By Chloe M. Brown

Graduation is a long hard road that senior Chan’Cellore Makanjuola is happy to be at the end of. Makanjuola is a Mass Communications Digital Film student at Our Lady of the Lake and is graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in May. Despite her busy schedule not once has Makanjuola complain about all the work that must be done to graduate.

“Being at OLLU for the past four years – I’m going to be honest – has been an amazing experience.” Makanjuola remarks laughing.

Makanjuola has always found herself to be more reserved and shy; however, since entering the OLLU Mass Communications program she has found herself breaking out of her shell and actually going after positions in leadership.

“This whole experience has been eye-opening for me. I have even surprised myself in what I was willing to put forward and how I was willing to step up to the plate saying you know what, yeah, I can be a leader.”

Some of the leadership positions she had held include being the Lake Front News Director and directing her own student documentary. Her over skills have grown throughout the four years that she attended OLLU and that development is not just limited to her roles in leadership. She remarks that when she first attended school she didn’t know much about film or any of the editing process. However, despite her lack of knowledge of the editing software, she embraced the spirit of the program and learned to expand her creativity through editing. “I kept working at it. Every video I made I tried to take it a step further and make it better than the one before.”

More than just learning to expand her skills, Makanjuola has learned more about the way she works and what doesn’t work for her. “Being a perfectionist means that sometimes I would rather not turn something in than not have it be perfect, but I can’t do that in the field I want to go into. Especially if I want to go into journalism or the film industry. So you really do have to set deadlines for yourself. Because it really is a now or never business.”

While she is still learning to grow into someone who doesn’t need everything to be perfect, Makanjuola understands that not everything is going to be perfect, not everything will be perfect, and most of the time perfection is just not attainable. It’s a small spot that she reminds herself of when she would rather not turn something in.

However, what remains the greatest reminder to Makanjuola is her friends. She believes that the biggest wisdom for college students is to have a good group of friends that keep you accountable and you can rely on. She states that what helped her out in her four years is finding friends who have similar interests and won’t let her back out on her choices. Many of these strong friendships came from her own department. “I love that our Mass Comm community is this tight little community. I know almost every single one of them. And I understand the stress that can go into being apart of a public field we are going into.”

As Makanjuola ventures out to her next step after college, she looks back fondly at all that she has learned and how much better off she is because of her time at OLLU. “It’s learning to open up more. Know that I’m going to be vulnerable in some cases like showing my work and expecting critiques, or expecting appreciation, or sometimes not expecting a response at all. But the fact that I’m getting a chance to really show my skills and show I’m improving, and that I can make a difference through the art of storytelling.”

Makanjuola is a long way off from the timid freshman that started at OLLU four years ago, but now she has the skills to match her passion for film and the kind of experiences to help carry her on to her career.

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