Lindsey Breuer '11

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Name: Lindsey Breuer
Job: Editorial Assistant at a young publishing company
Current City: New York City, NY
School: Princeton - Class of 2011
Major: Classics
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My Story

For a long time at Princeton, I thought I would go to grad school. I loved learning, but I realized while doing my JPs and thesis that academia would probably not mesh with the way my mind skips from one curiosity to another. Thus it was a decision late in senior year that brought me to publishing. I figured that my love for books - every aspect from the cover design to the smell of a new book to the nitpicky proofreading - would lead to an interesting career.

I consider my job to be in between non-profit work and a traditional career. While not a non-profit industry, publishing is far from lucrative for the beginner. Many people work exceptionally hard to produce books, and the current market constantly seeks to undervalue their work by pushing prices lower and lower. However, publishing does a lot more than make money for a few executives and lucky authors/editors/agents. It also spreads new knowledge, educates, and rewards authors who have put their lives into a book.

Why it can be hard to make smart career decisions

I do not think that Princeton has adequate support for alternative (or at least non-mainstream) careers. Yes, I noticed people doing internships in the summer, but most of them seemed skewed toward padding professional school resumes. I wish that Princeton had reached out with more activities to give students a better idea about various careers; one career dinner at Rocky won't cut it. With more planning ahead of time - internships, reading, networking - students would be in a better shape to face the extremely tough job market, instead of starting with only a vague idea about their career path.


~ Look at a wide variety of career options and after-graduation programs; limiting yourself early on can come back to bite you senior year
~ Try to do internships in your summers or over breaks. Internships aren't only for pre-med kids and econ/finance students.
~ Start reaching out to people in many lines of work. It's never too early! They can give you an idea about what it is really like to work a less common job.
~ Don't be afraid of a low salary, or sometimes none at all. I worked at two unpaid internships before I got my current job. If you are happy at the end of the day instead of working 80 hours per week for a big paycheck, it might just be worth it.



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