My Path to PRH: Beth Codey on How the Sustainability Subcommittee Builds Life-Long Habits
Everyone has unique career stories to tell. In our My Path to Penguin Random House series, PRH colleagues share how they entered the world of book publishing, what led them to our company, insights into their jobs, and their future professional aspirations.
This week, we’re featuring Beth Codey, Senior Manager, Business Intelligence and Marketing, as she tells us her story in her own words.
How would you describe the course of your path to book publishing and PRH, including practical, professional, and educational?
If you would have told 18-year-old Beth that she would actually use her English degree to go work for a top publishing company, she would have been pretty surprised. You can get a job with an English degree?! If you told her she would then use that degree to eventually do marketplace analysis and strategy, she would have laughed in your face.
I always knew that I wanted to work in a creative field, having spent the majority of my education focused on theatre and reading as many books as possible. So when I graduated from UMass Amherst and landed a job at a non-profit theatre company I was happy to be surrounded by inspiring work and be involved in the business side of theatre—something that was new to me. I worked in the Development Department, focusing on grant writing and planning galas and other major donor events. As the theatre was undergoing some staffing changes I moved over to run the box office, helping create new programs designed to attract younger audiences into the theatre.
PRH was a company that had always been on my radar and publishing was an industry that felt like a good fit for me. I had actually done a few rounds of interviews for a PRH marketing position that didn’t pan out, but a few months later was hired as a Client Development Coordinator for PRH Publisher Services. I am a big believer in things happening for a reason, and I’m grateful I didn’t get that first PRH marketing because PRHPS has been a great home for me. As someone coming in with no publishing experience I learned so much about the industry through our relationship with the client publishers—from sales to distribution to marketing.
How has your role within PRHPS evolved for the last seven years and how did you navigate that growth?
When I first started at PRHPS I was brought on to help coordinate our client events, like system trainings, workshops, and of course our annual Client Summit conference. This allowed me a lot of collaboration with various PRH teams and different kinds of publishers. A thing I love about PRHPS is that we work with all kinds of publishing categories from cookbooks to manga to children’s; I’ve been able to learn how each of these publishers approach their business and the marketplace and how we at PRHPS are able to help them. This pushed me towards my focus now—using business intelligence tools to provide marketplace insights to our clients and help them understand their business better.
Transitioning from event planning to a data analytics role has felt more seamless than I would imagine. I believe that is because working with the client publishers the goal is always the same, we want to help grown their programs whether that is through engaging events or marketplace insights.
You’re a Junior Board Member with Read Ahead and you sit on the Sustainability Subcommittee. Why did you choose to get involved?
At the beginning, joining both the Read Ahead Junior Board and the Sustainability Subcommittee felt like a great way to network both with different PRH colleagues and with other young professionals. I’ve stayed on with the Sustainability Subcommittee because I have honestly learned so much about building in sustainable practices into my personal life, and it has been really interesting to have a closer understanding of PRH’s commitment to sustainability. With Read Ahead, I am very passionate about the work this organization does. I have also been a Read Ahead mentor for 2 years and it is wonderful to see the positive impact the program has for it’s students.
Tell us about one proud or happy moment with the Sustainability Subcommittee.
Actually, just this week we hosted Sasquatch author Heidi Roop for our Green Book Club, and she discussed topics from her debut book, THE CLIMATE ACTION HANDBOOK. Heidi was such an engaging presenter and really framed this topic in an accessible and dynamic way. We had such great feedback from all the attendees!
Tell us about hiking the 46 ADK high peaks!
The Adirondack mountains have 46 high peaks, which are all near the Lake Placid and Keene Valley region. I started this venture of hiking all 46 with my brother and sister-in-law back in 2019, and have 10 high peaks in the books! My family always spends 4th of July week in the Adirondacks so we have started a new tradition of knocking out a few peaks every year. Typically we start hiking around 5 AM and end around 5 PM, averaging about 20 miles for the day. The best part is the view at the top and having a huge hamburger and beer from Paradox brewery after. The worst part is the three or four mile hike back to the parking lot once you are off the main trail, those three miles always feel like 10 and the only thing that keeps me going is the thought of food in my future. So far my favorite hike has been Mt. Colden, taking the trail via Avalanche Pass. It is a great hike that takes you around a really beautiful lake, and the views at the top are awesome. I’ve also done some amazing hikes out in Scotland and would love to do more abroad hiking trips!