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Each month, this space will highlight the unique career path and insights of an SSP member. We hope that these brief profiles provide guidance to our early career members and those site visitors interested in the broad spectrum of scholarly communications opportunities. Please contact Phil Wallas with any questions or suggestions for future profiles.

PROFESSIONAL PROFILES:

Emma Brink

Assistant Editor, Wiley

Emma BrinkPlease tell us a bit about yourself (e.g. hometown, current locale, course of study).

I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania but headed to the Midwest to attend Saint Mary’s College, an all-women’s institution in Notre Dame, Indiana.  There I studied English Literature and thought about teaching until my study abroad time in Rome, when I decided to pursue literature alone.  A professor (Ted Billy) at Saint Mary’s suggested I look into publishing as a career possibility, so I spent my time after graduation searching for publishing opportunities in the Boston area.  During this time I discovered an Editorial internship at Wiley.  I’ve been at Wiley (happily) ever since!

Describe some of your current responsibilities, and what type of organization you belong to.

I have been working at Wiley, a global content and technology provider in research, education, and professional development, for two and a half years.  I began in and still belong to the editorial team for Wiley’s Health Sciences Journals portfolio.  As an Editorial Assistant and Program Coordinator, I provided administrative title-level support to the Editors on my team for a variety of projects and publishing tasks to manage our existing business and win new society business.  Among other tasks, I was responsible for reporting on and analyzing journal performance, maintaining our journals’ online presence on Wiley Online Library, and market research for acquisitions. I was promoted to Assistant Editor in December 2014 and became responsible for managing a portfolio of titles in nephrology, radiology, and imaging.

What was your first scholarly publishing role? How did you get that job? What path led to your current position?

I began as an intern at Wiley in Health Sciences Journals, after spending a few months following graduation applying to publishing positions in the Boston area.  I spent ten months as an intern familiarizing myself with the company and witnessing changes to Wiley’s Global Research business.  I was hired as an Editorial Assistant and then promoted a year later to Editorial Program Coordinator.  Shortly after I was promoted to Assistant Editor and took ownership of a list of journals.  During this time, I won an Early Career Travel Grant to attend SSP’s conference in May 2014, where networking with peers in the publishing community gave me additional skills for my career and insight into the industry that contributed to my success at Wiley.

If there was a pivotal moment or key person in your career development, please describe briefly.

My internship was the catalyst for my career, and I encourage others to look for internships as a great way to enter the publishing industry.  Mine was a crash-course publishing education, so I felt confident that I knew enough about my company to want to continue working here.  Wiley has a strong reputation for hiring interns, so I had hopes of being hired full-time following my internship. While the internship was extended past its original length and my colleagues were working to secure a position for me, I was fearful that things wouldn’t work out.  Instead of looking elsewhere for career opportunities, I stayed because I love Wiley and want to work here well into my future.  My colleagues are enthusiastic and encouraging, and I don’t think I would find an environment where I felt as supported and invested in at another company.

An important person in my career development has also served as my mentor over the last year.  Bill Deluise, Director of Innovation for Wiley’s society publishing program, has been as key a person to my success as any.  Bill also started as an intern and has been with Wiley for fifteen years.  I meet with him regularly to discuss what I’m working on and listen to his advice on all aspects of my professional life.  From observing Bill, I not only want to mimic his success but also his leadership style.  Bill is an enthusiastic and inspiring colleague that is hugely admired by everyone in our office.  He is supportive of my career and empowers me to take risks and be assertive.  My success at Wiley has been due in large part to Bill’s encouragement and confidence in my talents.

What tools, web sites and organizations do you find most valuable for your career development?

SSP, of course!  I’m a big fan of the Scholarly Kitchen, so I always read that and Wiley’s Exchanges blog for industry information and trends.

I have also made an effort to become increasingly involved in office engagement and leadership development opportunities at Wiley.  I have always attended anything Wiley offered in this area, but now I serve a larger role in planning these events and workshops by joining almost every committee my office offers.  I have never been dissatisfied at Wiley, but I always wish for more opportunities to be a leader.  While I’m not yet at the point in my career where I can lead on a professional level, I have realized that you can be a leader in any role by being engaged in your community.  These interactions have helped me grow and allowed me to network with my colleagues in an active way.

What advice would you give to people interested in a career in scholarly communications?

To anyone looking for a career in publishing I would say, don’t give up!  It took me some time after I graduated college to find my position at Wiley, and I was nervous when most of my friends were quickly finding jobs, but I’m glad I spent that time searching because I ended up with the job I wanted.  I would of course suggest looking at internships as a great way to get your foot in the door because that’s how I and many of my colleagues started.

A job in scholarly publishing might not be what you expect, but that’s okay!  I never imagined myself working in medical research, but I find it’s exciting and challenging to do something different every day and to build new strengths and talents.  The scholarly communications field is constantly changing, so being open to a dynamic working environment is a must.

Once you do find a position, I would suggest seeking out opportunities for engagement and building your network of peers at your company.  I have found that the broader my network at Wiley, the happier and more equipped I feel.   Having supportive go-to contacts for questions, idea sharing, and encouragement gives me confidence to do my job successfully.