For Ada, Ohio, native Crystal Amberlyn, Ohio Northern was always a stone’s throw away, but it wasn’t until her first campus visit that she realized it was truly her home.
“My most memorable moment so far at ONU was by far the first time I visited. The feeling I got walking through the halls of the Wilson Art Center was indescribable. I felt welcome. I felt I found my home and where I was supposed to be. The feeling was so overwhelming, tears came to my eyes. That is an experience I will never forget, and I hope for others to experience as well.”
A graphic design major, Crystal found ample opportunity to grow at ONU as a person and as an artist. She joined student organizations like the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Kappa Pi art and design honorary, and the Public Relations Student Society of America. She also explored other interests such as singing, intramural sports and mental health awareness.
Crystal’s internship experiences changed her life and helped her launch her career. Working as a graphic design intern for ONU’s Office of Communications and Marketing gave her confidence as a professional graphic designer, and her handiwork can be seen across campus. She also interned at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, as a creative media intern, working alongside the digital communications team in the marketing office. She also job shadowed Cedar Fair’s corporate designers to get a behind-the-scenes look at what they do.
The experience and networking Crystal gained during her internships opened the door to her future career, as she was hired as a full-time graphic designer with Cedar Fair prior to graduation.
“Everywhere you look, you will see colleges, schools and universities boasting their numbers, ranks or sports teams. Yes, ONU has its stats to boast too, and we are proud of them, but we have something you cannot find anywhere else,” she says. “We have a personable environment. We have professors who remember you by name and take the time to work with you one on one when you need help. We have clubs and organizations that let you continue your passions or develop new ones. We have educational programs and opportunities to get real-world experiences and grow professionally. And we have a campus that doesn’t take an hour to walk across! When we say we are Polar Bears, we say that with pride because we love our campus community. We are a close-knit family. That is what makes ONU special.”