Applying Design Thinking to Community Engagement

Zuleth Gomez
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Zuleth Gomez completed a Design Project internship with the Office of Student Engagement and Career Development.

How did you get your internship and why did you choose it?

I got this internship because I had been looking for an internship in the spring. I had actually attended two different job fairs since my plan was to get an internship for the summer. I heard back from one potential opportunity, but continued to apply to expand my search. I got a message in Handshake (the university database for internships and jobs) to do an interview and went in with an open mind. I ended up getting hired on the spot the day of the interview and really liked what the experience was going to be. The reason I chose this internship was because I wanted something that was going to allow me to have a flexible schedule since I was going to be taking summer classes at the same time. 

What was your favorite part of your internship?

My favorite part of this internship was being able to meet new people. This internship was also a great way for me to learn new concepts, like design thinking principles and community collaboration. This internship was meaningful to me because I discovered new things each week when meeting with my mentors. I was also able to have a good balance between school and work because of the flexibility of my schedule.

What advice do you have for other students as they search for their internship?

Some advice I'd give another student would be to not give up; your perfect opportunity will come up when needed. I would also say be yourself, it takes you more places then acting as someone you aren't. Also enjoy the process and relax. I would say to not be afraid to explore new things. Be open minded and know that not everything you will do may not follow the exact path you had in mind.

What did you find challenging about your internship?

Some things I found most challenging in this internship was making sure the other interns on my team, our mentors, and community partners were available to meet. There was a lot of coordination involved in getting people together. Another challenge would be realizing just how much detail is required in communicating with my teammates. There were times when our communication wasn’t clear and it led to some confusion that we then had to go back and address. I found having good communication to be very important for this role. 

How did your Applied Humanities major coursework help give you unique insight for the internship experience?

My Applied Humanities major course has helped me in multiple ways. I found it to be more helpful learning the culture of a new environment, meeting new people, and how those things impact our everyday lives in diverse ways. I was thankful for all the preparation and having great professors along the way. I enjoyed knowing I had people I could count on if I felt lost.