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Tiana is a Business Admin. major looking to advocate for oppressed minority groups.

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"Business must be put into practice! Anyone can be a Business major, but you must also know how to apply these learned practices."

Hear Tiana talk about her journey choosing Business Administration over other Arts majors!

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Tiana Perez
Class of 2020


Pictured here is the art show that I organized for Wake Up, Stand Up, an annual sexual harassment seminar founded by one of my peers!


My career roadmap has been all over the place.

And/Or Art Show: This art show focused on highlighting the experiences of biracial people in America. I interned for poc women who created the art show. By interning for this show, I recognized my already-existing love for the arts and began to venture out into the artistic world even more.

A good amount of AOC students have volunteered at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. I decided to volunteer there for relevant business experience, as well as service hours for AOC! I volunteered in the Marketing Department which gave me insight into several ‘behind-the-scenes’ aspects of promoting the Hospital.

The Child & Family Center’s annual “Night Of Expression” is an event where students speak out against teen violence in relationships. I went one year to promote “Wake Up, Stand Up”, the next year to perform. I have always struggled with public speaking! By participating in “Night of Expression” I learned to compose myself and perform well in front of a crowd.

I began writing for “Beyond The Commons” magazine in January of 2020. I wrote about my experiences about being biracial, about being the product of immigrant parents, and about my favorite authors and musical artists. I haven’t had much room for artistic expression at AOC, but that is why I’ve decided to create needed room for artistic expression such as writing for “Beyond The Commons”.

I’ve always found importance in advocating for oppressed groups. Through “Wake Up, Stand Up” an annual sexual assault and harassment prevention seminar, I curated “Speak Up” which was an art show that allowed students to safely speak out against sexual assault and harassment. I had grown from interning at art shows to curating my own show!

I first visited Junior High when I was 13. This space is a little hole in the wall in LA, promoting POC, LGBTQ+, Women, and other marginalized voices. I have had the privilege to intern for “And/Or Art Show Pt. 2” here. By frequently working in artistic spaces, I have grown my network and experience in the business that I am most passionate about.

The most interesting part of my story of becoming a Business major is the extensive artistic history I hold. I’m an artist, whether I’m creating my own art, or working to create an artistic space for others, I am still an artist. I see my venture into the business world as a smart opportunity to learn how to properly run and work for artistic businesses.

My main goal coming into AOC was to get accepted into college. I had no idea what I wanted to major in, and that was ok! Eventually, I discovered that I was not the best Arts major by taking arts classes at AOC. I found it difficult to constantly be creatively challenged and decided to opt into a major that had more structure, but still enough room for exploration in it. Ultimately, this is how I ended up on becoming a Business major, and got accepted into one of my top choice schools because of my dedication to the major!



Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway


  • Wake Up, Stand Up, an annual sexual harassment seminar organized by high school students

  • Junior High LA, a non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to showcasing the artistic pursuits of marginalized voices

  • Beyond The Commons, an art and culture magazine powered by women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community


  • Currently looking to step foot on campus! I'm actually currently joining Pomona Business clubs!


What I'm currently doing/hope to do

I am currently attending Cal Poly Pomona for the Fall 2020 semester. I graduated from AOC in Spring 2020 with one associate degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences, but I decided to take Econ 201 and Econ 202 during COC’s 2020 session to secure two more associate degrees! By obtaining my three degrees, I’ll be at Cal Poly Pomona for a total of 2 years and receive my Bachelor’s and then enter the workforce. After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona I want to pursue a career in nonprofit arts organizations working to provide artistic opportunities for underrepresented groups.


How to maximize my time in high school?

  • Advice #1: Business must be put into practice! Anyone can be a Business major, but you must also know how to apply these learned practices.

  • Advice #2: Always take opportunities to work for free. Gaining experience in the Business world is the most important thing to do.

  • Advice #3: You’re different from your friends, and that’s okay! A lot of my friends were legacies at AOC, and had their roadmaps planned out or had an older AOC sibling to look up to for guidance. Even though I didn’t have an older AOC sibling, I found great resources that AOC provided to me as a new student and eventually found a safe space in AOC.

  • Advice #4: Always demand what you rightfully deserve. Being given the ability to take college courses is a big responsibility, and because of this responsibility you as the student should be treated as a respected individual. Don’t let any individuals belittle you or your experiences. You’ve earned a rightful spot at AOC, don’t let anyone take that away from you.

  • Advice #5: It’s ok if you don’t complete an associate degree. It’s great if you do, but only if you need one. For my particular career interests and major, it is better for me to begin working sooner rather than later. However, for some of my classmates it’s better for them to stay in university longer for a variety of reasons.

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