Fall 2010 Issue

Features: Young, smart and fabulously employed

The improviser

Adriana Rullan ’09 is pictured in the New York City offices of G2 USA

Adriana Rullan ’09 and her fiancé Hector Funes had a plan.

After she graduated with a major in graphic design, Rullan would return to her home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and look for a job in advertising.

Funes, who graduated from Barry two years earlier, planned to quit his job at the financial firm ING in New York by February. He would then join Rullan in San Juan where he wanted to start his own business.

I showed them my portfolio online. They said there weren't any positions open because of the economy. We kept talking and they asked me if I was interested in an internship, and I said 'of course' because I needed experience.

But their plan had one fatal flaw, as Rullan discovered after she moved back home.

“Puerto Rico’s economy was even worse than it was in the U.S.,” she says.

The advertising agency she interned at in San Juan told her that due to the recession they couldn’t offer her a full-time position. So Rullan freelanced for several companies, and when that work ran dry she worked in her father’s car parts shop.

“I just stared at the clock waiting to go home,” she says.

Meanwhile, Funes decided that due to the economic climate in both countries it would be foolish to give up his job.

There was one additional problem.

“My parents are really traditional, so they wouldn’t allow me to move to New York and live with my fiancé without a job,” Rullan says. So she traveled to New York in January with one goal: find a job.

After sending out résumés to dozens of agencies with no luck, Rullan’s uncle contacted a friend who worked at the global marketing agency G2. He arranged a tour for his niece, but when she arrived her uncle’s friend was occupied. While Rullan waited she struck up a conversation with several of the company’s artists.

“I showed them my portfolio online. They said there weren’t any positions open because of the economy. We kept talking and they asked me if I was interested in an internship, and I said ‘of course’ because I needed experience.”

Four months later G2 offered Rullan a full-time position working for a design team creating point of sale displays for Heineken products.

Thomas Rockwell, associate professor of graphic arts at Barry, said Rullan has two things many graduates lack – hustle and patience.

“In 2007, many students secured jobs before graduation. Now, we are seeing that many of the December ’09 graduates are just securing jobs as we move through the year. So there’s an impatience. Some give up after a couple of months. But Adriana has always had the drive and determination some lack.”

Rullan now lives in Long Island with her fiancé working at her “dream job.”

“If I didn’t find a job, I was going to have to go back to Puerto Rico. It could have happened, because a lot of people I know are still looking for work. There are a few who have been successful, but most haven’t. Some are going to grad school because they can’t find anything. It’s really a miracle I got this job.”