Department Manager, PIXAR Animation Studios

"While I was at Saint Mary's College happily working my way through an English Literature and Performing Arts double major, I sometimes wondered how I'd 'use' my degree in the real world after graduation."

Lorien McKenna '92Although I attended Saint Mary's on scholarship the idea of life-after-college seemed very abstract and somewhat absurd.  I had some vague ideas about being an actress or maybe a teacher or maybe even a writer. 

After graduation I found work easily and was paying the bills and had health insurance and could afford to buy a car, but I didn't feel like I was contributing anything to the world or continuing to grow and learn.  I wasn't putting into practice all the lessons I learned at Saint Mary's about being true to myself while serving my community.  Eventually, I returned to Saint Mary's to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing. After that, I founded a theatre company in the bay area, wrote and produced and acted in plays and taught drama and writing.  Of course, making theatre is not a big money-maker so I worked as a Technical Writer and Adjunct Professor.

When an opportunity to work for Pixar Animation Studios came up I jumped at the chance.  At Pixar I am invited to participate in and support a creative and collaborative environment and I rely heavily on the communication and critical thinking skills I learned as a student at Saint Mary's. My background in writing and acting help me everyday and I'm proud to say that I'm actually "using" my degrees!  I learn something new about filmmaking and storytelling everyday and best of all I get to work alongside really smart people who are passionate about what they do and how they do it.

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Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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