Since graduating from McMurry Dorian Block has carved out a successful career path rooted in the arts.
Block who graduated from McMurry University in 2015 as an English major with an arts administration minor has overcome a lot through his journey. But this year has brought about a lot of accomplishments as well as the opportunity to give back to his alma mater and contribute to the institution that helped him find his way into his current career field.
“A career in the arts is difficult to justify, especially coming from a diverse and lower socio-economic background, but I’ve carved out paths to success and I hope to help others in my position navigate,” Block said.
Right after his graduation, Block moved to a new city to pursue work and adventure. He returned to New Mexico within the year to serve for AmeriCorps VISTA which gave him the opportunity to network before hitting the workforce.
“I started in marketing with The Santa Fe Opera and went on to work for other local nonprofits before assisting in the launch of the pro-soccer team, New Mexico United, where I contributed to a record-breaking first season including a $3M merchandise line, box-office-breaking ticket sales, and the best marketing in the United Soccer League,” Block said.
After his brief stint in professional sports Block has spent the last two years with The Dallas Opera in digital marketing and social media working diligently to offer robust digital performance offerings in an ever-changing media world.
“This past year (2022) contained some of my greatest career accomplishments,” Block said. “I was named to prestigious mentorships for leaders of color with Opera America and SphinxLEAD which I hope will propel my career within arts administration.”
But one of his most significant accomplishments happened right here at McMurry University.
“One of my most significant accomplishments to date, however, remains the position paper award I earned at National Model United Nations Conference in Rome, Italy (2014) for McMurry University,” Block said.
Beyond his career advancements and accomplishments Block credits his time at McMurry as one of the reasons he is able to navigate his current position. Throughout his career he has faced adversity for his LGBTQI+ status but hopes that he can remind adults and students alike that persistence and consistency can help propel you through times of adversity.
“Those are the qualities that will help you navigate anything from life administration to career growth,” Block said. “Being open to saying yes to opportunity and not being too rigid about what that journey looks like and your growth may surprise you and take you to places you never considered.”
Block has stayed connected to his alma mater far beyond graduation and now serves the Alumni Association Board of Directors as the Engagement Committee Chair. He has truly enjoys the time he spends giving back to the University that helped him along his path.
“I take my role very seriously looking out for the new student body, listening to their interests, and considering how decisions could affect them,” Block said. “I also feel that I bring a diverse lens and perspective to conversations that might otherwise go without that consideration.”
He continued to encourage recent alumni and current students to get involved with the Alumni Association understanding that it may be intimidating. But Block ensures that McMurry is a place that will let and even invite young people to the table to share their thoughts and opinions.
“I would highly recommend involving yourself in a community that contributes to your own personal growth,” Block said. “No matter what your experience at McMurry might have been, there is room to contribute to growth for an institution that continues to invite young people in.”
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