Discipline, consistency, and open-mindedness are the core values of my worth ethic, and I strive to uphold them in everything I do.
A strong work ethic was crucial to my undergraduate education — I focused on my passion for writing, while being open to the various ways that I could explore and develop that passion. I graduated summa cum laude from Whittier College, where I studied English and History as my majors and Spanish as my minor. Outside of classes, I reported for the Quaker Campus newspaper and Eden Keeper, respectively; interned as a writer and editor for the Whittier Historical Society and Museum; worked as Assistant to Social Media Director of Whittier College’s career center; and represented Whittier College’s commuter students as an ASWC Senator. I served as President of Phi Alpha Theta (History), and was a member of Sigma Tau Delta (English) and Omnicron Delta Kappa (Leadership). I was also extremely fortunate to secure fellowship support for an independent research project, which allowed me to study abroad in Cuba and South Africa, to present at conferences across Southern California, and to ultimately publish my research in an academic journal.
After graduation, I continued to seek opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive as a writer and communications professional. One such opportunity led me to intern as a Public Relations Specialist for the American Youth Symphony (AYS), a non-profit in Los Angeles. Despite bus-hopping each day from my home in Whittier to AYS’s Wilshire office, I challenged myself to learn as many skills as possible. I was given a list of tasks and projects to execute by the end of my internship, and I tackled all of them with dedication. By my last week at AYS, I had used Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create an array of promotional collateral; composed eight individual press releases in English and Spanish; wrote an appeals letter in the voice of the Music Director; photographed and curated images from several concert events; filmed a comedy short with the Program Notes Writer to promote the L.A. Arts Commission Summer Internship Program on YouTube; reorganized, updated, transferred, or entered data into various databases, including PatronManager and Box; and more.
Post-AYS, I envisioned two potential paths I could take in my career. On the one hand, I could devote all of my energies to searching for public relations and communications jobs. On the other hand, I could pursue an advanced degree in English to enhance my writing and analytical skills, as well as expand my knowledge of English and American literature. While I wanted to start working and moving my professional career forward, I couldn’t ignore my deep intellectual curiosity and the part of me that places a premium on the value and privilege of education. I opted for the latter, and eventually moved to Chicago for a year to pursue a Master's in English at Northwestern University.
In the interim between applying to graduate programs and starting graduate school, I continued to learn new skills and challenge myself. I learn best by teaching, so I taught high school English and tutored students in writing. I interned as an Editorial Assistant to the Finance & Economics Section Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books, which gave me significant experience writing SEO-friendly metadata tags and keywords, as well as an opportunity to stay current with the latest trends in humanities scholarship. I also taught myself WordPress, HTML, and CSS, and began offering WordPress web design services through my own website, which has grown to become Kellen Aguilar Consulting.
My work ethic and my passion for written communication are the common threads that cohere in my professional history. I am convinced learning is a lifelong endeavor, and I will always be searching for ways to improve my skill set as a professional, as a scholar, and as a writer. Most importantly, I strive to bring discipline, consistency, and open-mindedness to any task, project, or occupation in which I am employed.