On a beautiful fall Saturday, what could be better than hanging out in New York’s Central Park, munching on veggies and chips and talking about books? That’s what happened at a picnic to kick off the NYU MS in Publishing: Digital and Print Media program’s fall semester. The Welcome Back Picnic was hosted by the program’s Publishing Students Association (PSA). This annual event has become an engaging way to introduce incoming students to the program and help them meet current students and alumni. Getting to know other members of the program at the beginning of the semester is important because it makes new students feel like they are part of a community.
One way the PSA works to empower and involve students is by implementing a mentor program. The officers of the organization pair incoming students with a current student or alumni who can guide them through the logistics of being in the publishing program. At the picnic, the mentors and mentees were able to meet and chat about the program.
I cannot say enough good things about the mentor program. Because of it, I was able not only to make a great friend, but to calm my fears during course registration, find out which classes might help me most along my career path, and have a person I could trust with any questions I had about the program.
Emily Arzeno, a student in the program, had a similar experience. "I thought it would be a fun opportunity to meet someone already in the program, and the experience turned out to be super helpful," Arzeno said. "I was able to ask my mentor questions about the program and about her job in the industry. It’s a great way to network with students who already have a foot in the door of the publishing industry!"
Along with meeting mentors and mentees, the picnic was an opportunity to discuss our first PSA book club title, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Georgina Graham, the PSA president, presented an overview, explaining that this book is about a teenage girl from the Dominican Republic living in Harlem who is struggling with religion, her relationship with her mother, and what her family and culture expect of her.