Ruqayyah Daud


I began my publishing journey as a book fan who had no way of getting to New York. I lived in Virginia, and I had no hopes of being able to relocate to restart my career. Eventually, I stumbled across the publishing graduate program I am currently enrolled in. Through this program, I was able to land an editorial internship at a publisher. However, I still felt like I wasn’t always able to ask all the burning questions I had about the industry. Specifically, about diversity and navigating a predominantly white industry as a person of color. I am a naturally shy person and the idea of networking was intimidating to me! I knew it was important to forge meaningful connections with people who cared about diversity as much as I did and seek their advice.

I eventually ended up meeting with one of the hiring managers I interviewed with (who is a rep matters mentor!) and she told me about People of Color in publishing. It was through this group that I found representation matters.  

My mentors were so instrumental to my journey in the publishing industry. I loved having a senior editor and a junior editor who could give insight from different viewpoints. Both my mentors were so supportive and patient in meeting with me and guiding me to where I wanted to be in my career. Both gave me specific and helpful tips on creating a good resume and cover letter. They patiently when through various rounds of editing until I started receiving calls for interviews. When I finally began receiving calls for interviews, one of my mentors even offered me interview tips from her own experience. 

Eventually, there was an opening at Little, Brown Young Readers for an editorial assistant position. Both of my mentors immediately forwarded me the application to apply. And my junior mentor, who is an assistant at LBYR, even offered to directly refer me. She helped prep me for the interview and let me know what to expect in terms of questions and environment. I’m happy to share I was eventually hired and I believe it was their guidance that helped get me there!

I strongly recommend this program for anyone looking to learn about the industry and find their way to an internship or job.  It’s a great to not only learn but to also make really meaningful connections!