Between meeting people virtually for interviews, applying to internships, and updating her business accounts and portfolio, Social Entrepreneurship & Design Major Bergen Flom is ready to “get hired and paid.” She is looking to dive deeper into L.A. or shift her work over to New York City, with aspirations of working as either a creative graphic designer or a brand strategist. Ideally, she will pursue her dreams at a large media company — Vice, for example. Although, her ultimate career goal is to be an art director for an organization or brand that she either adores, or that she started herself.
Flom’s hometown is Minneapolis, Minn., and while she is proud to call the city home, she knew that she wanted to leave the cold place behind for a chance to explore the world. This led her to Whittier College, which was not only far from home, but had a tight-knit community that would appreciate Flom for being so multifaceted. “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Whittier. Although it was certainly not what I expected, and dealing with the bureaucracy of higher [education] can be tough, the lows and highs combined to make my college career one of intense growth and learning,” said Flom.
Coming into WC, Flom expected to be met with the best years of her life, as people often call the ‘college experience.’ “In reality, the past four years were a rollercoaster full of many lonely nights, lulls, and heartbreaks, but also of massively exciting times, growth, and intense love,” said Flom. She expects the future to hold even more for her, as she has a lot to offer the world, post-graduation. “I do owe Whittier a lot for where I am today, but I’m also excited to not owe them any more money and move on to the next chapter of my life,” said Flom.
Flom had many things to highlight from her time at Whittier College, like finding life-long friends, falling in love with her current partner, and meeting incredible professors. Some of the professors that had the largest impact in her college career include Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Brody Albert, Adjunct Faculty Elizabeth Miller, Associate Professor Daniel Duran, Visiting Assistant Professor Joe Donnelly, and Associate Professor Rebecca Overmyer-Velasquez.
The positives of WC do not stop at the people for Flom. She discovered what it was like to live in a new city, where you know no one, by moving to Whittier. She also figured out “what the heck sociology was,” and discovered her love for graphic design. She dedicated a lot of time to making her college career a productive one. She worked at the Office of Equity & Inclusion during each of her four years at WC, and worked with both the Sustainability Club and the Women’s Leadership Association. She also started an art magazine in her first year called TRASH MAG, which is still active to this day!
It was her own creativity that helped Flom the most throughout her college career. TRASH MAG is “a womxn-owned creative organization that lifts up the underrepresented artist voice through a print magazine and community events.” Flom’s capstone project is a “true culmination of [her] college experience,” exploring the possibility of turning TRASH MAG into a business following graduation. “It gave me an explorative creative outlet. [ . . . ] I was able to meet and exist in a community with other creative humans where I didn’t feel so alone. [ . . . ] It could quite possibly help me start my career or be my career,” said Flom.
Flom is already doing some work to jump-start turning TRASH MAG into a business. She is conducting market research in order to fill out an official Small Business Association plan. This also requires a short, 5-minute pitch video that will then be sent to investors for funding. “It’s not just a creative college project to me. This project really feels like a perfect transition from my college career and into my future,” said Flom. You can check out TRASH MAG on Instagram to follow its journey!
For current Whittier College students, Flom has this message: “Don’t wait for anyone to give you the life you want to live; you have to make it for yourself. Have an idea for a club or business? Start it. Want to make a friend? Do it. Need some help? Ask for it. Curious about something new? Try it. Make good use of your time in college to start living your life however you want to. Forget any preconceived ideas you had about people, love, societal structures, and, really, everything. Absorb. Be present. And appreciate the ride.”
Feature image: Courtesy of Bergen Flom