Q&A With Maria Snelling '20 '21
BA in English/MS in Publishing combined degree student has both a passion for writing and activism on campus sexual assault awareness
What attracted you to Pace, your course of study, and the combined BA in English/MS in Publishing program?
I'm from Ohio, so coming to Pace and moving to New York was a very big decision for me to make. I chose Pace because I wanted a small and interactive learning environment, and because of the incredible opportunities the university has to offer, which includes combined degree programs, internships, and career connections.
When I was in high school, I fell in love with the written word and knew I wanted to pursue a career having to do with reading and writing. English seemed to fit my criteria best, which led me to study subjects such as literature, journalism, communications, and creative writing. My sophomore year at Pace, a few of my English professors suggested I pursue the combined degree program in English and Publishing, since it coincides directly which what I want to do in the future. This program was very appealing, especially since I had the opportunity to finish my bachelor’s and master’s in five years, a year earlier than most.
You are both a writing tutor and educator on campus sexual assault. Tell us more.
Since fall 2017, I’ve been working as a tutor in the Writing Center, through which I’ve learned the importance of helping my peers develop their papers instead of editing them. This method has allowed students to better comprehend the expectation of a professor, as well as grow as a writer. Outside of the Writing Center, I am a peer educator in the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Education, where I am involved with Fighting Ignorance and Rape through Education (FIRE). Our purpose as an organization under the Office of Sexual Assault Education and Prevention, is to raise awareness and to educate students on the topic of sexual assault on college campuses. As part of my role, I give presentations to various groups on campus, organize and participate in events, and serve as a confidential resource to my peers on campus who need to talk about sexual assault. Finally, I am the digital managing editor for Alinéa: Literary & Arts Journal (formerly known as Vox) at Pace, in which I oversee the website and blog. As an organization, we hold creative writing and art workshops, and publish one issue a semester with faculty and student submissions of poetry, prose, and art.
I chose Pace because i wanted a small and interactive learning environment, and because of the incredible opportunities the university has to offer, which includes combined degree programs, internships, and career connections.
Can you discuss your internship at Macmillan Publishers? How did you obtain it?
Professor Rob Mundy recommended me for the internship in the Speakers Bureau Department at Macmillan, while Professor Olivia Worden helped prepare me for the application, interview, and finally, for the position. I have been working there since fall 2018, and through this experience, have learned about the various components of a publishing house: legal, financial, technological, event planning, business management, sales and marketing, design, and more. My role, which turned into a part-time job this past summer, is to assist in finding speaking engagements for authors published under Macmillan, while also organizing details for the event.
What would you like to do upon graduation/what are your career goals?
Upon graduation, I hope to have a job at a publishing house in New York and also earn my yoga teaching certification, open an art studio, and continue to write.
What advice, if any, would you like to give to our current students?
Stay organized and show your confidence. There is no better first impression than one loaded with positive and active energy.