Recap & Photos: College Casual Networking Event @ Tufts University

Recap & Photos: College Casual Networking Event @ Tufts University

For this month’s Casual Networking Event (CNE), members of the Bookbuilders of Boston crew traveled to Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts last Wednesday evening, March 9th, to speak to students about the value of networking and give a sense of what it’s like to work in the publishing industry.

This CNE drew a crowd of more than 50 students and several members of Tufts University Career Center staff, who helped organize the event.

There were 11 panelists, ranging from Bookbuilders Board members to publishing professionals and even Bookbuilders volunteers. The panelists included:

  • Benita Spight, Senior Vice President of Content Development Services at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Sarah Bodden, Chief of Staff at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Julie Anne Gniadek, Director of Production, Content, and Graphics at Real Legal Marketing and Owner and Founder of JH Language Solutions
  • Kelly Mcdougall, Digital Production Assistant at the MIT Press
  • Hannah Gotwals, – Permissions Assistant at the MIT Press
  • Jill Saginario, Production Associate at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
  • Miranda Martin, Assistant Acquisitions Editor at the MIT Press
  • Kate Elwell, Senior Production Coordinator at the MIT Press
  • Louis Roe, Design Associate at Beacon Press
  • Halli Melnitsky, Director of Editorial Operations at BookBub
  • Doug Campbell, Production & Support Manager at BookBub


Each panelist gave an introduction and described their current roles, the companies and organizations they worked for, and how they operate and contribute to the publishing world.

The panel spoke and presented for approximately 30 minutes, and then the next 30 to 40 minutes allowed eager students to ask questions—all of which ranged from where and how to find a job, the skills needed to jump into a role in publishing, how to make the transition from student to professional, and about the world of publishing as a whole.

The last hour of the event was left for networking. Students had the opportunity to come up and meet each panelist individually, ask him or her specific questions, and get advice directly from publishing professionals.

The event, scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., extended well past 8 p.m. until the crowd finally began to dwindle at approximately 8:30.

All in all, the event was a huge success, and Bookbuilders extends a HUGE “thank you” to Tufts University for allowing us the opportunity to visit the campus, meet some enthusiastic students, and help motivate them and get them thinking about their next steps into their careers as aspiring publishing professionals.

Julie Gniadek

About Julie Gniadek

Julie Anne Gniadek is a member of the Communications Committee on the Bookbuilders of Boston Board. By day, she is the Director of Production - Content and Graphics for Real Legal Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Before stepping into her full time role at Real Legal Marketing in June 2015, Julie came from the world of publishing, where she first became acquainted with Bookbuilders. For five years she worked as a senior project manager and sales operations manager at Pearson Education in Boston. She is also the owner and founder of her own business, J. H. Language Solutions, which specializes in web content management and editorial solutions. Julie has a Bachelor’s in Spanish, with a minor in Business Management from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts, and a Master’s in Project Management from Bryant University in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. In addition to her Master’s, Julie is also PMP certified.