Isela Aguilar Gamez interned with the College of Humanities and provided mentoring to prospective humanities students.
How did you get your internship and why did you choose it?
When I was enrolled in PAH 383 Pre-Internship: Building Career Readiness, one of the assignments for the class was to find a job or internship to apply for. The College of Humanities Student Ambassador position was one of the job advertisements that I found and it was the one that I selected to tailor my resume and cover letter for as part of the assignment. Because my application materials ended up being great, and with the push of Professor Stephanie Springer, I decided to actually apply for the role. I was excited when I was offered an opportunity to interview and then later, I was offered the position!
Part of the reason I decided to move forward with the internship offer is because I had been experiencing what people call ‘imposter syndrome.’ I often felt very out of place on campus and wasn't involved with any extracurricular programs. My routine was going to class and going home. The chance to be a College of Humanities Student Ambassador was an opportunity to change that as it gave me connections with other students, I could be involved with organizing college events, and I could network with university faculty and staff. This experience is exactly what I needed.
What new skills did you develop in this internship?
I practiced and developed a lot of communication skills. There were times I had to make phone calls to talk to donors and prospective students. During these conversations, I had to communicate the message, answer their questions, as well as keep the conversation going. I also participated in a virtual college event, where prospective students joined a zoom room and I had to introduce myself to the large zoom audience, answer questions, and describe opportunities in the College of Humanities. Participating in these different events as a student leader gave me experience communicating confidently.
What were the best and challenging parts of the experience?
The most satisfying part of my internship was being a resource to prospective students. I enjoyed being able to give an insider perspective on the college, the coursework, our major, etc. It was meaningful to me because I wish I had this insight as a prospective student - especially as a first-generation student, I think it would have been a lot of help.
The challenging part of the experience was fitting into my schedule the required number of events. As a full-time student, a student ambassador, a part-time worker, and a soldier in the National Guard, you can imagine my extensive to-do lists and obligations. But with my time management skills, I used my planner and strategized so that I could make sure I was fulfilling the requirements for all my positions.
What advice do you have for other students as they search for their internship?
An important piece of advice is to be open minded - sometimes the most unexpected opportunity can be the best fit for you, so don’t be afraid to pursue an internship that you actually never considered before. Also remember to pick something that is going to also bring happiness in your life, not more stress, so that you can have fun with it.