Interning at Penguin Random House

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By: Sukanya Kumar (’16 Fellow, Rutgers University – Newark)

I’m Sukanya Kumar and am an incoming senior at Rutgers Business School majoring in Management Information Systems with a minor in Psychology. For the past six months, I have been working as an IT Intern at Penguin Random House. It has truly been an amazing experience, not only learning about the IT field but about the publishing industry.


This has been my third internship since I started college. After all, the more experience you gain, the more qualified you will be for a job after graduation (and you’ll have a larger network too). In addition to Penguin Random House, I interned at Sircle Media and Mdrn. Residential. I have learned that the more positions you apply for, the more options you will have. Believe it or not, for me, Google was truly one of the best resources for research on the type of position I wanted, what skills I needed to obtain that role, and how to apply for it. This is how I found my most recent internship!


I took Braven during the Fall 2016 semester, and it prepared me in so many ways for this internship. From enhancing my presentation skills to understanding the best way to solve a problem, big or small, Braven helped me. It’s like a crash course on all of the skills you did not realize you would need to get a job or internship. I have found that during an internship, your supervisor can easily see what you know and what you don’t, but most importantly, they can observe how you navigate the situation when you don’t know something. Do you immediately ask for help? Do you do your own research? Trial and error, maybe? Learning how to navigate these types of situations is one of the most useful things I learned from Braven.


The best day of my internship was when we received the opportunity to meet the CEO, Madeline McIntosh. She described her journey to becoming the CEO of the largest publishing company in the world. It was one of the greatest feelings to see a woman in such a high position and know that she is truly loved and respected by every single person in the company.


This internship at Penguin Random House has shown me that the most important thing is to put in 500% effort at all times. Whether it is a task given to you, attending a meeting, or even an after-work hangout with coworkers, it is so important that you try to make the most of every single opportunity because you never know what you will learn. I had the chance to sit in on meetings for a project that I was not a part of directly, but through it, I was able to learn a bit about programming and UI/UX design. As a result, I realized that I wanted to learn more about it, so I did!


The best part about internships is that they provide an opportunity to learn new skills, even if it is not exactly what you signed up for in the beginning. Because of my openness to learn a new skill, I received hands-on experience with UI/UX design for a new SAP product as well as the ability to use Python to expedite smaller tasks.


My biggest advice to anyone going into a new internship is to not be afraid. Go to everything. You might meet someone who can help you in your current role or assist in getting a future one. Always have a pen and paper handy to write down things you may want to research at a later time.


Good luck to everyone with the new school year and remember if you give it 500% to that internship, job, or project, you have the potential to learn so much.