Alumni spotlight: Rua Francis Oshana

Rua Francis Oshana, a 2015 graduate of the Mike Ilitch School of Business, has used her marketing and business background to pursue a successful art career.

Oshana said art runs in her family and has always been part of her journey, but her artistic endeavors were put on hold while she was pursuing other things.

“After graduating with a marketing degree and working for Starcom Mediavest, I took time off to focus on raising my young child,” she said. “That’s when I had enough clarity and inspiration to get back into my artwork and explore new ideas and techniques.”

As an artist, Oshana’s signature style has bold lines and dynamic flowing compositions, infused with forms of Arabic and Aramaic calligraphy and arabesque.

Oshana is also currently executive director of the American Marketing Association Detroit. She began volunteering with the organization’s programming and communication committees about a year ago because she wanted to network and build experience in marketing.

“When I was offered to take on the role of the chapter’s executive director, I gladly took it,” she said. “Becoming a board member has been one of the most rewarding experiences. Not only did it build great connections within the marketing community, it helped build my personal and leadership skills on local and national levels.”

Originally a dental hygienist in Canada before pursuing her marketing degree, she said she was drawn to marketing because it is “the art of convincing.”

“I gravitated towards it since my dental hygiene days in Canada when I had to educate and convince patients to follow certain health practices,” she said. “I also wanted a creative outlet where I could work in the creative world.”

Oshana said her background in business and marketing has definitely been an advantage in her art career.

“I’ve been using my background in marketing to build and manage my own website and social media platforms, and to track and analyze results.”

Oshana also dedicates some of her spare time volunteering for Ponyride, a nonprofit organization committed to facilitating the growth of social missions within artists, entrepreneurs, makers and nonprofits.

She said she is inspired by the organization, and currently helps the marketing director with content and social media strategy.

“I love what Ponyride stands for and their contribution in the Detroit community,” she said.

Oshana’s online portfolio is available here.