Jesse Fleck ’15, Reed Elsevier

On January 8th, I had a Princeternship at Reed Elsevier in New York City. Reed Elsevier is a major international corporation that works on publishing, exhibitions, business information/risk solutions, legal and corporate responsibility. The publishing sector of Reed Elsevier is one of the largest international publishing companies of science, technology and medical journals.  Thus, it is not surprising that many of the journals that Princeton students use for their research papers are from Reed Elsevier.  In addition to providing journals, the publishing sector also creates software to facilitate search methods and communication between other researchers.

My Princetnership at Reed Elsevier was in the Office of the Chairman. Mr. Yungsuk “YS” Chi, the Chairman, who works with governments and customers worldwide and represents Reed Elsevier’s Asia Strategy. Additionally, YS is the current President of the International Publishers Association (IPA). IPA holds conference around the world to promote freedom of press. As a critical figure to both Reed Elsevier and IPA, YS regularly travels around the world to meet with people to further the goals of the organizations that he represents.

When I arrived, I signed in with the front desk and took the elevator up to the 9th floor to meet my host, Jacqueline Thomas ‘09. She took me to her office and introduced me to her two co-workers, Monica and Jessie.  It was during this time that I found out everyone in YS’s office goes by their initials. This was ironically really helpful since there were three Jesses in the office (including me). So, I was called JIF occasionally. Later in the day, I met the third Jesse who was called JAM. We all had a good laugh since JIF and JAM sound like the makings of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I spent the day speaking with various members of Reed Elsevier, all of whom were Princeton alums. After speaking with Jacqueline, I had a video conference with the remaining two members of the Office of the Chairman, Alya and Yifeng, in Reed Elsevier’s London office. Through my time speaking with all five of them, I was able to get a clear understanding of the responsibilities of the Office of the Chairman.

Their jobs as analysts required them to research countries in order to prepare YS for the next location in his travels . I found out that YS travels over 280 days a year and has on occasion even traveled to a different continent every single day of the week. In light of this high frequency of travel, YS always needs to know the context of his new situation in order to act as a proper representative for IPA or Reed Elsevier. Consequently, the analyst team supports him by coordinating traveling schedules, briefing YS and assisting him in writing his speeches. I was fortunate enough to read some of the speeches. I found that YS connects the message he wants to deliver through a story that has some significance to the audience. Along with these duties, the team also works on individual projects for a specific region  that caters to their individual language or cultural knowledge. When someone needs assistance, however, everyone jumps in to help. The sense of team work was truly amazing.

After meeting with the members of the Office of the Chairman, we had lunch and then I met with other Princeton alums in Reed Elsevier. The first person I met was a former member of the Office of the Chairman, Peter, who now works in the Business Strategy sector of Reed Elsevier. I also met Rebecca who worked on the marketing of Scopus, a major research tool for Reed Elsevier. Lastly, I met with George and Jesse (JAM) who work in the publishing sector as well. In addition to gaining insight on the various positions in Reed Elsevier, they all gave me a lot of advice on college and future job aspirations.

The day ended when I returned to Jacqueline’s office. We all watched a brief documentary on YS that was released on a major Korean new station. Afterward, we all said our goodbyes and I returned to Princeton.

In conclusion, I had a wonderful experience in the Office of the Chairman at Reed Elsevier. I was fortunate enough to meet not only the members of this office, but also other Princeton alums in Reed Elsevier. I learned a lot about the duties and expectations of the various positions that everyone held. While their tasks are very challenging, it was encouraging to see how close everyone works together to make the impossible happen. Although I knew nothing about Reed Elsevier when I applied to the Princeternship, by the end of the experience I had learned so much and greatly appreciated the company. Moreover, the Office of the Chairman at Reed Elsevier seemed like the quintessential job due to the teamwork, the tasks and the positive atmosphere.