Featured Alumni Profiles

Vina Orden

BS '02, Communication Studies

In the summer of her sophomore year at NYU, Vina Orden (far right in photo) had an internship at the legendary publishing house of Simon & Schuster. She worked in the children's books marketing division and liked the company so much she kept in touch with her coworkers while she finished her BS in communication studies. When she was about to graduate in May 2002, Orden's internship boss at Simon & Schuster referred her resume to the company's human resources department. Simon and Schuster hired Vina right out of school, and today she is a marketing assistant in the company's Adult Publishing division.

Where did your interest in publishing begin?

I've always been interested in writing, and when I entered the Department of Culture and Communication I became part of the editorial staff of their undergraduate publication, Medium Cool, which I really loved. And then a lot of my internships while I was at NYU were in the publishing industry: I worked in the art departments of both Interview and Fitness magazines. But basically, I've always loved books, so that's really the underlying reason why I've gravitated to the world of publishing.

What does your job as a marketing assistant entail?

It's a starting-level position, so I have a lot of administrative duties like preparing sales reports and taking the minutes for marketing meetings. But I do get to do a lot of fun stuff because my boss not only heads up the marketing department, but also the publicity and advertising departments as well. All three departments are interrelated, so I really get a window into what each one does, from seeing how all the books are promoted and advertised via print, television and radio, to being involved in arranging authors' appearances at book signings, to getting review copies out to the media. Being able to interact with people in all levels of the company is the best part of my job.

You've made a successful and immediate transition from school to the workforce at a time when jobs were scarce for new graduates. How did your experience at NYU help with this?

I took advantage of the Office of Career Services while at school, always using their database to see what was out there. The on campus recruitment program is really great, too. Ultimately, it was the Department of Culture and Communication's very strong internship program that gave me the confidence to consider life after college. The program afforded me exposure to a world where I am now employed. But the department prepared me in so many ways, really. I felt constantly challenged by all the great professors there - Neil Postman and Mark Crispin Miller among them. All of the teachers were always very nurturing, though. In fact, two of my professors, Barbara Haum and Deborah Borisoff, recommended a paper of mine for the National Communications Association Conference. I presented the paper at the conference, which was held in New York City, and it was an incredible experience. I love the department and think about someday returning to NYU for my master’s degree.