With a creative mind set on exploring new possibilities, Jerome Sena is graduating from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary arts along with a minor in arts management. Sena is moving on from the Daily Lobo after four years of dedication and commitment in the advertising office, leaving behind a legacy to be filled.

With the future coming up quickly, Sena hopes to pursue a career in graphic design, along with freelance illustration work on the side. This is something he found inspiration from at the Daily Lobo. Sena started at the Lobo as a sales intern in 2018 but later took on a designer position.

“That was what sort of changed everything for me,” Sena said. “I learned quite a bit doing that, and it pushed me to pursue a career in design in addition to my illustration goals.”

Sena has since become a staple for the Daily Lobo advertising team, contributing enormous amounts to the organization. A standout accomplishment was the cover of “Lobo Deals,” which Sena designed.

“I don’t think Jerome realizes how important he is in the office … He’s definitely one of the biggest structures in the office,” Jordynn Sills, a close friend and coworker, said.

Sena reflected on everything the Lobo taught him and said it helped prepare him for the future.

“I also made a lot of really good friends because there’s a lot of people that come and go through the Lobo advertising group so you really get to meet a lot of (different) people and explore a lot about business and marketing and overall just how to be more professional,” Sena said. “I cherish the experience I’ve had.”

Sills said Sena underestimates his influence on the office and the people around him, emphasizing his unique personality and his ability to find something positive in every situation.

“Genuinely, he is probably one of the most important people (on the advertising team) and not just because of his job but because of who he is and I don’t think he really realizes that, but he’ll be very missed, that’s for sure,” Sills said.

With a naturally reserved personality, Sena said a big milestone during his time at UNM was becoming more extroverted.

“I’m a pretty shy person so definitely just being outgoing and trying to put myself out there was a big challenge that I overcame pretty well,” Sena said. “I think the Daily Lobo — I keep going back to that — but I think the Daily Lobo helped me a lot in coming out of my shell.”

In addition to the Daily Lobo, Sena acted as co-president of the UNM Arts Entrepreneurship Club for a brief period of time after being involved in the organization for about three years. Sena said he’s glad that he prioritized his artwork during his time at UNM.

“I definitely got a lot of my personal growth from my student job as well as seeking out knowledge and experience on my own time, especially within my art,” Sena said.

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused sudden changes at UNM, Sena struggled with motivation and was forced to find new ways to stay on top of his work. Completing school in a virtual environment was especially difficult in a hands-on field such as art, but Sena is ready to graduate, even amid a pandemic.

“It’s very intimidating to put yourself out there, especially during this time, because you know the world is very hectic,” Sena said.

Sena has always been able to rely on one thing, however, and that’s family. He’s always been close to his siblings as well as his mother.

“My mom raised me as a single parent for a large majority of my life and she definitely puts not just me but all my sisters before herself, and she’s the main reason why I am (who) I am now,” Sena said. “She definitely has played a huge role in my life. She’s my rock.”

With bright times ahead, Sena envisions himself in a bigger city in the future where he can pursue his dream career of graphic design and illustration.

Megan Gleason is the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at editorinchief@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @fabflutist2716