Olivia Schmitz is now a Marketing Assistant for the Catholic University of America Press. Previously she was a marketing intern, turned publicity assistant, at the University of Nebraska Press.
Change is one of life’s few constants. It’s also one of the few constants of storytelling. Change begets conflict, and conflict begets change in turn. No matter the genre, medium, time, or culture, this is one of the most important ways that stories reflect our lives.
I’m currently facing a lot of change in my life. After four wonderful years serving as an intern for the UNP’s marketing department, I am moving to Washington, D.C. to work as the Marketing Assistant for the Catholic University of America Press. As my time at the UNP comes to a close, the rest of the company is facing a similar end-of-one-chapter/start-of-a-another moment thanks to the demolishing of our old office building and the move into a new one. This overlap of transition magnifies the profundity of the changes. These past few weeks have felt like the end of a good book, where all the characters have completed their arcs and are adjusting their lives according to the things gained, lost, and learned from the story. For me, dramatizing change highlights the excitement of metamorphosis rather than the bitterness of it. It also serves as a reminder that I am the protagonist of my life, giving me a boost in confidence that I have the agency to shape my future despite its unknowns.
Furthermore, not everything good of the old is necessarily going to change in the transition. Not counting the amazing people I’ve met (since that’s not a fair contest), my favorite thing about my time at the UNP has been the enrichment I’ve gained by working with our books. When I took this position, I never expected that I would learn so much about the history of baseball in Asia or Hanukkah or oral storytelling traditions of Indigenous tribes or the War on Terror. The breadth of knowledge and language is so wide, and yet I feel that many of our titles are on its edges, pushing, testing, and expanding its boundaries more and more. That’s the beauty of great academic presses, and I am so excited to continue witnessing the probing and challenging of academia’s scope at the CUAP.
Change is a force that is neutral at best, but I’m glad that, in my case, it is presenting me an opportunity for gratitude. The warm, wonderful people I met here and the many skills I learned have shaped me into a more thoughtful, responsible person, and no amount of thanks would ever truly do the past four years justice. Now the coming-of-age tale is over, and the best I can do is use this as another chance to grow as we all embark on new adventures.