Over the past couple of months, three talented students joined us in our Palo Alto office as summer interns. Throughout their stay they wrote blogs, curated publications, took over our Snapchat, filmed some upcoming videos and so much more. While they were busy learning about startup culture and digital publishing, we learned from them what a little bit of creativity and a lot of passion can accomplish. Over the last few weeks, we rolled out a series of Q+A’s with each of our interns to give you an inside peek at what it’s like to work at issuu and what they took away from their time with us.
Today we hear from Jessica Wong, our youngest intern.
Jessica is a rising senior at Palo Alto High School who previously interned with issuu last winter, continuing her position as a marketing intern this summer. Jessica was a staff writer for her school’s newspaper, The Campanile, and will take over as an Editor-in-Chief in the upcoming year.
What was it like interning at a digital publishing company?
Jessica: Growing up in Silicon Valley, I always had a relative idea of what the environment of a tech company was like — rooms dedicated to ping pong, kitchens stocked with protein bars and candy, aesthetically pleasing color schemes and furniture. In a lot of ways, issuu fits the bill, minus the ping pong tables (but you never know what could happen in the future). However, I could have never imagined the excitement of working in such a unique environment.
What I loved about working at issuu was the amount of creative freedom I had, even as an intern. I was always encouraged to think outside the box to come up with new content, whether it was a photo for Instagram or a blog post. Companies like issuu are fast-paced, constantly striving to create the best user experience or most streamlined features, and as a result, you’re working alongside hardworking and motivated people who are also laid-back and quick-witted. It’s a truly amazing and encouraging place to be.
What was your favorite thing that you did while at issuu?
Jessica: My favorite things I did while at issuu were updating Pinterest boards, writing blog posts, and creating the video for National Junk Food Day.
Though pinning content from issuu publications to one of our many Pinterest boards was a relatively simple task, I always loved seeing a mosaic of images from various publishers on a board, and how well all the artwork and photographs came together.
I’ve always enjoyed writing, so creating new content for the blog was right up my alley. The premise for each post was simple — choose an event or holiday, and find issuu publications to go with it. From there, I had the freedom to explore all of issuu’s publications to choose my favorites, flip through them, and write about them.
The video for National Junk Food Day was one of my favorite tasks from my months working at issuu. Though the finished product was a matter of seconds, the preparation, including a team excursion to the local candy store, was a lot of fun.
What have you learned?
Jessica: From my times at issuu, I’ve gained experience working in a real office environment, which I’ll carry with me going forward as I look towards college and beyond. I’ve also learned more about the importance of collaboration — there’s only so many ideas you can come up with on your own. By working with other team members, I was able to flesh out some of my ideas at a higher level and produce more quality content.
Do you have a favorite issuu publication?
Jessica: My favorite issuu publication is 205 dpi. I love that they always search for unique people and settings to photograph, and approach every subject from an interesting and unconventional angle. The content in every issue is so different, so I always look forward to reading it. Atlas Magazine is another favorite, everything from the photography to the styling to the travel component and international view is always so beautifully executed.
205 dpi’s May issue
Atlas Magazine’s Adventure issue
What accomplishment were you most proud of while interning at issuu?
Jessica: I was definitely proud of my blog post for Malala’s birthday, when I wrote about feminist and girl power publications on issuu. Both are causes I care deeply about it, so being able to tie the two together and have it receive positive attention was really great.
What will you be doing after your internship ends?
Jessica: After I leave at the end of the July, I’ll be a counselor at my high school’s journalism camp for a week, teaching rising eighth and ninth graders about different types of journalism and how to create their own mock publication. I’ll be starting my senior year shortly after that, which means a lot of late nights and college applications.