Commencement speaker Mase Santos
Commencement speaker Mase Santos
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Mase Santos, the Fall 2018 Commencement speaker, shares insight on her time at MCAD and the entrepreneurial studies program.

Before the 2018 Fall Commencement Ceremony, I had the chance to sit down with Mase Santos to talk about her career at MCAD and what lies ahead.

What was your career like at MCAD?

This is my third-and-a-half year at MCAD. I actually just got back from a five-month study abroad program in Portugal and Greece. I'm in the entrepreneurial studies program with a minor in creative writing. My work is centered around cross-cultural communications and trying to see how to create communication visuals to better explain the information for different communities. I am also in the process of learning my third language right now to see how language plays into that, along with how cultural indicators play into that.

Mase Santos Work

Mase's senior installation


What are your plans career-wise now that your time at MCAD is coming to a close?

Right now I am working as a freelance marketing strategist for a company called 26 Letters. It's an organization that helps companies with their diversity retention. I think for me, part of being at MCAD was learning how to let go of some of the planning, so as of now I am pretty comfortable with where I'm at. However, my goal is to leave the country by the end of 2019. I feel more equipped to do that because of the experience with what goes into goals like that. Rather than planning out a specific career or job, I’m more focused on how I generally want my life to be.

Coming from an immigrant background there is this dynamic that you have to know exactly what you want to do with your life especially after college but by going through the entrepreneurial studies program I feel secure in my future since I am fortunate enough to have a job lined up after graduation. I've learned that the jobs will come as long as you know what kind of work you want to produce. It's more important to me personally to find a job that aligns with my goals and beliefs rather than just getting a job that could be anything.

Learn about Entrepreneurial Studies

What kind of work do you do for those companies and is that what you will continue to do in the future?

I call myself a cross-cultural strategist and shape-shifting creative because I do graphic design, video design, copy, social media strategy, and social management. My main focus right now is developing my consulting portfolio.

“My work is centered around cross-cultural communications and trying to see how to create communication visuals to better explain the information for different communities.”

Do you think MCAD has prepared you well for the business world?

I think the entrepreneurial studies program really helped me develop the confidence to seek out opportunities. One of the greatest things MCAD has provided for me were those opportunities. I wouldn't say I'm an opportunist but I am someone that enjoys taking on challenging and new opportunities that come my way. The entrepreneurial studies program really made me comfortable with jumping into opportunities that you haven't planned all the way out or know much about; you just have to learn how to make it work along the way.

“I've learned that the jobs will come as long as you know what kind of work you want to produce.”

What was it like to be chosen to speak at commencement this year?

My class chose me to speak at commencement because of the story of my grandfather, how he was an entrepreneur and how he was able to bring my family up from Mexico by selling mangos from a cart, which is the essence of entrepreneurship. For me his story was really important and sort of a parallel to the experience that a lot of college students have. We have to sacrifice a lot of things such as mental health or navigating citizenship or working multiple jobs while at school.

And usually, when we tell stories like this we say despite these obstacles the student prevailed which is typically how we talk about immigrants. But I think it's important to recognize the weight of these sacrifices and really say what people have done here was difficult and we need to see the hardships that are created for students. For some graduation is a celebration, and for some it is a sigh of relief. So I really wanted to create a speech that exemplified that. That it is okay to feel what you feel. These are the hardships that we have gone through and we were the people who pushed for these degrees.