Sophomore year in college, an old friend of the family said she could set me up with an internship at the publishing company where she worked knowing I was an aspiring English major. I took her up on the offer and interned at her company that summer. It was a small company, which was great because they really treated me like an employee and not just an intern. I edited manuscripts, sent letters and attended meetings.
The next summer (junior year) I used this experience to get me another internship at a magazine I found by researching online. This one almost didn't take me because they thought I was just another "kid," but after calling them and practically being hung up on, I personally sent them a copy of my resume and a letter of recommendation from the editor at my last internship--then they called me. It was another very small office and this one allowed me to write some small articles and reviews for publication. Both experiences set me up for the perfect first job out of college--assistant editor of a national trade magazine. I know that my prior experiences helped immensely when applying for my current job. Both internships were unpaid, but worth the time (only three days a week).
I got my B.A. in English and just kind of knew I would like it in the publishing industry. I think getting where you want to be in your career is all about utilizing your connections, being self-motivated and really staying focused on the path you want to take. Also, getting positive recommendations from your supervisors at each job will speak volumes for you.