Ada graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and a minor in Business. In the two years since, she has not only succeeded in using her degree to its fullest extent, but is also pursuing a passion in a part-time job.
Ada was born in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, not far from her parents’ hometown of Yabucoa.; her father was in the U.S. Army, so she and her family moved regularly throughout her early years before landing permanently in Northern Virginia when Ada was in middle school. She attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, VA, and says she didn’t know Marymount existed until her senior year. “I had done a summer architecture program at Carnegie Mellon [University], but changed my mind about my major afterward,” Ada said. “I went to visit Marymount, met the student ambassadors and Professor Barry Erdeljon in the Graphic Design program, and really loved the environment and campus.” She said she has a penchant for the humanities and liberal arts, and that MU allowed her to be more of a “renaissance person” and explore areas outside her major.
Ada was admitted to the Honors Program at Marymount, and was very active on campus and in her academic career. She studied abroad twice – once in Dubai her sophomore year, and during a summer with the Honors Oxford Program in England. While there, she was able to eat in the building where some scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed. She worked as a student ambassador part of all four years, and served in various leadership roles with the International Club and the Latino Student Association. “Marymount is more of a community than a campus,” Ada said. “The faculty were so accessible, and it was easy to work with people on community involvement projects.” Ada fondly remembers her time working with her thesis advisor, Professor Nancy Furlow.
While at Marymount, Ada also took Art History classes with Professor Mark Trowbridge, to whom she attributes her love of history. Following graduation, Ada took that love of history, combined it with her love for food, and became a part-time food tour guide with DC Metro Food Tours. She takes groups on walking tours of either Georgetown or Old Town Alexandria, touring historical sites as well as restaurants to explore different plates that tell a story.
Additionally, Ada’s internship during her time at MU with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants allowed her to build a dynamic portfolio to help her get a job with the International Institute of Finance in Washington, DC, within 6 months of graduation. Her position with the Global Events Department allows her to use both her graphic design and business skills from her major and minor at MU. “I received such a good foundation from Marymount,” Ada said. “The writing class I took in particular, but I also hear Professor Edeljon and Professor Bridget Murphy’s words echoed in my own now. They stressed the importance of the planning and paperwork – design briefs, presentation outlines – and now I’m the one stressing those pieces in my office!” Ada has also had the opportunity to travel with her job for conferences around the world. Last year, she traveled to India, Panama, and Calgary, Canada; this year she will visit Copenhagen, Denmark, among other spots.
Ada continues to grow in both her jobs, and is seriously considering graduate school in a few years. “I’m looking for a good program for Marketing, Communications, or Advertising, but I’m working to gain the job experience first.”