Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) is a publishing house dedicated to generating dynamic educational content for Pre K-12 learners. Their materials include textbooks, children’s books, and educational games. Girls Write Now mentees were invited to their headquarters to learn more about careers in publishing, and the interview process. Programs intern Jasmin Jin writes about her afternoon with HMH.
As I rushed off the train and navigated the busy Midtown streets, my main focus was getting to the workshop on time. Since I had never been in a publisher’s office before, I had no idea what to expect. Would they all be distinguished, Ivy-league graduates? Would they dress in pantsuits and business casual clothes? Little did I know that by the end of this workshop, I would leave with a better understanding of the different careers possible in a publishing company, helpful interview skills, a free tote bag with a book, and a headshot.
Mentees were immediately paired up with volunteers from the company, and soon the room was bustling with conversation. Three women who were heads of various divisions spoke about their experience and doled out some advice— on their career journey, how to embrace failure, and why you should never say never.
The workshop was an intimate look at professional life, and the 1-on-1 structure helped foster connections between mentees and volunteers as they discussed various aspects of interviewing. I and the volunteer I was paired up with had an extensive conversation about careers, including networking on LinkedIn and presenting your resume in a concise manner. She offered tips on dressing for the interview based on company atmosphere and culture, and told me about the importance of a follow-up thank you email to HR after an interview.
Overall, the workshop was a wonderful experience that reminded me there is no set path for a specific career. Serendipity and an open mind go a long way, as do kindness and hard work!