Introducing Mahima Jacob, another of the incredible interns I have been lucky to work with over the past semester. Mahima is the first in my “catch and release” program for law students*. I have stolen her away to show her the exciting world of publishing that awaits her… probably more fulfilling but impecunious. (*kidding! Or am I?)
Tell us about yourself:
I’m in my final year of studying an Arts/Law degree at Deakin University. Since I was a child, I loved daydreaming about the adventures of my favourite characters long after I’ve put my book down. I hope to help create such exciting and immersive experiences for an audience by pursuing a career in the publishing industry.
Why am I interning at a literary agency?
I’m looking for a space where I can combine my passion for the publishing industry and the knowledge gained from my Law degree. The role of the literary agent is similar to a lawyer, as it involves representing the best interests of the author and negotiating contracts with the publisher.
What’s one thing that has surprised you or you’ve learned about since you started?
I had never considered how literary agents fit in the publishing industry, and it was great seeing a live one in action.
For me, the internship reinforced the fact that publishing is a deeply social and collaborative industry. I loved seeing that there were others behind the scenes who have also poured their blood, sweat and tears, and wish to see authors succeed. Through talking with Alex, I learnt about different aspects of the role outside of reading through manuscripts.
What have you learned being an intern?
Falling in love with a manuscript is often a subjective experience. At times, I’ve struggled with deciding whether to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a manuscript for genres I don’t usually read.
When viewing a manuscript, I’m learning that it is important to keep an open mind and at the same time, trust my instincts on why I am/am not drawn to a manuscript.