Success is a Journey

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 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.

8 Ways to Get Involved at DePaul (From Someone Who Was Too Involved)

Written by: Lavonn Ackerman, Communications Assistant, DePaul University Career Center

When I was a freshman, my main concern was ensuring I was not going to be alone all the time. Everyone wants to make friends and I think it’s a natural thing to worry about when transitioning to college. Reflecting back, this worry caused me to get involved in way too many things! Based on my experience, these are the things I would recommend trying out.

1. Group Chats/Facebook Groups

2021 header
(Official DePaul University Class of 2021 on Facebook)

One of the earliest ways that I got involved, before classes even started, was joining Facebook groups and group chats started by other people in my class. When you are accepted to DePaul, you will be prompted to join the official Facebook page for your class. From this, I found that many students created specialized group chats based on common interests.

2. The Involvement Fair

(Brooke Jackson @ DeBlogs)

At the beginning of the year, DePaul invites every student organization to meet on the Quad in Lincoln Park to share information about how to get involved. Going to the Involvement Fair is a great way to see what orgs are on campus and what they have to offer.

3. Join Greek Life

(DePaul University)

During the involvement fair, some of the liveliest groups of people will be those in Greek-letter organizations. Many GLO’s are close-knit groups of friends that also are passionate about doing service. Greek life at DePaul has four categories: Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Panhellenic Council.

4. RA Events

(depaul_cmc on Instagram)

As a former RA, one of our main responsibilities was to build community through floor events. At these events, you may meet someone you never would’ve spoken to otherwise. RAs are also very knowledgeable about different orgs on campus so feel free to ask them for advice. (Pro tip: RAs also usually bring free food to their events!)

5. Academic Department Events

(DePaul University College of Communication on Facebook)

Meeting and networking with students and alumni who have similar academic and career interests as you can be very beneficial in many ways. Academic offices put on events that include guest speakers and professionals in every field. These events will be posted on Handshake, bulletin boards, and the office’s social media pages.

6. Intramural Sports

(depaulcampusrec on Instagram)

Intramural sports is a free way to get active without the pressure of being on one of DePaul’s official sports teams. You can sign up as a team or join as a free agent to be added to one. There are many different sports that play throughout the year.

7. Community Service

(DePaul University Division of Mission and Ministry)

One of DePaul’s pillars is community service, modeled after the Vincentian question “what must be done?” DePaul truly lives out this mission with many opportunities for community service. The DePaul Community Service Association serves neighborhoods across Chicago and service immersion trips take place all over the country.

8. Start your own organization

If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to be a good fit, think about starting your own student org. All you need are four friends, an advisor, and a constitution!

Smart Moves for First-Year Students

By: Henry Tran, DePaul University management major ’19

I sat down with a career advisor to gather general advice and tips for first-year students at DePaul. Here are four smart moves you can make as a freshman to set yourself up for success at DePaul and in the future.

Apply For Classes as Early as Possible

You should always try to apply as soon as possible for your classes. Don’t wait until the last minute, as you could lose out on classes you want, or be forced to wait until the class opens up!

Work on your Resume, But Seriously

As a first-year student, resumes may not seem that important, but having one is vital for internships and jobs. Even if you’re not applying for any jobs just yet, having one may prove to be useful as a source of your qualifications. If you are wondering where to go to get help creating or reviewing your résumé, here’s the answer: At the Career Center. The Career Center offers these services for free.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

If you’re feeling unsure about anything, you can easily find help! Whether it’s receiving help from the Writing Center on your final essays or working with the Career Center to figure out what you want to do with your time here at DePaul, there are many resources available to you, you just have to go get it!

Discover Passions, Get Involved

DePaul has over 350 student organizations for you to explore! Ranging from DAB (DePaul Activities Board) to DePaul Radio, there are plenty of places for you to discover your passions and interests. Getting involved is a great way to establish connections with your fellow peers, as well as grow your networking options.

Not sure about your career path? It’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do. Luckily, there are ways for you to figure it out. Undeclared, unsure, or just curious, there are plenty of opportunities for you to explore a career. From job shadowing, interviewing, networking with alumni and attending fairs, there are multiple opportunities for you to find out which path suits you best.

Once you have access, head on over to the DePaul Handshake site to find internships, jobs, workshops, mentors and networking events. Start your first year off on the right foot; explore, get connected and start experiencing.