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Mariel Arias '19

Mariel Arias '19 (second from the right) poses with other members of the class of 2019 during the Mermaid Splash, an annual event celebrating Senior Class Gift Drive donors.

Mariel Arias '19 (second from the right) poses with other members of the class of 2019 during the Mermaid Splash, an annual event celebrating Senior Class Gift Drive donors.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I am a college counselor at a high school in New York City. I help juniors and seniors navigate the application process, help coordinate trips and events, etc.

Can you speak to how Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education helped you in your life?

I have to say, even during the training period at work while I met my colleagues who mostly went to these huge schools, I appreciated how well-rounded my education was. Most of my colleagues had very specific majors and always say they wished they took different courses. I’m glad I was able to take courses outside of my major and have classes with people who were studying completely different things from me. Some of my closest friends are in the sciences or humanities, something that’s just less likely to happen at larger universities. 

What inspired your gift to Dickinson?

I worked in Student Philanthropy and at the Career Center (Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development) while I was a student, so I really got to see firsthand the resources that Dickinson offers. I loved that about this school and will always support it. I also saw some major improvements in terms of growing diversity, academic programming and investments in facilities over the course of my four years, and that encouraged me to support our continual improvement. I’d also be remiss not to mention our sustainability efforts. We are at a turning point in human history, and we are facing the single biggest threat to our species yet. While there are politicians and business leaders who continue to contribute to the problem, Dickinson has emerged as a leader among colleges in reducing our carbon footprint, using clean energy and educating the next generation of world leaders on better practices. This makes me extremely proud to be a Dickinsonian. 

Why do you feel that it is important to give back to Dickinson?

It's important because we, as students, should be both grateful for the positive experiences that we’ve had at Dickinson and want to create more of those great opportunities for our incoming classes. For as long as I’ve been a Dickinsonian, I have seen our school’s commitment to continuous improvement. We should embrace those goals as our own and contribute in as many ways as we can. It also helps us in our rankings and external communications. We know that Dickinson is a great place, so we should ensure that those considering it know that as well!

What is your favorite memory from your time at Dickinson?

My favorite memory would have to be my time at the Center for Advising, Internships, & Lifelong Career Development as a career coach and all of the Charter Day festivities. Charter Day was always my favorite day of the year (and then once I became an RA, it was first-year move-ins!). I enjoyed connecting to the outer community of Carlisle and to the personnel who really help our school tick—members of our facilities, dining and operational teams. I also enjoyed learning about the history of our school, where we’ve been but also, more importantly, where we’re going. My time as a career coach was great because I really enjoyed helping my peers get ready for applications, interviews, etc. I felt I was serving Dickinson again because I was ensuring that our students were becoming the best candidates possible before applying, and that improves our brand as a pipeline for the next generation of leaders and agents of change.

Can you tell us about what you do outside of work—hobbies, interests, etc.?

I am an avid reader. I read books on sales, self-development, personal finance, real estate, etc. I work out from time to time but enjoy being on organized sports teams much more. I am a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers, New York Mets and the New York Knicks. I am also very pensive, so I like to spend time alone to just reflect or plan where I am going in life.

What advice would you give to today’s students?

I would say to not fear being alone or just thinking to yourself for extended periods of time. This is how I figured out exactly who I was, what I stood for, what I wanted and did not want in a job, etc. Introspection is not so common anymore for our age group, but I really do think it’s a great investment of your time. 

Also, get involved in the clubs, programs and departments that Dickinson has to offer. I grew to love the institution this way, and I think that you will too! 

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Published January 16, 2020