Annie Bernberg knew she wanted to explore a career in publishing as early as the seventh grade. An avid reader, Annie fell in love with A School Story by Andrew Clements, about a girl who wants to publish a book and the process she must go through. The premise was exciting for Annie — imagine having a hand in making the books she always reads! Today, Annie is an assistant editor at Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., and is pursuing a master’s degree in publishing.
A student in the College of Arts and Sciences, Annie originally declared a double major in English and History, with a minor in Writing. She later added a minor in Business to her educational repertoire, determining it may help her in the publishing industry.
“I am the picture of an overachiever,” says Annie. “I just kept squeezing in classes until I had two majors and two minors.” As a University Scholar, Annie studied among some of the most academically successful students at Stony Brook.
In her sophomore year, Annie went to the Career Center looking for resume help, and noticed that they were hiring communications interns. She applied and got the job for her junior year. During her time at the Career Center, most of her work involved creating web content; giving presentations about proper resume and cover letter writing; and assisting at job fairs. “As an English and History double major with minors in Writing and Business, I did a lot of reading, analyzing, researching, writing, and presenting for my classes,” she says. “My internship at the Career Center gave me the opportunity to apply these skills in the real world.”
Annie also had a Social Media and Marketing internship at Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., in Hauppauge, NY, during the summer after her junior year. She had no experience in marketing but enjoyed the job and recognized the opportunities it provided in terms of networking and a future career in publishing. After she graduated from Stony Brook, she worked as a customer service representative at Dow Jones Media Group, a news media company in Manhattan, for a year. The company soon relocated, and Annie spent less than a month job searching before she got an email from Barron’s, asking if she would like to come back and work in the editorial department. She agreed, and two years later, she was promoted to Assistant Editor.
Of the many people who helped her get to where she is today, Annie recalls two particular mentors who were pivotal to her success in college and beyond. Joanna Durso, Senior Career Counselor at the Career Center, helped Annie in her pursuit of jobs after college. Susan Scheckel, professor in the Department of English Department, also helped Annie develop two very important skills. “Professor Scheckel helped me realize that one really needs to know how to communicate in the real world,” Annie says. “Communicating well, and writing – two very important skills!”
For students who are worried about their future after college, Annie emphasizes that there is never just one path to a particular destination and suggests that students utilize resources on campus, take chances, and experiment. “Instead of worrying about what you are going to do, it is better to go out and just do it! You will look back one day and see that, somehow, everything worked out. Just go out, try it, and don’t be afraid.”