ASI Alumni Spotlight: Alla Arutcheva

ASI Alumni Spotlight: Alla Arutcheva

Years with Associated Students Inc. (ASI): Two and a half years, 2011-2013
Job Title with ASI: Staff writer, occasional ASI TV correspondent and a proud member of the Fab 5
Graduation Date: June 2013
Major: Business marketing with an emphasis in advertising. Minor in gender, ethnic and multicultural studies
Clubs and Organizations at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP): University Housing Services (Resident Advisor for three years), Violence Prevention and Women’s Resource Center (Social Justice Leader), Pride Center, PRSSA, Intramural (IM) Sports

Current position title: Copywriter
Company: Garage Team Mazda

What do you think is the best thing about ASI?
The people. Everyone is so creative and collaborative. When I started working at ASI, I realized that this is the way work should always be: a total blast. It’s true what they say: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a single day in your life.” I would look forward to walking into work, hanging out with my coworkers (who quickly became my good friends), and creating amazing things together. This was true for all three of the positions I held at ASI. The work was challenging yet fun, and the people were a pleasure to work with. I think that’s just part of the culture at ASI, and I’m honored to have been a part of it.

Why did you want to work with ASI’s Marketing Department?
Firstly, this was pretty much the coolest job you could have on campus because you got paid to be creative! Secondly, it was relevant to my major and helped me uncover my love for copywriting.

What is your favorite brand and why?
I know this is probably a typical creative’s answer, but I would have to say Apple. That’s not just because most creatives work with Macs or because of that iconic 1984 commercial everyone loves so much. It’s because of what makes the brand so successful. When you pair great design with innovative technology – well, that’s really the recipe for magic these days.

How did ASI enhance your college experience and contribute to your path to graduation?
ASI helped me figure out exactly who I wanted to be when I graduated: a copywriter at an ad agency. The people I worked with, especially upper management, educated me about the advertising industry and helped me take the first steps toward my goal. While at CPP, I was advised to take a portfolio course called Book Shop that prepared me for my first copywriting internship. I finished out my internship while still at Cal Poly Pomona and had a job lined up by the time I graduated.

What did you learn at ASI that helped you prepare for your current job?
The biggest thing ASI taught me that helped prepare me for my current job was creative writing. The articles I wrote for ASI Inside (now The Campus Crop) were the perfect training wheels to help me flex my creative muscles. My supervisor, Alex Preston, was a phenomenal writer herself and gave the team freedom to come up with our own topics. Sure, sometimes we would get specific assignments, but she also encouraged us to be imaginative and write about things students would want to read. This is exactly what we do as creatives in the agency world. We think about our target and concept ideas that we hope will grab their attention.

What professional skills did you learn while working at ASI that you use in your current job?
Besides the writing skills, it also taught me how to balance multiple projects simultaneously. In the agency world, we constantly deal with tight deadlines and demanding clients. It’s part of our jobs to keep our cool and manage our workload.

What advice do you have for CPP students?
Get involved as much as possible if you haven’t already. It really does make or break your college experience. Even if you commute, you can still join clubs or find a job you love on campus. Think about it. Do you want to look back five, 10, 20 years after graduation and have no cool stories to tell about your college years? That’s what I thought. Get involved and you’ll have plenty of them!

What has changed about you since you graduated?
I’d like to think I’m a little wiser now that I’m a few years into my career, and I find myself wanting to give back to those just starting out. I’ve come back to campus on a couple occasions to speak at AAF events and I’ve set up a tour for them at Garage Team Mazda. One of my favorite things is mentoring young creatives and helping them find their paths. So, if anyone reading this is even remotely interested in advertising, feel free to email me at and ask me anything you’d like. I’ll do everything I can to help out a fellow Bronco.

What is your most memorable CPP experience?
This is a tough one because I’ve had so many. A close runner up would have to be the countless Midnight Madnesses in the Bronco Student Center (BSC), running around, eating way too many free hot dogs and filling my pockets with swag I would later misplace in the nooks and crannies of my dorm room. Good times. Another huge contender would have to be interviewing Temple Grandin for an ASI article (such an honor and privilege). That experience was just as awesome as it would have been to meet Beyonce. No joke. I really can’t think of one specific moment that stood out. However, when I look back at my time at CPP, the most meaningful thing would have to be my one-on-one interactions with my residents. It was especially rewarding to help them navigate their college experience when they first arrived as freshies. Now I get to see their updates on Facebook – growing up, getting married, having babies. Wow, I feel old now.

What advice would you give to students who are not actively involved with ASI?
Do it. You won’t regret it. Once you go ASI, you won’t want to go back. There’s really something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in student government, advertising, fitness, or pretty much anything in-between, there’s a place for you at ASI. After all, it is Associated Students Incorporated—it’s for the students, by the students. You’re bound to find something you’ll love. You just have to take that first step and explore your possibilities. Talk to someone in the office, go to the club fair, just do something to get involved.

What are some words to live by?
“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” Charles R. Swindoll. This has been my favorite quote for many years. It applies to so many things in life from your career to your relationships. Attitude is everything.

Are you ready to get involved with ASI?! Catch the first session of ASI Presents: The Student Experience on Thursday, October 27 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bronco Student Center, Ursa Major AB (BSC, Bldg. 35-2611AB) for more information on how you can jumpstart your involvement with ASI!

Don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @ASICPP.