Returning to Ryerson: Meet Amanda de Souza

Hello fellow Arts students! I’m not a first year student, but I definitely feel like one. Why? This Fall I’m heading into 3rd year in the Arts & Contemporary Studies after a ten year break from Ryerson. 

That’s right. 10 years ago, ACS was a brand new program. I loved the campus (still do!), met my best friends there and learned a lot in 2 years. But, after 2nd year, I gravitated to my minor in marketing and decided to leave Ryerson. I started on a different path and attended the Advertising program at Durham College. For 3 years I was a writer/producer at an ad agency in Toronto making ad campaigns for clients like Sony, Universal and P&G. It was all very “Mad Men” in a digital age. 

In 2010 I moved to New York City. I started my career over with yet another internship, and that turned into a job as an executive account assistant at a PR firm for Broadway shows.

With NYC as my inspiration, I started painting. Soon the hobby turned into a part-time job, and eventually I was continuously in art shows, had a commissioned series for a store in Grand Central Station and even painted a piano for Sing For Hope, a charity that places painted pianos all over NYC for anyone to play. My piano was placed in Central Park and even featured in the New York Times.

I lived in Manhattan for 4 years and eventually landed the role of Senior Graphic Designer for W Magazine. It was a difficult role and not unlike living the Devil Wears Prada. After a year my contract was up and I flew home to visit my family. It was then that I learned my Mom had stage 4 metastatic bone cancer. I decided to stay in Canada with my family, and have been here now for a year.

In that time, I was offered a job at Durham College teaching the advertising campaigns course and was even asked to give the convocation speech where I was able to speak about my journey thus far.

Coming full circle and observing my student’s learning progress, I began to realize that opportunities never stop as long as you decide to keep going. So, I re-applied to Ryerson and this Fall I’ll be back on campus to finish what I started and this time, taking full advantage of all Ryerson has to offer! I can’t wait to meet all of you (please say hello!) I am so happy to be back where it all started and, can we talk about this fancy new student learning centre?! Maybe it was good I left for that ten year break after all. 


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