The Business of Art: Alumna Liana Jackson
Born in Maryland, but raised in Monterey, California, Liana Jackson attended Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) before deciding to transfer to JCU. She graduated in 2019 with a major in Business Administration.
What brought you to JCU?
Ever since I was 9 years old, I always had this unexplainable love for Italy. Every movie I watched, photo I saw, or Italian dish I ate, ignited a dream within me that one day I would get to travel to Rome and experience the culture in real life. In 2014, during my senior year of high school, I received a brochure in the mail from JCU about attending an American university in the heart of Rome. My eyes lit up and I was so excited because I knew that this was going to be my dream school as soon as I saw it. But my excitement soon disappeared because I didn’t have the funds at the time to pay for such a life-changing opportunity. I knew in my heart that one day I would get to experience Rome and never gave up on that dream. After graduating from community college three years later, I decided to transfer to JCU to complete my Bachelor’s degree and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
What did you like best about Rome/Italy and your time as a JCU student?
After attending JCU for a year and a half, I absolutely enjoyed the lifelong friendships I made while in the Eternal City. Making friends was an essential part of my experience because I had people I could talk to, relate to, travel with, and explore the ancient streets of Rome with. I also enjoyed the authentic Italian pizza and gelato, which quickly became my weekly, almost daily treats.
What’s one class that enriched you?
My favorite class would have to be Shakespeare taught by Professor Daniel Roy Connelly. I absolutely loved how deeply passionate about the subject he was. You can truly tell when a professor loves what they do and he has no trouble showing it at all. The class provided me with a new perspective on Rome and Italian culture according to Shakespeare’s vision, and how interconnected past, present, and future are in his works.
What is your ultimate career goal?
My ultimate career goal is to have my own business. I would like to run a facility where local artists can sell and display their artwork in a gallery-like setting with other artists. Art has always been an integral part of my life and I’d like to offer that opportunity to others who have that same passion to share their work. I want this facility to be a place where people can have a safe, relaxing, and fun environment to make friends and connect with others with similar interests. It will have a cafe, library/book shop, and zen garden in the back so people can freely choose where they would like to hangout. Managing my own business would allow me to apply the concepts that I learned at JCU.
Do you have any advice for prospective students?
Get out of your comfort zone. You will be challenged by external circumstances, but don’t let those things discourage you from reaching out to new people, learning the local language, travelling to new destinations or discovering new parts of yourself that you would never have experienced being in your home state or country. Also, try to create a balance between your academic and personal life, so that one isn’t taking precedence over the other; both are equally important and should be tended to while enjoying your stay abroad. Never give up on your dreams. If you truly believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.