Among those greeting Trista Wesley each day at her Field Period were of Clifford the Big Red Dog and teacher Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus series.
That’s because the senior English major from Jamesville spent her January Field Period at Scholastic Inc. in New York City.
“I have wanted to work for a book publishing company for awhile, and Scholastic was my first choice,” said Wesley. “I loved getting the book order flyers from school so I was really excited to be there.” Scholastic Inc. is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and children’s media. It creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children’s books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos, and toys.
“One of my daily responsibilities was to gather daily clips from e-mail alerts, of which there were more than 100,” said Wesley. “I sent them to my supervisor and on Fridays, I sent the ‘best of the best’ clips to the corporate team and others who did not get the daily e-mail.
“I was also able to write a couple of stories for Scholastic’s Web site about authors who received star reviews, and learned what a publicity pitch was and how to write one,” said Wesley. “I wrote a pitch about toys under $40, such as Mr. Potato Head and Hungry Hungry Hippos, that parents could buy and keep on hand for birthdays or gifts.”
Wesley also wrote about how valuable her experiences were to her on On Our Minds, Scholastic’s blog.
Although this was not Wesley’s first trip to the Big Apple, it was the first time she had to travel around city.
“During Field Period, I lived with my uncle’s sister, and it was an hour commute from Yonkers,” said Wesley. “I had to get myself to the subway and train each day, and I learned to become more independent. It was great to be able to see what it was like to live on my own, without really living on my own.”
Wesley said this Field Period was a “growing and learning experience for me, in part because I was in a corporate environment. It was nice to know I had value and they needed my help. The people with whom I worked were amazing, and they encouraged me to ask questions about anything. They were approachable, and ready and willing to talk with me, and that made a lot of difference in how this Field Period turned out.”
According to Wesley, the most useful thing she is taking back to Keuka from her January Field Period is a “great” portfolio.
“I have all of the things I did at Scholastic, which will be really helpful in the future,” she said. “Also, I got to talk with some of the employees who gave me tips on resume writing, and good advice, like how companies are relying more on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to reach customers. They told me it will look good to a future employer if you show you are proficient in social media, especially if you have a blog.”
When not at Scholastic, Wesley and her best friend, who happened to be in New York City at the same time, “were able to hang out,” she said. “I saw Times Square, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and a Broadway show. It was fun to soak up the city, the culture and I did a lot of walking.”
Wesley doesn’t have any immediate plans after graduation, but she may travel or enroll in graduate school.
One thing she is certain about: “I wish this Field Period had been longer because I could have learned so much more.”