Renna at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

By Renna Hidalgo ’21

I have always been a bit unconventional with my combination of interests. For years, I’ve been drawn towards philosophy, the sciences, music, fashion, and film. When college decisions came around, I knew that I loved these subjects, but had no idea how to incorporate them into my academic and career pursuits.

So many people advised me to choose a “secure” and “practical” degree in college; to take a rather conventional approach. I interpreted that by declaring myself as a health sciences major my freshman year. I quickly began to feel squeamish. I was not able to create in ways that worked for me, and was not pursuing the things that enlivened me. I felt stuck.

I didn’t know that it was okay to change course in college. I remember my naive 18 year old self even thinking that Chapman’s “Window of Opportunity” slogan sounded a bit contrived. But, as I said, I was naive…

Two semesters in, I finally mustered up the courage and sense to seek change and ask for help. I received a lot of both. Through several Chapman advisors, professors, and seven changes of majors and minors, I journeyed through the departments of Health Sciences, Film Music, Studio Art, Humanomics, Philosophy, Business Administration, and Italian Studies.

Renna selling her Unbothered Clothing

At the tail end of this period, I began developing my one-of-one clothing brand called Unbothered, where I design and produce clothing all from repurposed material. I also began working as a freelance production designer and creative director for film. I even had the privilege of being a featured artist at a few student-led events on campus, such as House of Arts. I have grown increasingly passionate about getting Unbothered off the ground during, or right after I graduate from Chapman, and I see a growing career opportunity for me in the film industry with my hidden talent for production design.

I am now a third-year student – steadily – pursuing a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Italian studies. My experience in the Argyros School of Business and Economics has opened up many new doors for me as an entrepreneur. I’ve been introduced to useful tools, such as accounting and marketing, which are, of course, essential for a business owner – and freelancer – to be familiar with. Many ASBE professors are also passionate entrepreneurs themselves, and have offered me invaluable insight and advice for developing Unbothered.

Before I graduate in 2021, I aim to utilize all of the opportunities, facilities, and guidance that the business school has to offer to an aspiring entrepreneur. My goals with Unbothered include working with professors to create a realistic business model, participating in a business pitch competition, the Panther Cage Match, and merging my knowledge of business with my artistic ability for a competitive edge.

Not long ago, I thought I’d never find a degree that would support my complicated, intertwined variety of interests. But, because I kept searching hard and sticking to my gut, I found an opportunity for myself in the Argyros School of Business and Economics. I know that a degree in Business Administration might seem a bit conventional, but not when ‘you are [unconventionally] Chapman.’