Graduating in Style: Fashion Merchandising and Marketing Major Finds Her Path

ACC is profiling graduates ahead of the May 11 commencement ceremony. Read previous Q&As with graduates David Weaver and Melissa Triece.
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Name: Lauren Elizabeth Dominguez
Major: Marketing/Fashion Merchandising

Degree/Certificate: Associate of Applied Science

Hometown: Buda

Lauren Dominguez, ACC class of 2012

Graduation is almost here. How do you feel?

I feel very excited but nervous about graduation. It hadn’t really sunk in quite yet that I was actually going to be walking the stage until I bought my tassels the other day. Now it all seems so real and coming up quickly, and I don’t even have my gown yet! As exciting as it is, it also makes me nervous to think that I’m entering the real world where I have to be a grown-up and make decisions about my life that could impact me forever. I just have to have faith that I will make the right ones.

How long have you been at ACC, and what brought you here?

I’ve been at ACC for two years now. I initially went to Texas State University straight out of high school to pursue a major in mass communications. But a large university setting wasn’t ideal for me, and I struggled with my studies while questioning if mass comm was really wanted to do with my life. I finally decided it was more important to enjoy whatever I chose, and I made the smart move to come to ACC to study marketing, which I’ve always had an interest in. When I learned of the fashion merchandising program, I knew what I wanted to do with my life and also that I had made the right decision to attend ACC.

What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome to make it to graduation, and how did you deal with it?

I believe that my biggest challenge was, honestly, the location of many of my classes. I live in Buda, which is about 15 minutes south of Austin, and at one point I had classes all the way at the Northridge Campus, which is north of 183. It literally would take me an hour to drive there, sometimes longer if there was traffic. This presented many problems seeing as I didn’t have a job at the time, and it was hard for me to afford gas to drive a two-hour round trip in a day. Also, it was hard to predict what time I would actually arrive to school depending on traffic, so I was late quite often and even missed an important exam. (Luckily, I had a very kind and understanding teacher and she let me make it up!)

What helped you succeed at ACC?

The thing I liked most about ACC is that everyone and everything seemed so close. In terms of people, the classes were small enough that I got to know many of my classmates on a personal level. This helped with forming study groups, working on homework, and the positive environment of the classroom. Also, my professors were always available when I had a question, or needed to talk — they were all so very helpful and were genuinely interested in watching me succeed. Even on a proximity level, everything was close — the bookstore, café, library, computer lab, advising center, financial aid, etc. These things were all separated and far from each other at the university, and sometimes it would take days to get an advising appointment or to talk to someone about financial aid.

What made you choose your field of study?

I’ve always been interested in fashion since I was introduced to Barbie. I made clothes for her and was more keen on just dressing her in new things rather than actually playing with her. In school, I found fashion to be a way to express myself without having to actually talk much — I was shy, and much preferred sticking my head in a book than being social. I think my sense of style helped me to open up and relate to people when they were interested in my clothes. I’ve also always had a good sense of new trends, and I am usually the first person to point out something was going to be in style; my friends wouldn’t believe me, but they are more often than not proven wrong. On that note, my friends have been my reassurance that I’m good at what I do — they ask me to dress them for events, revamp their wardrobes, and even be their personal shopper. It’s flattering they trust my sense of style.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m hoping to get a job in marketing, just to start off, then perhaps move on to become a buyer’s assistant. Hopefully that can get me in the door to be a buyer for a boutique. I know it will take a lot of hard work and perseverance, because these things don’t just happen right off the bat, but I am willing to put in extra effort to get what I want.

What’s the best thing about graduating?

The best thing about graduation is accomplishing something. I’m human; I don’t finish everything I start, but when I do, it’s an amazing feeling of achievement. I suppose that goes hand-in-hand with making my mother proud — she’s been so supportive and has helped fund my entire college career, so I want her to know that it wasn’t all for nothing. I’m most excited for her to watch me walk the stage.

Who is really proud of your accomplishment? (Besides you, of course!)

I would say the people who have shown the most appreciation of my accomplishment have been my friends. They’ve been incredibly supportive and happy for me, which further convinces me I should be proud of what I’ve done. Also, my kids have been super excited for me, too! When I say kids, I mean my class that I teach at a private school. They all hugged me when I told them I was graduating and wanted to come to my graduation ceremony. But that may get a little crazy!

What advice would you give to the next class of ACC students?

I would tell them that perseverance is key. I know it seems hard sometimes and maybe like the classes and homework and projects will never end… but it’s all contributing to your education which will ultimately pay off in the end. Don’t give up! There are tutors and teachers and classmates to help you out whenever you need.

What’s going to be going through your mind when you cross the stage on May 11?

“I hope I don’t fall!”

For more information about graduation, click here or contact the graduation office at graduati@austincc.edu. Check out the latest President’s Podcast for Dr. Rhodes’ thoughts on graduation.

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