Intern Guest Blog featuring Eugenie Brignac

Find out what it's like to work as an intern at UPM! Former intern, Eugenie Brignac, takes over the blog to discuss her experience at UPM. To apply, send a resume and cover letter to Emily Bandy ( The deadline to apply for both the McRae Internship and editorial internships is Monday July, 10.

I remember in high school wondering how books were made and thinking it was a relatively simple process (boy was I wrong). So when I decided I wanted to major in English, I thought I wanted to be a teacher, and since we have teachers in my family, it was a logical assumption; however, I quickly realized teaching was not for me.

I always enjoyed English classes throughout my years in school. This is when I decided that English was my calling. So if I wasn’t about to teach, what else could I do with my degree? In talking to Jordan Nettles (UPM’s Marketing Assistant Extraordinaire), she told me she was looking into a career in publishing. I thought that I liked books and I would love to see how they were made, so I looked into a career in publishing—thanks, Jordan!

After talking to one of my professors about future plans, I told her that I wanted to edit and publish books; she told me she had the perfect opportunity for me. She forwarded me a flyer for the Internships at UPM and next thing I knew, I had met some of the editorial staff when they came for a visit at Southern Miss and then I applied for and received the McRae Publishing Internship.  

When I first thought about publishing, I probably had the same idea as many other people about publishing: that when you submit a manuscript, the publishing company reads and edits it and then it will eventually be published. This job has definitely removed the rose coloring from my glasses. It is hard work, yet so rewarding.    

One of my favorite parts is that there is always something new to do. Some days I would be contacting readers for manuscripts, reading indexes, and preparing contracts for readers and authors. Other days I would be preparing materials for launch meetings and board meetings. I really enjoyed working in almost every part of the acquisitions process, like when I was able to talking to prospective authors and readers, working with contracted authors, reading manuscripts, writing descriptions, documents, and letters. I enjoyed being able to read through a manuscript and give some feedback on it.

Another lesson I learned from working here is how to deal with mistakes. As an intern, there was room to mess up since you are still learning. Since some of the editors I worked with were McRae Interns themselves, they know what to expect from this position and I felt pressure to try to live up to them, but they allowed my mistakes to let me grow.

I am lucky for the opportunity this has presented me. At the end of my internship when I walked into job interviews, the companies I interviewed with were able to hear about all of the knowledge I have gained, and they were very impressed. In fact, this summer I accepted a position as Assistant Editor at Pelican Publishing.