By: Dominick Giannini and Jake Harvey
On Friday, May 12, Eisenhower alumnus, Mark Seekings, delivered a message to all high school students. In his message, which included many pictures and anecdotes of his experiences, he encouraged all students to pursue careers in areas which feed their passions while highlighting their skills or talents. He hoped that through sharing his experiences, he might serve as an example demonstrating that even students from our very own small town can move on to do great things – if they dream big and work hard enough.
When he was in high school, Mark didn’t know what he wanted to pursue as a career; his main interests were snowboarding and skateboarding. Everybody told him he couldn’t make a living from it, so, after graduation, he set out to California to prove everybody wrong. Mark said that when he told people of his plans and goals, he often received that looks that made him think that “…people thought [he] was joking…”
However, his dreams were no joke. After gaining additional sponsors, Mark became a professional snowboarder, making himself a decent living doing what he loved. After facing a career-threatening injury, Mark had to again make a major decision regarding what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. This contemplation led Mark to attend a San Diego art school to learn Fashion and Graphic Design. From there, Mark bounced from a Dior Homme store, to designing A.P.C jeans with Kanye West. A short journey later, after working with groups and artists such as Chromeo and Drake, Mark now works full time for Kanye as a Creative Director.
Mark’s biggest takeaway from all these experiences that he felt important to share with students is “…don’t accept other people’s fears and thoughts about your abilities as your reality.” Through taking risks, following his passions, and dreaming big, he was able to accomplish all of his goals and more. The upperclassmen of Eisenhower High School gained valuable insight throughout this event and hope to see Mark return someday to impart his wisdom once again.