Susan Thompson is general manager of Textbooks.com. Textbooks.com has what students want: the most used books at the best prices, plus a large selection of new, rental and digital textbooks. Since 2006, we’ve experienced tremendous growth year after year, serving the college student market with high quality used textbooks, an easy and intuitive online shopping experience, and unmatched customer service. Our customers are highly social, value-conscious and the first to adopt new technologies, always challenging us to innovate how they shop for and save on college textbooks. Textbooks.com is uniquely positioned to maintain a nimble, entrepreneurial culture while also being grounded in a larger corporate environment, steeped in tradition, stability, and leadership in the textbook industry.
1. How did you get started in the industry? How can someone who is interested in your work get started?
I started out writing catalog and advertising copy for a department store. As e-commerce began to emerge, I had the opportunity to write copy for the store’s first website. I fell in love with this new digital medium and its ability to measure the impact of the copy as well as other data. I became curious and followed that curiosity well beyond copy writing. Technology and e-commerce are changing constantly. There are always opportunities to come in as an intern or an entry-level position and follow your curiosity to see where it leads. I would recommend taking any position you are offered, learning as much as you can, and following your curiosity.
2. What’s the future of your industry or job?
The digital age is an exciting time for the evolution of learning. Whether it is shopping for textbooks online, downloading digital textbooks or accessing content on the go with a tablet, students are now learning in so many different ways. That trend will continue. However, at the heart of it, the quest for knowledge is timeless. It is an irresistible combination of technology supporting the age-old pursuit of learning.
3. What do you look for when you hire an intern or entry-level candidate?
Reliability, independence, and a positive attitude. On a basic level, I want to know that you will be here doing assigned work when expected. You would be surprised by how important that is. If you can work independently and be a positive factor in the office, that’s even better.
4. What is one thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression?
Be curious. Think of better ways to do things or opportunities for improvement. Ask questions and make suggestions in a clear and organized way.
5. Can you share a positive intern story and an intern horror story? No names needed…
An intern came in to do a basic data-entry job. Once he became proficient at the job, he came with a list of suggestions that would speed up the job. We implemented his ideas. With the free time he had, he followed through on different ideas and suggested several projects. When the internship was over, we hired him. He was promoted several times and continued to forge his own job.
I have had more than one intern ask for vacation and days off on the first day of a summer internship. One asked for two weeks and every Friday off in a six week program. If you need that time, be up front in the interview. We can see if we can work it out.
Interested in interning for Textbooks.com? The company is currently looking for a Marketing intern! Apply now at Apply now.