Our current class of Newark high school interns is wrapping up their second semesters at Audible, having gained skills and experience in departments in all areas of the company. Edna Agyemang, ACX intern and North Star Academy high school junior, shares how her experience at Audible has impacted her.
When I started working at Audible, I immediately knew I wanted to write my own book and share it with the world. I was excited to be at the center of modernized listening and surrounded by creative minds that have dedicated their lives to making knowledge more accessible. When I told my manager about my aspirations, he encouraged me to go for it and said it would be easy for me to publish my book on ACX, Audible’s self-publishing platform.
I currently work in the ACX department as part of its Customer Care team. As interns, we are placed in different departments and are assigned managers who mentor us as we immerse ourselves in various projects. We also attend classes led by different Audible employees that teach us how we can maximize our opportunities in any professional setting. The workshops focus on topics including creating LinkedIn profiles, learning about the interview process and interpersonal skills. At the end of each semester, we give a presentation to showcase what we’ve learned and how the skills we’ve gained can be used in our future career.
One of my major learnings: Everyone at Audible shares my love of books and wants to support me in any way they can. I’ve always loved writing, but my passion really bloomed after I moved to the U.S. from Ghana three years ago. It has been a significant culture shift and school has been so different. But in English literature class, I was introduced to writers like Richard Wright, Margaret Atwood and Ta-Nehisi Coates (among so many others!), and they changed my perspective on writing. Initially, when I thought of writing, I thought only of fictional stories meant to entertain or journalistic writing meant to report current events. But these writers were making political statements, pointing out flaws in human behavior and making claims that are still relevant decades later. Now, one of my biggest dreams is to be able to impact people as much as these great authors have impacted me.
They say to write what you know. I hope to convey my version of the American experience and to define what that even means for a young black woman living in Newark. Writing my book, taking readers through my story of multiculturalism and my transnational identity, has taken me on a journey of self-discovery and I can’t wait until others are able to experience that with me. Being in a big company like Audible where people’s jobs revolve around the creation of books has created space for me to express myself artistically. Seeing that books and writing are still highly valued in society has made me much more confident about pursuing that interest.
There used to be a time when I wasn’t confident in my writing because I felt that “good” writing had to be cryptic and overly complicated. But I have come to realize that my purpose isn’t to be the next Shakespeare, but instead to combat ignorance and to leave my footprint on the world in some way–even if I’m only reaching a small audience. There aren’t nearly enough black female writers in the world, and there certainly aren’t enough teen black female writers. I hope people will be able to read my published book someday soon, and, of course, listen to it on Audible.
When Edna Agyemang is not studying or writing her book, which she hopes to finish by the end of the summer, she loves to cook, read books and listen to music. In addition to being an aspiring writer, Agyemang wants to study English and political science at college and become a lawyer.