I cannot even begin to describe how incredible my internship and field studies experience has been. I am so grateful to have had this experience during the fall quarter of my senior year; I’ve learned lessons and gained knowledge about the publishing industry that will prove invaluable as I begin this life transition from college to the “real world.”
The Chicago Field Studies Program allowed me to complete two internships this quarter, both as an editorial intern. As an editorial intern, I was given a variety of tasks: organizing bookshelves, cold reading proofs and manuscripts, reading the Chicago Manual of Style, proofreading, checking revisions of cover copy, preparing files for copy editing, writing, making trips to the library, communicating queries with authors, fact checking, and much more. Though some tasks were easier or more exciting than others, through their completion, I discovered a significant distinction. While the job roles of editors and copy editors frequently overlap, editors are responsible for writing, reviewing, and editing authors’ works and other materials. Copy editors, on the other hand, check for errors in copy, alignment of copy to various standards, fact check, and often suggest pertinent revisions. This distinction between the two jobs may seem obvious on paper, but it is only through actively participating in the publishing process that one truly understands the minute differences.
After gaining the important understanding of the steps of the publishing process, as well as the distinction between editors and copy editors, I made an essential decision about my career path. Since I was in grade school, I’ve wanted to work in a publishing house as an editor. The fundamentals of that dream have not changed; I still greatly enjoy and appreciate the editorial role. Nevertheless, I have decided that my personality and strengths are also extremely well-suited to copy editing, which unveils even more opportunities for my future. If Chicago Field Studies did not allow me to complete two internships at once, I’m not sure I would have acquired this life lesson before graduating.