Lexie Mallary: A Very Busy Bee

Lexie Mallary is certainly a busy bee here at Carthage. As a year-round athlete and a double major with multiple jobs, she has no time to waste. Unfortunately, however, Mallary has been told time and time again that her choice in majors, as a combination, don’t make any sense. Although graphic design and accounting don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand at first glance, they're way more practical together than some may think—especially because Mallary wants to open her own graphic design business

Her Campus Carthage decided to sit down this week with Mallary, who is not only talented in and passionate about both design and math, but also has a big dream and sense of purpose in what she does.

Photo courtesy of Lexie Mallary

HC: What is your year at Carthage? 

LM: I am currently a junior at Carthage.

HC: What activities are you involved in?

I’m a cross country and track & field athlete, the Carthage Dance Marathon Vice President, a member of Lambda Pi Eta, and I work three jobs: Athletic Communications Graphic Designer, Fine Arts Department Mac Lab Assistant, and Peer Tutor (for Business Statistics).

HC: What are you studying?

LM: I am double majoring in graphic design & accounting.

HC: What do you intend to do with your studies?

LM: Right out of college I hope to gain experience working at a graphic design company, and eventually I hope to earn my way up to owning my own graphic design business.

HC: So, why graphic design and accounting together? LM: I chose to study graphic design because design has been my passion for quite a while now, but the reason I chose accounting is because of my goals to eventually own my own business. The graphic work will be the main focus of my business but, having studied accounting, I will also be able to keep track of the books myself and know the ins-and-outs of the business world, so I don’t have to necessarily consult with someone else. This way, I’ll be able to keep track of everything that’s going on in both the graphic side and the business side.

HC: What do you have to say to those who criticize your choice of study?

LM: Whenever anyone hears about both my majors, they never really understand why. If they don’t ask why they tend to think I’m crazy or just terribly indecisive about what I want to do with my life. Unless I explain it to people, almost everyone finds it very hard to understand that there could possibly be a correlation between graphic design and accounting. I have honestly had professors try to steer me more in one direction than the other because they do not see the practicalities of my goals in life. To have something like that to deal with is not easy because it makes you worry that your goals are not actually reachable.

Every criticism you get makes you worry about your choices but, in reality, those people have absolutely no idea the endless possibilities that are out there for you. You cannot let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you work hard enough, and put your mind to it, you can set goals as high as you possibly want. The only person that can tell you that you cannot do something is yourself because if you get it in your head that a goal is unachievable, there is no way you will possibly achieve it.

When people criticize what I am choosing to study, I just remind myself of where I want to end up. To those people, I would say that I am not going to settle. I would tell them that I have worked hard to get to where I am today, and I am going to continue working hard to get to where I want to end up. If they do not understand what I am doing, I would hope they would at least be interested in following up with me and seeing where I end up in life, that way they too can learn that the "impossible" is actually possible.

HC: Which Adobe program is your favorite? LM: Illustrator is my favorite. I love all the amazing capabilities of Photoshop and how incredible you can make a photograph look but, to me, there is something so satisfying about vector work. Illustrator allows you to create any shape you want, and it’s honestly extremely soothing. If I am ever stressed, Illustrator is the perfect thing for me to work in, because working with the pen tool and forming all sorts of vector shapes is actually relaxing.

HC: How do you survive such a hectic course load? LM: Not going to lie, it’s very stressful. I always seem to find myself wondering why I couldn't have chosen something easier, but then I remember how happy and accomplished I feel after completing accounting work and finalizing a design and it all makes perfect sense. When I am stressed, it helps to remember my goals and to know that what I am doing now will eventually pay off. It also really helps me to just take everything one day at a time.

I find that if I look too far ahead and see everything I need to get done, then I get so overwhelmed it becomes hard for me to want to do anything. When I take things day by day, I tend to be more focused and find it easier to accomplish all my work. To be perfectly honest, I also find it easier to get my graphic work done while watching TV, Netflix, or movies. I suppose that might seem rather quirky, but it helps keep my mind distracted and away from thinking about all the work I still need to get done. 

HC: What advice do you have for other students like you? LM: My advice to other students with "impractical majors" is to just keep pushing and working hard to get where you want to end up. The most important thing is that you know what your goals are and that you do everything you can to achieve those goals. As long as you don't listen to those people who criticize your goals, you can accomplish whatever it is that you want. If you let others bring you down, then you will not be as happy as you possibly could be. Don’t let others change your opinions just because they fail to understand your goals and have the faith that you do. You may be stressed now, but eventually all that stress will be worth it when you accomplish your dreams.

We’d like to thank Mallary for taking the time to speak with us about her “impractical majors” and helping us understand more about her busy life. Hopefully, her story can serve as inspiration and validation for others that what you choose to study doesn’t have to make sense to everyone. All that really matters is that you’re pursuing what you love!

Rep image courtesy of Lexie Mallary