials. 

“It’s surprised me how much I’ve come out of my shell. I was quite shy in high school, but it’s been nice to not be afraid of speaking up or talking to new people,” Campbell said. “If I hadn’t had any experience in public speaking I wouldn’t have wanted to contribute in the weekly meetings this summer. But I did, which really pleased my boss.”

While publishing can be a difficult field for recent graduates to get into, Campbell believes having this internship with a company like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will set her apart after graduation. And while she still pictures herself working in the publishing world, she says this internship opened her eyes to the broader range of careers within the industry.