Danny Valencia is a creative senior who will be leaving his legacy at Illinois State University after graduation this May. After talking with this young man about his passion for his work, aspirations, family, and life philosophy, I can tell he has an attitude and experiences that will take him far after graduation.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a senior here at ISU anxiously waiting for graduation. I’m a double major in arts technology and studio drawing. I’ve spent my whole life continuously trying to better myself in any way I can. I’ve always been the work hard, play hard type of guy. Although it is important to take academics and my future seriously, I try to not take life too seriously. This mindset keeps me relaxed and happy, which I believe is important. It is important for me to have fun in everything I do. That is why I chose to do what I love and have fun doing—creating art.
What is your role in the ISU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America?
I'm a part of the graphic design team, but when we break up into committees, I sit with Progressive Image, the student-run firm. Within PRi, I've been working on a brochure for the Humane Society of Central Illinois. Anyone within ISU PRSSA is free to ask me for help on designs of any sort.
What have you done as a part of the graphic design team?
I designed social media cards for the executive board to hand out at the PRSSA 2014 National Conference, made a flyer for National Coffee Day, and designed the logo for #RedbirdPRstories. I'm working on a logo for Donate Life ISU, a campus event aimed at raising organ donation awareness as a part of the PRSSA National Organ Donor Awareness Competition. Working on the graphic design team has kept me quite busy.
How did you become a member of ISU PRSSA?
My girlfriend at the time heard about ISU PRSSA through an in-class presentation from a member. The member mentioned that ISU PRSSA was offering a graphic design position, and my girlfriend relayed the message to me. The next day we attended the first meeting, and I gathered information about the position. When the time came, I applied and interviewed for the position. Now I am a proud member of the ISU PRSSA graphic design team.
What have you gained from joining ISU PRSSA?
I’ve gained knowledge about the public relations field. Before joining ISU PRSSA, I knew almost nothing about it. I’ve also met a lot of awesome people and have had the opportunity to create solid work for my portfolio.
What are your goals after graduation?
As far as my career, I hope to begin my work as a designer/artist and eventually climb the ladder and move up from there. In general, my goal is to continue finding things that challenge me. I never want to stop learning. I will do my best to keep my eye on the prize, but what really matters to me is remaining happy and having fun.
Describe your dream job.
My dream job would be to work with either Pixar, DreamWorks, or the NBA. It would be amazing to be a part of a creative group of that caliber and go through the process start to finish creating masterpieces for the world to see and indulge.
Where do you find your greatest motivation?
My family is my greatest motivation. After all they have gone through to give me a better life, I have no excuse to not work hard in order to become successful. I hope to one day hit a point where I can give back to them for all that they have done for me.
Questions composed by Alex Danko
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PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.