Laura Arnold ’04
Laura Arnold ’04 followed her love of books to Manhattan where she is an editor for Harper Collins Children’s Books. Arnold says she does everything from reading and evaluating manuscripts to acquiring and editing books while seeing them through the many steps of publication.
“I think it is so extraordinary to witness first-hand how a book is put together from start to finish and to participate in each step of the process,” she says, “from weighing in on the typeface or paper chosen to seeing a child pick it up in the bookstore and knowing that you helped make it happen. And it’s not only thrilling to be a part of the behind-the-scenes process of bookmaking, but it’s also fascinating to be on the frontlines as the book industry adapts in the age of the Internet.”
Arnold says she knew she wanted to be an editor while at Cornell. She served as writer and then news editor for The Cornellian, head copy editor for the Royal Purple, and poetry committee member for Open Field. After Cornell, she completed the six-week Columbia University Publishing Course.
Arnold encourages students to pursue internships to gain a foothold in publishing. And she believes a Cornell English degree prepared her well for her job.
“One Course At A Time really teaches you to focus in on one thing, even in the midst of a multitude of extracurricular activities…In an always-bustling office, prioritization is the most important skill to have. Meanwhile, the emphasis on sharp writing and a clear thought process that the English department taught me has been very beneficial in an industry where the written word is paramount.”