Alumna Spotlight: Marian Carrasquero
By Scarlett Ruggiero.
I’ve been in class once with Marian Carrasquero.
Though Carrasquero was a photography major, it was a writing class, “The Art of Story Telling,” and over year ago.
After high school, the Caracas, Venezuela, native applied to two schools in the US: Pratt in New York City and SCAD. Because of her desire to move in the big apple, Carrasquero came to Savannah with some prejudices in her mind. “I decided to give SCAD a chance because of the financial aid they were offering,” said the alumna, “even though I didn’t want to move to Savannah, Georgia.”
Shortly after, Carrasquero fell in love with the hostess city. “I then realized that Savannah gave me so much more than any other place could have given me,” she said.
“Savannah and SCAD gave me a family, an amazing creative education, an excuse to do what I love and an experience that forged so much of who I am today.” From presenting her work, to receiving critiques, Carrasquero heaps praise on everything she learned and received at SCAD.
Initially, Carrasquero entered as an advertising major but quickly dropped it for photography, which she had previously studied for a year in Paris. “As I started to get more into my photo classes, all the work that I was doing was more documentary than commercial or fine art, which are the two main tracks people take within the photo program,” she said.
After taking a documentary photography class, and after shooting a project—among many others—around House of Gunt, Carrasquero found her vocation. “I was left with more projects that I wanted to continue doing than with the feeling that this was done,” she said about approaching graduation. “It was also the beginning of me understanding what a visual story was.”
After graduating, Carrasquero didn’t immediately find the job of her dreams, but got a production internship at CNN. “I spent a semester at CNN and learned a lot about journalism ethics and about the back end of producing content for TV,” she said. “It was a super valuable experience that then opened up other doors for me.”
Meanwhile, she was preparing applications for a graduate program to build upon what she had learned at SCAD. After a second internship at NPR, Carrasquero received approval letters from all the college she applied for: NYU, Columbia and UC Berkley, and chose Berkley despite the challenge of being far from home and out of her comfort zone.
Currently in Berkeley, she is trying to balance her life between going to classes, creating pitches, shooting and looking for stories. “Even though school is very demanding, and takes up most of my time, I try to do things that I enjoy outside of school/work as much as I can, like going to museums, hiking, going to the beach or just hanging out with friends,” said Carrasquero.
She is continuously in contact with her friends at SCAD, who she calls her family, and is aware of how much SCAD prepared her for her current career. “SCAD gave me so many valuable skills that I might have taken for granted while I was there but now being at an institution like UC Berkeley that is so academic and structured,” she said. “I understand the enormous value of having a creative background, especially for this type of work.”
This summer, Carrasquero will join the New York Times internship program and continue to pursue her studies at Berkley afterward.
With all of her experience, Carrasquero had a word of advice to give to currents students. “Stick to the projects that are important and challenging to you. Don’t think anything is too hard or too big to do, if you thought about it you could probably find a way to do it, you have the time, and resources at SCAD so take advantage of that!”