Elizabeth DiBenedetto – My Passion in Art to Working at Disney

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Elizabeth DiBenedetto Steam boston
Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth DiBenedetto

Tell us a little about yourself?

Hey! I’m Elizabeth, a recent college graduate, currently working full-time in the Non-Profit/Development world. Right now, I’m working as a Membership Assistant for the New England Aquarium to assist in engaging and growing the donations that we receive through memberships, and helping to spread the mission that we have of protecting the blue planet. Development is an interesting field to work in, and not a lot of recent-grads seem to be aware of it. Working in Development is similar to Marketing, but it’s specifically geared toward advertising for fundraising. Definitely a step in the direction I would like to be going into as I’m hoping to eventually pursue Marketing Communications/Social Media Marketing. In my spare time, I love photography, graphic design, and curating Spotify playlists.

Where did you attend school and what did you study?

I recently graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology with my Bachelors in Computer Information Systems and a concentration in Business Management.

We couldn’t help but notice that you worked at Disney, what was that experience like?

I loved working for Disney. I worked as a hostess at one of their full-service restaurants on the Disney College Program for five months, and it was a wonderful experience. I got to meet a lot of people from all over the world both as colleagues and also as guests. I also got exceptional guest training that I don’t think you can get anywhere else, and that definitely translates into general communication skills that are important and can be transferred into any type of job. Being able to go to the parks whenever I wanted was also definitely a major perk!

How did you get interested in art?

When I was eleven I started creating fan sites for celebrities that I liked, so to create the websites and layouts I taught myself HTML/CSS and graphic design. I’m not as interested in the web design aspect anymore, but I still get excited to create in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator quite often, whether it’s personal projects like making a Snapchat geo-filter for my town, or creating a logo for a company that my friend is interested in starting.
 
I also started to branch out into photography and videography when I was in high school, and although I’m not quite as skilled in those fields, they are definitely fun to practice, and I love the idea of being able to incorporate both of those fields into the workplace too. 

What are you most passionate about?

I love social media and communications. I feel like there’s such a visual aspect to that form of marketing and it’s something I’m hoping to pursue. You can incorporate photography, graphic design, and writing all into it, and it’s SO relevant and important right now when it comes to the branding of a company.

What was your journey like to get to where you are today?

A lot of not knowing the exact field I wanted to go into, and a lot of part-time jobs and internships. Now I’m much more sure of myself and have realized what it is that I’m actually good at and what actually excites me. I’m definitely into aesthetics and communications, and I also love working in the field of non-profits. It’s very rewarding work.

What advice would you give to students interested in Art?

Play around with what you love to do and see how you can turn it into a career! I didn’t think when I was eleven years old that this is the career path that I would be chasing just based off of making fansites, but here I am. And also don’t be discouraged if things don’t go according to your first plan. A lot of people are confused when I tell them what my major was in comparison to my field of choice, but deciding what you want to spend your time doing all day every day is important, and your degree doesn’t have to necessarily decide your profession.

What is your favorite spot in Boston?

The Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Especially during the holiday season when all of the trees are covered in lights!

Any shout-outs?

A shout out to Ron the fur seal at the New England Aquarium who was born last summer. If you find yourself at the aquarium, please go say hello. He deserves it.

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