Author: Gigi Speer, sophomore
The Senior Spotlight Series is an opportunity for Rose Hill Honors students to interview their peers in the Program and share the conversations with the broader community.
For this article, sophomore Gigi Speer interviewed Megan Schaffner, a senior Honors student majoring in English with minors in Marketing and Philosophy.
G: What made you choose your disciplines of study?
M: I’ve always loved books, so an English major felt like a natural choice to me. My marketing minor came a little later when I got interested in how companies communicate with their audiences and how that can affect the publishing industry. And with four philosophy courses in the old Honors curriculum, you only need one more class for a minor. So, like many Honors students, I chose to take a fifth philosophy class in order to do so. It’s been really interesting! I definitely wouldn’t have done a philosophy minor if I wasn’t so close to it, but I’m happy I did.
G: Tell me a little about your internship!
M: I work at Beaufort Books, which is a small independent publisher all the way downtown [Manhattan]. I help the editors there with book schedules, manuscript edits, and basically whatever else they need!
G: What is the commute like?
M: It’s not too bad. I take a ram van for an hour and then a twenty minute subway. I sleep in the van which helps and the intern hours are 10-5 which is super nice.
G: Is this something you would like to do after you graduate?
M: Definitely! I want to go into publishing, hopefully doing editorial stuff, so this is a good way to get a feel for the industry.
G: Is this your first time working for a publisher?
M: It is! Over the summer, I worked for a literary agent, which was great but it dealt a lot more with the business work like finalizing book deals. I really want to work with the actual text of books, so I’m hoping I can do that with this internship.
G: So you’ve been writing Senior Spotlights for the past two years as part of your role on the Student Activities Council. Has writing these articles been helpful in directing your interest?
M: Yes, I think working with the Web Presence committee of SAC has helped me a lot in general. I’ve gotten to think about the different forms of social media marketing, which is a little bit of what I’ve been doing at my internship now. So the web presence and marketing minor has been really helpful and have given me the chance to do some trial and error, figure out what I like, and figure out what works.
G: Do you have a favorite Honors memory teacher or book?
M: Yes! I love remembering the first two years of the Honors curriculum, all struggling together. I think back to freshman year, with all of us huddled in Alpha House cramming for Dr. Miller’s exams. My one friend, who wasn’t in Honors, would come with me and be my unofficial philosophy tutor. Even now, although I feel old, I like doing extra-curricular activities with the whole Program. The book exchange last year was so sweet—people put in such an effort to figure out what their person would like to read. I got Educated, which I was really excited to read, and I was given a hardcover edition which I thought was so nice. Little things like that remind me that people are enjoying [Honors], that things are continuing, and that there will be a lot of activities still going on after I leave. I feel like a proud mom!
G: Favorite Honors professor?
M: I really love Dr. Keller. I had her for Early Modern Lit, which is the time period I really like. Reading Shakespeare with her was the best thing ever because she really pushed us to keep thinking. She wanted to know more than just the things that stood out to you; she wanted us to figure out why they did and how they fit into the larger scale of what we were learning. Having that practice in my head moving forward to other English classes has been helpful, since it has rewired my brain to think more.