When you order at Chipotle, they ask you if you want a burrito or bowl, white or brown rice, black or pinto beans, for here or to go. With the line out the door and anxiety perched on my shoulder, I would often just pick one or the other for the sake of getting it over with, not consciously thinking through either choice. I was never truly satisfied with whatever I chose, and I began to research “Chipotle Hacks” online to help me navigate my choices upon consumption. Through a little research, I found that you can actually order half and half portions that would allow me to get a little of each item instead of deciding on just one. Like the passionate burrito eater that I am, I discovered Interdisciplinary Studies through a similar method.
No one in college tells you that you can build your own major. No one tells you that your specific career goals can be combined into one major that would allow for the most success in your field. But, like Chipotle Hacks, through a little digging I discovered opportunities for a perfect major can be achieved if you know how to ask for them correctly- and in the right order. Through Interdisciplinary Studies I was able to build the program of Marketing and Creative Services that combined my passion for visual arts with my appreciation for business.
In my applied project titled, “Marketing for a Creative Service“, I was able to put use my skills of public relations and marketing to help a fellow visual artist exhibit a body of her installed work. My background in visual design helped me to understand the artists perspective on the show and create material that would best advertise her installation. I stayed in touch with my client though email and in person meetings to assist her in whatever needs she had in regards to the show. Without the visual arts component in my program, I would not have been as successful in my efforts to advertise and market her show.
As a traditional marketing student, I was exposed to different varieties of marketing strategies that lead to the ideation of my research article, “Marketing Strategies of Cult-Brands“. In my business classes, I continued to hear the names of popular brands over and over again through text, research, and in class discussion. This lead me to wonder why these brands held such a high precedent over others, especially in an era that seems to reject modern advertising. Over the course of the semester, I researched the strategies and tactics these brands implement to make themselves so well known throughout the world, and emphasized on the emotional resonance that the brands created within consumers.
Building a major can be a lot like ordering a burrito: stressful but delicious. You’ll find that when you stop being unafraid to ask for fajita veggies in lieu of pinto beans, or bargaining with your server for a little extra guac, your burrito becomes even more delicious. Despite the line behind you and the hurried server in your face, it’s important to remember that this burrito is yours and you should customize it how you like. Like my major, my burrito tastes much better with half brown rice and half white rice instead of one or the other. Sometimes the best choice isn’t a choice at all, until you make it an option.