College is a great time to discover your passions. Senior Eme Otto maximized her time at Concordia by stepping out of her comfort zone to boost her skills and passion for graphic design.
Eme Otto ’17, Northfield, Minn.
Major/Minor: Art–graphic design/Spanish
Why did you choose Concordia?
I actually applied to Concordia on a whim, but I ended up choosing it because I felt at home here. I had a tour and interview for the Visual Arts Scholarship as a prospective student, and everyone I met seemed genuinely interested in making sure that I was getting all of the information that I needed. I was also impressed by the art department facilities and how close-knit the community was, and that played a lot into why I ended up coming here as well. I felt that if I studied at Concordia I would be assisted and taken care of, and I still feel that way today.
What makes Concordia home to you?
Concordia feels like home to me because everywhere I go, there's always someone friendly to talk to. I quickly learned as a timid freshman that people aren't as intimidating as they seem, and that people here want to help you do your best at achieving your goals. I enjoy the fact that Concordia's campus is full of friends that you can catch up with at almost any time of day. Despite being four hours away from home, Concordia feels like an extension of what I already had in my hometown (if not a better one!).
What has been a highlight of your college career?
I usually don't like to boast about myself, but a very satisfying highlight of my college career is learning all of the skills and gaining all of the connections that I have in these last four years. I can now say with confidence that I feel like a successful graphic designer, and I'm incredibly grateful for all of the professors and peers that have helped me along the way. Even now as a senior, I feel like I'm continually building upon the ever-expanding technical and social abilities that go along with being a design student. I don't think I'd be in the same position as I am now if I had picked a different college, and with that I'm extremely happy to have all of the opportunities and experiences I've had here at Concordia.
What advice would you give a prospective student?
My advice to prospective students would be to ask questions and to take advantage of any resource offered to you. I had many times as a younger college student where I didn't do something that could've bettered myself as a person, and I ended up regretting it. College is a great time to experiment with your interests and skills to really find out what you're passionate about in life, so make sure to get out into the world! (Yes, that means getting out of your comfy bed sometimes!)
What activities/cocurriculars/internships/etc. have you been involved with?
The most prominent internship I've been involved with is working as a student designer for Concordia's very own Office of Communications and Marketing, and it's hands down the best place I have worked so far! I've also been involved in creating various design materials for a few departments on campus, as well as organizations like the Celebration of Student Scholarship. Last year, I actually participated in COSS under the Spanish department by presenting a paper I had written. I have attended a few local events such as Fargo's 1 Million Cups and the annual ADDY Awards, which have been very helpful in my design inspiration. Most recently, I participated in Startup Weekend Fargo, where I was a designer on a team whose project won second place! All of these activities have helped immensely in shaping my future.
Laura Caroon '06 is a content strategist at Concordia College.