With New York swimming in sun soup, and all of Europe on vacation, it must be August, which means it’s time for another sneak peak at this year’s 100 staggeringly successful Columbia Publishing Course graduates. As in years past, we’ve compiled a composite biographical sketch of the ultimate superstar student, taken entirely from actual bios. See these publishing powerhouses in person at Columbia’s Career Day on August 1st at the Columbia Graduate School of Jounalism; call 212.854.3562 to RSVP, or e-mail [email protected] to post job openings. Now, pull the blinds down, sit on the air conditioner, and prepare to be humbled.
Born and raised in the postindustrial wasteland of Akron, Ohio, our student is often mistaken for a local in foreign capitals. Raised as a rising mathematics star by a Finnish atheist librarian and an Irish Catholic chef, she speaks in a flawless British accent. She grew up driving a particularly unusual bus on the farm of family friend Ken Kesey and was a four-time National Spelling Bee contestant, including two top-ten finishes. She picked an HBCU, Spelman (where she wrote two theses, one an original theory), over an Ivy League school, and chose unemployment over law school. She hated THE CATCHER IN THE RYE for its cynicism. In addition to researching gardens in Medieval Italian literature, this A-list tarot master and former beauty editor at Vogue Girl in Korea enjoys playing fiddle, cycling to Inner Mongolia, and scuba diving on submerged Ming Dynasty cities. She has also played several instruments, including piano, marimba, and a rusty fire extinguisher named Scubby, and was co-founder of a PR firm devoted entirely to the promotion of the legendary punkapella group Your Mom. After climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, she spent a semester in Prague, developing an affinity for Czech film, literature, and goulash. After a stint as a “tavern wench,” she produced a documentary about lobstermen, and then became an editorial assistant to a non-fiction author, discovering that talent and creativity do not necessarily coincide with organizational ability. The proud owner of a 10-year-old female Reeve’s Terrapin named Mort, our student helped promote Dave Eggers‘ stage adaptation of YOU SHALL KNOW OUR VELOCITY, completed a three-day solo in the woods armed only with a gallon of water and a pound of trail-mix, and composed an international humanitarian law with a visiting Cambodian diplomat. For seven years, she has worked in the customer service department of a local grocery store diplomatically answering questions like “Can I put this turkey on layaway?” and “Do you sell bicycles?” Having recently completed an obligatory tour of duty in the Swiss army, this Sex and the City-worshipping, Virginia Woolf-idolizing femme hopes to pursue a career in publishing that will capitalize on her love of movies, fashion, food, and travel. She now realizes that she is most content where the ocean meets the land, or, so to speak, where the creative and business sides merge. This is not to say that she is a beach person.