Camila Rodrigues is an international student from El Salvador who came to ACU pursuing a Digital Entertainment Technology major and an Art minor. Out of all the universities in the United States, she was led to a place where she cherishes a valuable community, is able to explore career opportunities for her future, and grows continuously in all aspects of her life. Camila first stepped onto this campus knowing that she had chosen a university that offered a program with everything she was looking for including being ranked as the #1 university for DET programs in the state of Texas by the U.S. News & World Report.
During her time at ACU, Camila has not only developed meaningful relationships with professors and staff, but she has also found a home in the different student organizations that she is involved with. Camila’s involvement with these organizations has allowed her to build relationships with “People that felt like family who could comfort you and know how to support what you were going through.” She also attributes professors who have given her the same sense of community and challenged her to be better. Camila said that she recognized Professor Tanner as someone who is very approachable and caring, but most importantly, “He has a lot of faith in his students, and will push you to go as far as you can because he loves his job. He makes you excited to learn about new things because he loves what he does so much”.
Camila has been one of those exemplary students who takes advantage of all the opportunities that her department provides. Among the activities she has participated in, she most enjoyed attending the Industry Giants conference in Dallas this past semester. Camila shared that this conference helped her figure out exactly what she wants to do in the future because the exposure to the different professional routes offered in the industry was very educational. However, this is not the only time that Camila felt encouraged by professionals in her field. Throughout the semester, the School of Information Technology and Computing hosts lunches for students to hear from different experts in the field and ask questions about the companies in which they work. Camila encourages others to attend these events because she believes that these are valuable networking opportunities that help students explore different areas in the field. Through these experiences and the resources she has taken advantage of, Camila has decided that she wants to work in the specialized career path of textures for environmental designs — a decision made through the specialized courses she was able to take at ACU.
When Camila was asked to advise incoming freshmen for a DET major, she said, “Get started on projects as soon as possible. Not only your projects for school, but if you have an idea, don’t wait to start making it happen because a dream of making a game can begin once you have the resources. The moment you get these resources, you go for it.” She explained that her response comes from the belief that you can create something awesome for your resume, or for fun, as soon as you step on campus. There are so many resources waiting to be used by students that could turn dreams into reality. And to those who are still considering ACU, she says that, “The main reason to come to ACU is community. There is a wonderful community where you find where you belong. People will take you in quickly. Professors care about you, your progress, and who you are.” Camila Rodrigues is an outstanding example of what it means to maximize resources and take advantage of opportunities. She is clear about where she is headed and is making sure that she equips herself as much as she can before heading out to the working world. By proactively pursuing her dreams, she is fully-capable of achieving whatever she sets her mind to.