Maria Arellano

Graphic Design

Hometown: Guadalajara, Mexico

Career Plans? Web development and advertising, or Imagineering design for Walt Disney World.

I spent the last year at Walt Disney World participating in their College Program. I absolutely loved it! I had the chance to network a lot with all the pros that make the magic happen. I'm actually planning on going back for a professional internship next summer. The program was a stepping stone for me and hopefully I'll be able to get into their graphic design department.

What do you like best about your major or area of study? I love my major because of the flexibility and the many different paths I can take in my career. I truly love the fact that I can get a lot of experience prior to graduating. I have been blessed with a lot of opportunities for professional development at OU.

Have you lived on campus? I have lived on campus when I served as an Orientation Group Leader in Hamlin Hall. I currently commute from the Troy area.

What activities are you involved in? I'm the President of the Graphic Design Club of Oakland University. We're looking to turn our Graphic Design Club into an official AIGA student chapter (AIGA is an international professional organization for designers).

How are you funding your education? I am currently funding my education through several scholarships I received and personal savings. My scholarships range from the ones I received when I applied to OU to scholarships based on performance.

How have scholarships empowered you? Scholarships have given me the opportunity to get involved at OU and fully live my college experience without having to work full time to fund my education.

What is your favorite OU tradition? My favorite OU tradition is Meadow Brook Ball. I think it’s amazing that we have the opportunity to see the history of our university and to celebrate in Matilda Wilson’s home!

Why did you choose OU? I wanted a personal experience in the classroom, and I saw the opportunities in the metro Detroit area. I decided to stay in this area because of the opportunities I had for my career being so close to a lot of businesses and corporations.

What makes OU special? We get the best of both worlds! I think this university is special because the classroom sizes are intimate and personal, yet the university itself is immense. I love that I get to be a part of something bigger than myself!

Any hidden/secret talents? I used to be a professional flamenco dancer when I lived in Mexico, I was the only 13-year-old in a group of 25-year-olds! It was a lot of fun!

"Your gift matters to me because I get a chance to prepare for my career with the opportunities at OU!"