Alicia Hughes is an Assistant Web Editor at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
What are your job responsibilities?
You wouldn’t initially think a health department has an editorial team but we have a devoted editorial and press department full of wonderful people. My primary responsibilities are editing and coding in content that goes on our website. This includes scouring our site to find pages that need to be improved and taking the first stab at restructuring/editing them before talking with the health experts on that topic.
How did the classes you took during your time in the program prepare you to work in the industry?
I found internship I/II with Professor Romanello to be very helpful as it allowed me to talk with others about what we were learning and how we could build on that knowledge. Marketing with Professor McIntyre was also one of my most useful classes as it helped me think about how I can best pitch our information to the general public so that they pay attention to it.
What were some of the highlights during your graduate experience?
I had the chance to go to China in 2019 for the Beijing International Book Fair which was a huge learning opportunity to see how different book fairs run in other countries. I would also say the people I met in the program were one of my favorite highlights. We all have such different skillsets and experiences that we ended up learning from each other.
Did you have an internship? If so, what was it and how did it prepare you for your current position?
Yes, I was both a graduate assistant at the Pace Press as well as an intern at my current job before getting hired.
What advice do you have for current students in the program?
Don’t be afraid to explore non-traditional publishing paths! Try out that university press, magazine or unusual editing position you’ve been thinking about. I applied for my internship on a whim and ended up loving it.
Where do you hope to be in five to ten years?
I hope to move to a senior web editor position at the NYC Health Department and eventually move on to working at the NYS Health Department. Although, I wouldn’t be opposed to trying out a health and wellness publisher.
What are your favorite aspects of the publishing industry?
I love the impact that publishing can make on people. At the health department, the information we publish goes out into the world with the intent to make it a better place for us all. Publishing is more of a direct line to people than we often think it is.
What are you reading right now? Either for work or for pleasure.
I’m reading and thoroughly enjoying The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang right now.