Amber Wegwerth Ross
Year of Graduation: 2002
Please give a brief description of your current position and what it entails?
I'm a product planner at Capstone Publishing which, in brief, means I plan our publishing list. It's not an easy job to condense into a short paragraph, but my work involves market research and sales analysis, among other things. Once our list is final, I write guidelines to communicate the vision for the books and work with the production teams to implement that vision.
What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
I started out as an editor in a professional-type setting. It was a decent job for a recent college graduate, but nothing I could hang my hat on. I decided I wanted to be in publishing-book publishing to be specific. After many many months of searching for a job, I landed a position editing textbooks for struggling readers. I obtained my current job out of necessity: the publisher I worked for decided to close its Minnesota office. Upon receiving the news, I networked like crazy and landed my job at Capstone.
What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
Two things: read voraciously (not just books, but also book reviews, blogs, industry news, etc.) and network, network, network!
What skills are important in your field?
Probably the most important would have to be keeping a pulse on what's going on around you and what's going on in the world. I'm not even necessarily talking about current events, but more trends in books, TV, movies, etc.
What are the most challenging and satisfying parts of your job?
Seeing the books I concepted in print, and reading others' reviews of the books (especially if they garner awards or starred reviews!).
What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for your current career?
I'd have to say the critical thinking skills as well as the broad knowledge from CSB/SJU's liberal arts education have proven to be the most valuable to me in the "real" world.