Watching big ideas transform into manuscripts and ultimately bound volumes that land on bookstore shelves is what Ariana Carpentieri finds most exciting about her publishing career.
“It’s amazing to see how all of our hard work comes together when the book is finally in a reader’s hands,” says Ariana, who has been working at Tor Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, since she graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College with a bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing in 2018.
As an assistant in the marketing and publicity department at the publishing house, Ariana wears many hats. She plans and executes author events and parties and writes content for blogs and social media platforms, among many other responsibilities.
When she arrived at STAC, Ariana knew she wanted to major in English because she’s always loved reading and writing. In fact, she wrote her first “novel” when she was just 11. But what she didn’t know as a freshman was how she could shape her interests into a viable career. A suggestion from her creative writing teacher helped crystallize her plans for the future.
“Professor Wendel suggested that I sign up for a trip to Simon & Schuster in New York City,” Ariana says. “I was reluctant because I had work the day of the trip, but I decided to take off and go.” It proved to be time well spent: Ariana got an insider’s view of the publishing world and knew immediately that it was where she wanted to be.
The undergraduate years were busy for Ariana who was a full-time commuter student juggling a double major along with a job and five extracurricular activities, including serving as editor-in-chief of Odyssey and vice president of the Spartan Scribes. She also completed two internships, one at a public relations firm and another at St. Martin’s Press, where she interned over two semesters. “I was able to help lead marketers on their campaigns and helped run the social media accounts which was incredible and so much fun,” Ariana says. “My internship there is what made me realize I wanted to go into marketing.”
Ariana excelled as a student, earning the Jon Roberts Award for maintaining the highest GPA of all students in Literary Studies, the Dean’s List Award, and the Exemplary Student Service Award. She was also inducted into Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honor Society.
Outside of work, reading, baking, music, and photography are among Ariana’s favorite pastimes, as well as watching the Yankees. “Put me in front of a TV with the Yankee game on and I become a whole new person,” she says.
Ariana describes her years at STAC as “magical” and says that graduation was bittersweet. She credits her professors, especially Monica Wendel and Staci Shultz, for challenging her to think critically and to become a better writer. Most of all, Ariana is grateful for her undergraduate years at STAC for giving her direction. “Going into STAC, I had no clear vision of what I wanted to do,” she says. “But coming out, I knew exactly what I wanted. I owe it all to STAC for helping me realize my passion.”