Looking Back on My Parthenon Publishing Internship

Location, location, location. It’s the most important aspect of real estate and the reason a dollar doesn’t stretch as far in New York City as it does in Tullahoma.

For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to work with words. Whether it was as a teacher, helping kids learn how to read; as a lawyer, constructing a detailed argument to persuade a judge and jury; or as a writer, creating a story that would touch millions of people. But it turns out that what I love most is to tweak words — other people’s words. I want to be an editor.

I set my sights on moving to the East Coast, hub of the publishing industry — go big or go home, right? I would work my way up as an editor and spend 40-plus hours a week reading and editing book manuscripts. With three weeks left in the semester, I sat watching the Academy of Country Music Awards when my country-music-hating roommate walked in.

“You love country music so much. You should just move to Nashville,” she said, meaning after graduation or sometime in the far future. But, come to think of it, I had nothing keeping me in Boston.

Google: “Nashville publishing companies”

In the midst of studying and completing final projects and essays, I interviewed for a content marketing internship with Parthenon Publishing in Nashville, Tennessee. It felt like the right fit — and they thought so, too. I got the job.

The next thing I knew, I was sleeping off a nine-hour drive from my hometown near Detroit and a huge breakfast from Tavern in Nashville’s West End.

On my first day I walked into the office and waited anxiously in my brand-new pointy-toe flats, gray dress pants and ¾-length-sleeve blazer. Mackenzie Williams, Parthenon’s Project Manager, led me every step of the way throughout my internship. He gave me a tour and showed me my desk where I’d sit next to Mackenzie and Matt Thieleman, Parthenon’s Senior Strategist — whom would both become my lunchtime Nashville-lifestyle mentors.

Soon, our company “huddle” began. I was introduced to everyone in the office, and Mackenzie set up meetings for me so I could get started.

Now, with only one week remaining, I reflect on everything that I’ve learned at Parthenon – from AP style’s new method for abbreviating state names to proper formatting for a Web page. In my time here, I conducted my own interviews, edited stories for national publications, and put together “the book” — yes, just like The Devil Wears Prada — that was sent to clients and the printing company. I also had a hand in helping to build websites for one of our clients, which involved a number of responsibilities: choosing a theme, creating pages, writing and editing copy and, finally, making a site live to the public.

My experience at Parthenon Publishing was more than I ever thought it could be. Mackenzie ensured that my internship was tailored to my education and interests, while giving me an in-depth look at how a publishing company works. Not only was I able to boost my resume and enhance my LinkedIn profile, but I met a great bunch of friendly Nashvillians who showed me the ways of their city — including the famous meat-and-three.

And so, I leave Parthenon with extraordinary new experiences and new creative skills that I may take, one day, to the publishing hub of America. Or maybe I will bring them right back to Music City. No matter where I go, I’m looking forward to writing the next chapter of my story.