Skyler Van Valkenburgh is an Editorial Assistant at Wiley.
What are your job responsibilities?
As an editorial assistant at Wiley, I work mainly on Architecture and Education. But ask any EA what they do and the answer is “everything!” I coordinate cover and back copy, speak with authors and editors, mail out book copies, and collaborate with my editor on new signings. No two days are the same.
How did the classes you took during your time in the program prepare you to work in the industry?
The classes in the graduate program prepare you with the skills you need to enter the field. This includes both technical, real world skills as well as communication skills. Both are equally important.
What were some of the highlights during your graduate experience?
My biggest highlight of my graduate experience was honestly just being in the classroom. I was completely remote for my first semester, so I really enjoyed it when I could see other students in person and collaborate with them. I’m hoping that future students will be able to do the same.
Did you have an internship? If so, what was it and how did it prepare you for your current position?
I had a total of three internships during my graduate study- two at literary agencies, and one at Wiley, where I was eventually hired! Working as an intern definitely helped me to make contacts and to learn about the company’s culture so when the big interview came, I was prepared.
What advice do you have for current students in the program?
If you don’t have a LinkedIn already, make one. Don’t be afraid to friend your professors or graduates from the program. You never know when a connection can help you.
Where do you hope to be in five to ten years?
In five to ten years, I hope to be an acquiring editor, whether at Wiley or a different publisher. I want to be able to acquire my own projects and help authors achieve their dreams.
What are your favorite aspects of the publishing industry?
My favorite aspect of the publishing industry, specifically in academic publishing, is the amount of knowledge that’s out there. No two editorial assistants work on the exact same thing, so hearing the subject matter my colleagues work on is really interesting and insightful. I wasn’t very excited about being on the academic side when I first started, but now I’m fascinated by it.
What are you reading right now? Either for work or for pleasure.
I have a personal rule to only read for pleasure outside of working hours, so right now I’ve just started When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole- great thriller so far!