Saying ‘Why Not’ to a Career at Penguin Random House

Former Eastern Region Student Representative and alumna of The College of New Jersey’s Alpha Epsilon Alpha Chapter Kristen Capano discusses her experiences making the jump from Penguin Random House intern to employee and the importance of silencing your inner doubts to instead listen to that whispered why not. To learn more about her internship with PRH, read her blog “Perfect is Penguin: My Internship at Penguin Random House.” And make sure to check out the fall 2020 PRH Internship recipient’s blog for a look at what a virtual internship with Penguin looks like: “Publishing in the Time of Covid: My Virtual Internship at PRH.” The deadline for the Spring PRH Virtual Marketing Internship is fast approaching. Keep reading below Kristen’s blog for more information.

No one is a stranger to antagonizing self-doubt, especially when it comes to pursuing a passion. Everyone has asked themselves a varying form of the questions, “Why did I say that?” or “Why didn’t I mention this?” after a significant event or interview. After all, it’s in our nature as curious creatures to question the things we do and why we do them. But one thing the last year has taught humanity is that, while reflection is important to perform and understand, life is too short to waste on the whys. Instead of inflating our insecurities with asking the dreaded why, we really should be contemplating its opposing argument—why not?

Reflecting on my experience as a Sigma Tau Delta alumna and current marketer for Penguin Random House, I can’t help but be grateful for the opportunities my why nots have afforded me. I credit them for so many of the risks I took to get to where I am today, including attending my first Sigma Tau Delta meeting as a freshman on my college campus. I remember asking myself on the walk over, “Why am I even going? Why did I think I could do this?” Despite the negative self-talk clouding my thoughts, there was that single whisper in the back of my head that seemed to silence the rest; “Why not try it out?” she asked, “Why not see what doors this could open for you?” That meeting quickly became one of the defining moments of my academic and professional career. Needless to say, the whisper was right.

Left to right: Promoting Generation Friends at the Friends Pop-Up in NYC; working BookCon at the Javits Center in NYC; and the 50th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar in our NYC office.

Still, the whys tried to haunt me. Years later, as I sat down to fill out my application for the Penguin Random House Internship through Sigma Tau Delta, I found myself questioning why I was putting so much effort into such an advanced opportunity I never thought I would receive. “Why am I doing this? Why would they pick me over all the other candidates?” This time, however, I knew to pay closer attention to the quiet whisper that asked, “Why not just apply? Why not stand up for yourself and your success?” Considering the why nots of these situations helped me to acknowledge that the benefits outweighed the risks, and that if I wanted to fight for my future, I needed to start asking myself the right questions. Sigma Tau Delta played an essential role in offering me the opportunities that lead me to this conclusion.

Today, I could not be prouder to work for Penguin Random House and support the voices that are shaping our future. The experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met, and the books I’ve read have undoubtedly contributed to a better, more confident me. But I know things would look a lot different if I had listened to those whys and refused to step out of my comfort zone. As someone who graduated with an English Literature degree, I never thought I would be working a job in marketing. But that was my why talking. I can only dare to think of what we could all accomplish if we set our minds to the why nots of every situation. Then again, why not dare to dream?

KCapano-headKristen Capano
Alpha Epsilon Alpha Chapter Alumna
The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ


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.

Spring 2021

Applications due: January 18, 2021

With a full focus on marketing, 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 and December 2020 graduates interested in learning about the world of marketing in book publishing are encouraged to apply. No prior publishing experience is required.

Similar to the Fall 2020 program, this program will be 100% remote and will run between March 22 – May 14, 2021.

During this eight week program, Spring interns will work 14 hours per week at a pay rate of $20/hr. Intern schedules will be flexible to account for candidates who may be located in a variety of time zones. An active student member of Sigma Tau Delta who applies through the process delineated below will receive an additional $350 stipend. Active members include undergraduate and graduate students, and students who graduated during the month of December 2020.

The Penguin Random House application deadline is January 18, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST.


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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