Five Things I Learned as an Extern at Macmillan Learning

MarisaBluestone
Community Manager
Community Manager
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Charlinda.jpgFor the second year, Macmillan Learning welcomed externs to the company with the goal of offering project-based experience to diverse and non-traditional workers interested in educational publishing and technology. The Communications team tasked our extern, Charlinda Banks, to help us create a mechanism that helps us better share our company’s stories with our employees.

We also offered her the opportunity to share her experience during her month at the company. Here's what she said that she learned as an extern:

  1. What an extern actually does. An extern is a contract position that acts as a short-term project-based internship. Since Macmillan Learning has educational equity at its core, the externship program is designed to equip young people with skills specific to their fields of interest from People & Culture to Humanities textbook publishing; every extern leaves with a new project in their portfolio. Since externships at Macmillan Learning are largely project-based, this not only allows for a schedule that acclimates to your needs and lifestyle—like juggling college and work—but it also leaves plenty of time to discover the company’s learning resources, including Macmillan Learning University, affectionately known as MLU. 

  2. Macmillan Learning uses the intranet—an internal communications network that connects ML’s nearly 800 employees that live not only all over the U.S. but also across the globe. Learning to navigate and build on this platform was definitely an acquired skill, as every time you head to edit the platform, you discover something new. 

  3. There are so many different career avenues in publishing. Prior to my externship with Macmillan Learning, I thought of publishing as a solely editorial entity. However, with a company as large as Macmillan Learning, there are hundreds of different roles and many distinct departments that work together to fulfill the company’s vision as an educational publisher. From communications and marketing to content development and editorial, there is likely a role that speaks to you. 

  4. There’s a busy season. Although it might seem obvious to some, others might not realize that September and October are some of Macmillan Learning’s busiest periods! With Back-to-School plastered all over Target walls, the floodgates are open at the company. 

  5. Macmillan Learning encourages employees to foster community through ERGs. What are ERGs? The acronym stands for Employee Resource Group—ERGs are affinity groups for company members to feel connected to others who share their identities and lived experiences. From PROUD for the LGBTQ+ community to BLACC and VIVA for Black and Latinx staff, there is a place to celebrate and advocate for Macmillan Learning’s diverse communities.