From a university known for its worldly views to a company that builds to help people imagine, design and create a better world, Elena Faddoul ’11 is on journey of self-discovery for the betterment of others.

Take us back to your time at SHC.

I served as the vice president of service for SBO. I was a core Lasallian Vincentian Youth member and also participated in the Broadcast Club and Block Club. I even spent a year on the yearbook staff and was also a part of the California Scholarship Federation.

I loved Dr. Link’s AP Government class. He had a very open teaching style with lots of discussion. It did not feel like a history course. I loved all my English classes with Mrs. Bechelli, Mr. Barnes and Ms. Phelan. My love of writing helped me create concise papers. I was able to write twenty-page papers at UC Berkeley because I had a good understanding of the fundamentals of writing from SHC. For me, understanding that there are many different interpretations to a single question is key in the creative writing process.

I also remember the Bruce-Mahoney and big game rallies, and all the service opportunities—from St. Anthony’s to the LVY BBQ and senior retreat. Mrs. Kayser became an important mentor for me at my retreat. SHC did a great job of instilling the motto in us, “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.” I will always be grateful for that.

What did you do after graduation?

I enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley and became a Political Science major with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. Berkeley has a long history of involvement in political movements and politics. Cal provided a learning environment with all the things I loved about SHC, just on a larger scale.

At Cal, I was on the rally committee and wore rugby style blue and yellow polos at athletic events. I attended a lot of games and cheered on the teams as they competed in the Pac-12.

I was a founding member of my sorority (ZTA) and worked as the judicial chair, and as a member of our Panhellenic Delegate. We helped plan philanthropic efforts and worked with the Susan G. Komen Foundation (now the American Cancer Foundation). We focused our philanthropic efforts on breast cancer education and awareness.

What you did following your time at Cal?

I took a month off after college before starting in a communication role at Autodesk. I am part of the brand engagement team and I help with the audio tour for the gallery. I run the gallery social media channels, email marketing, gallery activations and visitor engagement opportunities, and .com, and I am also a certified ambassador.

Autodesk is a design software company. We touch on manufacturing auto, architecture design and many other industries. We have over 150 products, AutoCAD being the most known product.

When I was an intern last summer, I worked on college night, a themed event featuring a noted speaker who presents to students and educators on how tech is transforming a particular industry, We also have quarterly design night, which is a similar idea, but is open to everyone. Our next design night is RoboPop. Anyone can attend!

What advice do you have for students applying to and just graduating from college?

There are a lot of resources at SHC and you need to find those opportunities. You have to be willing to ask. Don’t pigeonhole yourself in your applications. You can be different. Focus on your personal statement, get a lot of people to read it. Let it sit and come back to it. You need to be open to a journey of self-discovery.

To become a stakeholder in a project requires that you become really persistent. My office didn’t have a budget for an event that I thought was a good idea, but I reached out to other departments who were willing to help. It really is about making those connections.

What is next for you?

I plan on attending law school in the future. It is challenging to juggle work and applications, but it’s exciting to prepare for new opportunities.

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