Global Accounting Student Learns to Embrace Passion for Art
By Jeff Willadsen
Jenny Trujillo, an accounting major at Washington State University’s Global Campus, has two sides to her personality—an analytical side with a talent for problem-solving, and an adventurous, creative side with a passion for travel and art.
Throughout her life, it seemed like she had to choose one or the other. But the journey that led Trujillo to WSU taught her that she could embrace both sides of herself, leading to her paintings being featured in the 2021 issue of WSU’s student-produced literary arts journal, LandEscapes.
Trujillo began studying accounting in her native Taiwan, knowing that certified public accountants are in high demand in the workforce.
“As a child, I found I had the aptitude for many skills required to be an accountant, and it fit with the ordered and methodical aspects of my personality. The reliability of a career in accounting was also very attractive to me,” says Trujillo. “However, I believed at the time I would have to commit fully to this one career choice and not pursue my other passions, like travel. So I put my accounting career on hold in order to travel and explore.”
To pursue her passion for travel, Trujillo applied for a working holiday visa and travelled to Australia, where she met her future husband, Tayvin.
Over the next few years, Trujillo expanded her horizons by traveling the world, visiting New Zealand, Thailand, Canada, and other countries.
Creative expression through water colors
During this time, she discovered her passion for art. Drawing figures and giving them as gifts to loved ones started out as a hobby.
“It really was a creative expression and outlet for me. The more I drew and painted, the more I enjoyed it,” says Trujillo. “Drawing and painting allowed me to embrace a more imaginative and impulsive side of my personality I hadn’t been able to express in the same way before.”
Trujillo’s choice of artistic medium is also emblematic of a certain side of her personality, just like her original choice of accounting as a career.
“I chose watercolor for my art because watercolors move in a way that can’t be fully predicted. I think it’s beautiful, and it really fits my imaginative style.”
After a few years of travelling and exploring her art, Trujillo and her husband moved to Kennewick, Washington, where her husband grew up, and began laying down roots. The idea of going back to school began to develop in Trujillo’s mind.
“I wanted to return to school for accounting for the same reasons I originally wanted to work in that career field,” she says. “However, things were different this time. I had the option to learn online, which gave me a lot of flexibility I didn’t have before.”
Trujillo’s husband was earning his degree at WSU Tri-Cities, so she heard about WSU’s reputation. She realized that through WSU Global Campus, she could earn her degree online, continue living in Kennewick, and pursue the other things she loved, like art.
“I realized that I didn’t have to choose between a stable career like accounting and my passion for art,” she says. “I realized that I could do both at the same time.”
Pursuing her passions at WSU Global Campus
Trujillo began working towards her degree at WSU Global Campus in fall of 2020. At the same time, she increased her efforts to perfect her artistic techniques and began looking for ways to get involved with WSU’s thriving art community.
One day, she saw an advertisement to submit art for LandEscapes, the journal produced annually by WSU students.
“I thought ‘why not?’ and submitted three of my watercolor portraits,” she says.
It didn’t take long for Trujillo to hear back from the journal, which requested more of her art. She submitted three more pieces, all of which appeared in the journal.
“It’s been a wonderful experience all around. I love sharing my art with others,” says Trujillo. “I’m looking forward to more of that in the future, as well as my career in accounting. Without WSU and Global Campus, I wouldn’t be able to do either in the same way I am today.”
Trujillo plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with an accounting major, in 2024.
“Jenny’s story is a great example of how online learning provides maximum flexibility in how students can spend their time while earning their degree,” says Debbie O’Donnell, Global Campus’s vice chancellor of student affairs. “Whether it’s creative pursuits, building a career, or raising a family, earning your degree online allows you to more easily pursue your various passions while you achieve your academic goals.”