UC undergrad finds success in publishing internship

Financial, professional opportunity opens doors for English major

UC undergraduate Mars Robinson understands as well as any the financial challenges that can face college students. A non-traditional student, Robinson took a break after high school graduation before entering UC’s College of Arts and Sciences to pursue her bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing.

In the beginning, Robinson worked in a casino to pay tuition while she pursued her degree. The night work wasn’t compatible with her goals, she says, and she found herself mentally drained and struggling academically. Then, in 2021, she found an internship opportunity with the University of Cincinnati Press.

UC English major and intern Mars Robinson

UC English major and intern Mars Robinson

“I think the courses of the copyediting and publishing certificate provide the knowledge I will need after graduation more than other classes I’ve taken,” says Robinson.

“Still, the classroom cannot replace work experience. Working at University of Cincinnati Press has given me the opportunity to see the complexity of real-world publishing challenges and taught me how important creativity is when problem solving.”

Internship and co-op opportunities are a cornerstone of UC’s Bearcat Promise, which is designed to help all students graduate with both a degree and a career plan. These experiences give students chances to build networks and hone professional skills before they graduate, helping bridge the transition from academics to employment.

Recommended for the internship when faculty members recognized her aptitude and potential, Robinson says: “I think it is easy to forget that coursework and class participation also serve as a great tool for networking with professionals in your field,” says Robinson.

At her internship, she mainly works to promote open access publishing. In addition to publishing non-fiction books, The University of Cincinnati Press provides open educational resources (OER), which are free resources such as research materials that help students offset the cost of college.

She regularly meets with faculty members, works on project management, copywriting, copy editing and marketing duties during her internship. She has also been involved in the scheduling process as well. She often takes on projects at the job involving each of these skills.

Taking an opportunity for your own personal growth can echo throughout your environment, benefiting more than just yourself.

Mars Robinson UC English major and intern

Robinson believes that her skills in publishing have tripled since starting her position at UC Press. The position, she says, has not only allowed her to build her resume, but also to network beyond the classroom. She also recognizes that her confidence and ability to advocate for herself have grown tremendously since working for UC Press.

“With added proficiency in programs and systems used by large publishers, my resume looks completely different,” Robinson says. “I’ve been able to volunteer for more responsibilities in both acquisition and production roles and gain networking contacts that will last long after my internship.

“I’ve been lucky to work with Professors Laura Micciche and Olga Hart of UC Libraries to help lower the cost of materials for fellow students of the copyediting and publishing certificate,” she says.

Robinson says she recognizes the serendipity of being in a position to help other students as she herself was helped by the internship. “I think it shows how taking an opportunity for your own personal growth can echo throughout your environment, benefiting more than just yourself.”

Featured image at top: Stacks of books. Credit/Robert Anasch for Unsplash.

Headshot of By Hayley Garr

By Hayley Garr

Student Journalist, A&S Department of Marketing and Communication


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