By: Ariana Narang, DePaul PRAD Alum

We never really think about how four years can change someone’s life so drastically. Sometimes it takes a year, or a day, or even a second. A split second — that’s all it takes for your life to feel surreal. These past four years have been a short roller coaster ride that took me on a journey where every moment, and every second, was spent shaping my life to what it is now. We have all heard about The Road Not Taken, and I am proud to say that when I look back at my DePaul journey I see “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

ariana laughing

I have always been the type of person to completely immerse myself in my surroundings and make relationships that last a lifetime. From my very first day at DePaul, I joined various organizations that not only helped in developing my identity but also guided me in becoming a leader. At DePaul, I was in the EDGE program, rushed Alpha Kappa Psi, was the Executive Marketer for the South Asian Student Association, was a part of The Ad Society, and even participated in multiple advertising competitions. All these communities were a big part of my DePaul experience.

During my time as the Vice President of Membership for Alpha Kappa Psi, I was able to guide a pledge class of over 30 people. Being a role model for such a large group of diverse individuals showed me how much I love being a part of a community that shares like-minded goals. I got a chance to teach my new brothers the importance of public speaking, networking, practicing how to interview, and even how to professionally dress. Being a role model for pledges, just like I was back in freshman year, was an experience that I will never forget.

AkpsiAlpha Kappa Psi – 2015

I am grateful for being able to lead multiple organizations, but getting the opportunity to be a leader on campus is an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. Being a Facilities Assistant in Housing Services added another layer to my college experience. I cannot imagine the past two years without my wonderful team that has supported me, actively listened and were there with me from the beginning of the year to the end. I was able to meet some of my best friends by working in Housing, and I am thankful to have made an impact on people that I met.

FAsFacilities Assistants, 2017 – 2018

I also had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris and New York for marketing and advertising. I learned so much about the industry and where I fit. This past year was very career-heavy for me, I tried to absorb as much knowledge as I could to prepare myself for post-graduation. I had to lean on my friends, family, and professors who helped guide me to where I wanted to be.

I dove into the advertising world head-first and I am so proud to say I have accomplished so much more than I ever imagined! I won first place out of 12 teams in Ad Campaigns, co-designed a campaign for Ocean Spray, led an eight-person creative team for Wienerschnitzel, participated in the One Club Creative Bootcamp with Leo Burnett, visited multiple advertising agencies (even got the opportunity to go to Cramer-Krasselt’s Job Shadow Day), and completed four internships!

ariana-in-paris.png
Ariana during her time in Paris

“Practice like you’ve never won, and perform like you’ve never lost” is my mantra and I have been following it with whatever I do. I believe we are all very creative people; we should use our creativity, ambition, and confidence everywhere we go to make a change — big or small. Small steps are big when it comes to reaching goals; so, not giving up when life gets hard and helping those around you pick themselves up is what I exist for. I am here to make an impact on the Earth, then reach for the stars. — Ariana’s Mission Statement

My mission in the world is to make sure I am bringing my full potential and 110% effort in everything I do. It’s important to not only be a leader, but also a role model for generations to come. So, What Must be Done? We need to be kind to one another, educate those willing to absorb all knowledge, and create leaders that will become role models someday. Being a Vincentian means to incorporate the four pillars in our daily lives. First, by understanding the roots of DePaul by hearing stories of our founding members, and then applying them to our own experiences. Also, being aware of our surroundings and reflecting on the paths we take to reach different destinations. Then, helping lead people on their journey and discovering how your role impacts others in this changing world. I hope to integrate my personal values such as integrity, knowledge, leadership, ambition, family, and kindness to make sure I am helping all those individuals reach their full potential. Everyone has a bit of gold hidden within them, and I hope to help them find it.

Ariana and friends
Ariana’s friends, who’ve helped her grow

This past year is when I had my transformative moment. Reflecting over the past four years is when I realized how much DePaul, its different communities, my leadership experience, and all my mentors have shaped me and enhanced my college career. It wasn’t one moment — it was the journey of the last four years that guided me to now. Every moment spent laughing with friends in the Loop, stressing in John T. Richardson Library, accomplishing goals in the 14 E. Jackson’s 12th floor, or even sharing a meal in Student Center 104 has made me feel at home.

DePaul is home.