For as long as she can remember, Arianna Cruz, BS’18, has felt compelled to do more.
“I just kept saying: I want to help people more; there has to be more we can do. More was the constant.”
Throughout college, Arianna volunteered at organizations that provide help to those who need it. At a local shelter in downtown Indianapolis, she helped adults create résumés and prepared them for interviews. After college, Arianna realized she could channel her yearning to help into a collective conversation. Through a magazine with solution-based articles, she started collecting those conversations and solutions in one place.
“MORE stands for ‘Making Opportunities Reachable for Everyone.’ At the core of everything I do, that is my goal. This magazine is my way of sharing a goal I think a lot of people share: to make tomorrow a brighter and better place for everyone.”
Arianna had the idea of MORE Magazine just before the pandemic started in March 2020.
“I love to collaborate and connect and create with people. I love to create beautiful and visual stories with others – and to share content that is educational, inspiring and calls people to action. That’s what this magazine does. I encourage the authors to make each article solution-based. If we’ve got a problem here, let’s do something about it. Maybe that’s by starting a conversation. Or pushing ourselves to learn more about an issue. Or speaking up when you see something happen.”
Her first issue launched in October 2020. At first, she’d planned an online format only, but she got so much feedback asking for print issues that she decided to pair up with a local print shop and offer it in paper copies, as well.
“I had no idea how much it would resonate with people,” said Arianna. “It’s so incredible to see the way people feel impacted and encouraged by the articles. I hope to show others they’re not alone. And why representation is so important. These articles show readers they’re not the only people feeling this way; they’re not the only people striving for dreams. It’s amazing to connect with readers on this level.”
The logistics of entrepreneurship
Arianna says she never thought she’d be an entrepreneur, but once the idea of the magazine started percolating, she knew that’s what she wanted to do.
“My Kelley education gave me the confidence to start my own business,” she explained. “It made me think: Do I have a product people want? Will this create demand? Kelley gave me the confidence and skills to think in this way. After taking courses in marketing research, consumer behavior, analytics and accounting, the pieces came together to help me start MORE.”
“Understanding data and analytics gave me the confidence to speak with potential partners. Because of my Kelley education, I was able to show them the impact and to explain why they should partner with us. I also started to figure out how to bring money in. Additionally, my supply chain and economics classes have helped me navigate the logistics.”
Looking back, Arianna says attending Kelley in downtown Indianapolis brought her closer to this opportunity – and her passion.
“I love how IUPUI is right downtown, how campus integrates career development with local companies. Coming from a small town in northeastern Indiana, I wanted to go to college where I would have access to opportunities. That’s when I discovered Kelley at IUPUI. It seemed like the place to be if I wanted to go into business and be in downtown Indianapolis.”
Not only that. Arianna says IUPUI is important because of its diversity.
“At IUPUI, it is so cool to see other students who look like me also going into business. You see yourself represented. You see others going into careers that I wanted to see myself in. I got involved in the Asian Student Union, the Filipino Student Association and the Multicultural Center. This is our future and I see myself in it.”
Giving back full-time
With the magazine as a side hustle, Arianna’s been just as busy with her full-time job. She landed a job as the Director of Marketing and Outreach at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana.
“I’ve volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters since high school,” said Arianna. “I knew I wanted to work for something community-based and give back through the work I was doing every day. When I saw the director of marketing position open, I kept coming back to it. I knew it was a big role for a recent college graduate, but I also knew my accomplishments and Kelley education would serve me well.”
Arianna says she knows women don’t always apply for jobs unless they think they meet all the qualifications. “From experience,” she says, “women should go for it.”
“The worst that can happen is someone says ‘no.’ So you’ve got go for it. Just like you’d cheer on your best friend to go for a role, you’ve got cheer for yourself. You are fully capable, and if you’re ready, then you’re ready.”
In the meantime, Arianna is looking forward to the next issue of her bi-annual magazine. It’s a growing venture for the young Kelley graduate – a venture she hopes others will learn from, as well.
“Always go for it. Don’t be afraid to fail,” she said. “Take classes that might not apply to you. They’ll push you to expand your knowledge and creativity, to test your strengths and to challenge your weaknesses. Explore an internship that’s out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It’s all a learning experience, and it’s the only way you’ll grow.”
Such an inspiring story! Loved reading this!
Reading this story validates my decision to obtain the Business Foundations Certificate which is outside of my area of expertise as I have worked in admissions, higher education more than 25 years. Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration. Renee
Great story and so proud of her as it shows me there is nothing stopping her for a good cause ! The world today NEEDS more of Arianna Cruz’s style in every discipline and would be rewarding in many ways all around the world with many team players to get work done…..thank you !
As a Kelley School professor, this alumna makes me so proud! Arianna is using her business smarts to encourage and support others. What a terrific role model for all of us.