An Internship Like No Other: Perseverance and Publishing at PRH

The Penguin Random House Internship program is returning to an in-person internship at their Broadway offices in New York City starting summer 2022. Sigma Tau Delta Priority Candidate applications for the summer internships will be accepted through March 14.

When I initially applied for the Summer 2020 Sigma Tau Delta Internship with Penguin Random House, I had no idea how much the world would change in the ensuing months. Shortly after completing my second of two interviews, Kent State, the university I attended, sent its students home due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, first for a month and then for the rest of the semester, my last as an undergraduate student. I received the news that I was selected as the internship recipient and would serve as the editorial intern for Clarkson Potter, but it would be delayed until summer 2021.

Even almost a year and a half later, it is unfortunately impossible to write about my internship experience without mentioning the impact of COVID-19. With the help of family connections, I moved to New York City before the internship started, despite the fact that the ten-week program was fully remote. It was bittersweet to meet my fellow interns at virtual events knowing that we could not be in the same room, but I appreciated Penguin Random House‘s efforts not only to keep us safe but also to keep us involved and give us the fullest internship experience possible, despite the complicated circumstances.

I owe so much of the positivity of my experience to the team of helpful and creative people I worked alongside for those ten weeks. Clarkson Potter is the only dedicated lifestyle imprint within Penguin Random House, but while it publishes a number of household names—among them Ina Garten, Bobby Flay, and Martha Stewart—it also felt like a hidden gem, an unsung hero of the publishing world. I learned that the process of editing and publishing a cookbook is just as rigorous as publishing any novel or work of serious nonfiction, and possibly even more so, because of the necessary extra parts, such as required recipe testing, standardization of measurements, and photo shoots. Cookbooks are an extremely visual medium, which makes them creative in ways I didn’t expect.

The internship confirmed my intent to pursue a career in publishing and my passion for editorial work more specifically, but it also broadened my horizons to the wide range of publishing opportunities available. I never would have specifically asked to work with cookbooks and gift books, but I’m glad for the unique insight I received into how they are made and the dedication that goes into them. I know now that my passion for publishing is adaptable and can apply to a wide range of subjects. The journals that Clarkson Potter publishes have undoubtedly had a positive impact on many people’s lives, helping them to set and achieve goals and practice mindfulness among other uses. Cookbooks and games also provide opportunities for connection and togetherness, something I can appreciate even more now in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was grateful to work in a such a welcoming environment, where my colleagues were always happy to answer my questions and involve me in their projects.

The funding I received from Sigma Tau Delta allowed me a degree of much-appreciated stability as I adjusted to my new life in New York City and became acclimated to the responsibilities of the internship. I would encourage interested and eligible Sigma Tau Deltans to apply for this internship. Not only will the experience I gained as a Penguin Random House intern positively impact my ability to handle whatever I encounter at the next stage in my career, the connections I made and advice I received will stick with me for years to come.

Nina Palattella
Penguin Random House Internship Recipient, Summer 2021
Alpha Psi Omicron Chapter
Kent State University, OH


Penguin Random House Internships

Paid internship opportunities are available from Penguin Random House to provide interested undergraduate and graduate student members of Sigma Tau Delta with experience in the publishing industry.

Summer 2022

Application due dates:

  • Application to Sigma Tau Delta for priority consideration: March 14, 2022
  • Full application to Penguin Random House: April 1, 2022

With focuses on Editorial, Marketing, Publicity, Sales, and Finance/IT, this internship program offers candidates the opportunity to work in the Penguin Random House Adult & Children’s divisions, attend weekly professional development programming, and learn about the world of publishing. This program is intended to provide opportunities for racially/ethnically underrepresented groups in the publishing industry. Active chapter members interested in learning about the world of marketing in book publishing are encouraged to apply. No prior publishing experience is required.

During this summer 10 week program, the intern will work 28 hours per week at a pay rate of $20/hr. Opportunities are available in Penguin Random House’s Broadway offices in New York City and will run between June 13, 2022 – August 19, 2022. Active, eligible student members of Sigma Tau Delta who are chosen by Penguin Random House for the internship program will receive an additional $1,500 stipend from Sigma Tau Delta. Active members include undergraduate and graduate students, and students who graduate in spring 2022.

Past Penguin Internship Recipient Blogs

Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together: My PRH Internship
The One Where I Remotely Interned at Penguin Random House
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome to Apply for a PRH Internship
Saying ‘Why Not’ to a Career at Penguin Random House
Publishing in the Time of Covid: My Virtual Internship at PRH
Not So Random Memories from My PRH Internship
Making Protagonist Choices: My Internship at PRH
Perfect is Penguin: My Internship at Penguin Random House
My 140 Hours Interning at PRH’s Razorbill
How an Internship Shaped my Career
Spending Summer in an Igloo: My Editorial Internship with Penguin Random House
Interning at Penguin: Life of a Book Nerd
The Halfway Point: Penguin Group (USA) Summer Internship

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