We chatted with "Lifer" alumni Amber Style '12 about her college experience in the Midwest, her current career in advertising, and how Sierra Canyon helped her become the person she is today.
Where have you been, Amber, since your graduation? What was your college experience like?
I wanted my college experience to take me outside of my comfort zone, allowing me the space to lay roots in a place of my own. I applied to multiple universities across the US, none of which were in the state of California, because I knew LA would always be home. The August that followed SC graduation my family and I were on our way to Bloomington Indiana, where I was to begin my collegiate career as an IU Hoosier majoring in Anthropology. Now I know what you are thinking, why did an LA girl like me choose to go to college in a fly over state? I questioned my decision countlessly but after spending four years in the Midwest, I can confidently say that there is no place like it for College. So, what did I get out of my years at Indiana University you ask?
- Anthro 101-which brought to light my lack of interest in anthropology. This was a blessing because if forced me to think about a career path I could actually enjoy and prosper in. My Major in Telecommunications and Minor in Business Marketing was hard fought and one of my greatest accomplishments to date
- My love for the Fall season
- Two amazing internships at Sony Music and Blueline Media Productions
- A true appreciation for college football SEASON. Now, if you know anything about the Big 10 Conference you know that IU is usually never at the top. Not feeling like I needed to be in the stands for every game left room for some pretty amazing memories tailgating with friends and bar crawling around downtown Bloomington
- The wherewithal to endure 4 light winters and knowledge that I could never live in a state that experiences winter every year
- Friendships that will last me a lifetime
- Personal growth and more confidence in myself and what I bring to the table
You are now working in advertising. What led you in that direction?
With my major and minor I knew that I would end up in a creative environment, and during the time of my application process I was open to anything really. You don't know self-doubt until you start applying for jobs, but hang in there! I interviewed at film studios, record labels, magazines, production houses all over LA. After walking into Phenomenon, meeting the people, and getting a taste of the culture, I knew it would be a good fit. Being a privately-owned media, marketing, and innovations agency, I knew there would be opportunity to work on some amazing clients and experience vertical growth. Here I’ve made the move from Office Manager to Brand Manager, and I couldn’t be happier in my new role.
Where do you see yourself or where would you like to be in the future?
I am currently a Brand Manager with a focus in production for my current client. I’d be content if I stayed here for a few more years. Down the line, I would love to make a more permanent move to production and become an Executive Producer, but who knows what the future holds!
You were for all purposes a "Lifer" at SC. Tell us about your SC experience. Did you feel that it prepared you for university academic life and life in general?
When I look back on my time at SC, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I was lucky enough to see the evolution of Sierra Canyon from a small Lower Campus to the now ranked Pre-K through 12th school. I remember being the first freshman class on the brand new Upper Campus as well as being the largest class to graduate with 96 classmates. Sierra Canyon has come a long way since my days in Kindergarten, and it has been an honor to see the growth. The faculty and staff that I had the pleasure of crossing paths with over 13 years helped shape me into the woman I am today and the community there is nothing short of a family. One who helped me through some of the toughest times in my life, and for that words will never be able to express my gratitude. I know my parents made the right choice by sending me to a school that well prepared me for college and introduced me to friends that I still have to this day.
Are there any courses, activities or teachers that impacted you? Do you maintain relationships with SC classmates and is that important to you?
Herman Melville once said “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects” and I couldn’t agree more. The strong and meaningful relationships I have fostered from my days as SC mean the world to me. Shout out to Erin Jackson, Stephanie Rodgers, and Gaby Fazio! I love you!
Some “thank yous” that I would like to extend:
Jenny Hernandez, Upper Campus Faculty – Words cannot express the impact you have made in my life as well as every student that has the honor of entering your classroom. You gave me my first job at Sierra Canyon Day Camp and from there evolved from my boss to a dear friend. Thank you for all the love and support over the years.
Mrs. Richards, Lower School Librarian - Thank you for sharing your love of books with me. While you were benefiting from my child labor during lunches, I was falling in love with the books I “duodecimaled” and it is a love affair I am happy to have carried on.
Mrs. Randall, my 5th Grade Home Room Teacher – Thank you for keeping it real and leveling with your students in a way I had never experienced. In your classroom, I felt like a young adult and I loved it.
The Incredible Thomas Fennell – To a teacher with the biggest heart and sharpest tongue, not a single student leaves your class without taking a Fennell-ism with them. Thank you for your all your wisdom and mentorship, it truly means the world to me.