After his three years of interning with the Center for Career Development (CCD), you might be able to call eighth-semester psychological sciences major Alex Argueta a professional professional. The graduating senior says that this internship has been quite valuable in preparing him for life and career beyond the University of Connecticut and that he is fortunate to have had such a good experience.
The story of Argueta’s internship begins back when he was a sophomore looking to get more involved on campus. Upon seeing an email from the CCD about an internship available in the office, Argueta applied and got the job.
“I pretty much really felt comfortable from the first interview I had with them, and I was lucky enough to get the position,” Argueta said.
Three years later, Argueta is still interning with the CCD’s programming team, which manages the CCD’s interactions with groups like First Year Experience classes and clubs. Furthermore, Argueta, as a part of the programming team, is responsible for gathering materials for programs and managing the slate of presenters for different events, as well as for conducting resume critiques throughout the week.
During his time there, Argueta says that he has seen his responsibilities change somewhat as he’s become more knowledgeable about the CCD’s mission and workflow.
“Definitely moving from year to year, it’s been a little bit more of self-directed work every year that I’ve been there,” Argueta said. “We have gotten new interns while I’ve been there, so I’ve also taken more sort of like a mentor role to them, because they’re newcomers and I have a little bit more experience in just knowing how things work around the office. It’s a lot of being there for them and explaining how things work as well.”
Though he’s a confident veteran intern now, the expert in anything was once a beginner, and Argueta says that when he first started, he sometimes found it difficult to interact one-on-one with students during appointments. Especially challenging were students who simply weren’t receptive to the advice being given to them, although Argueta now realizes that this occasional reluctant reaction just comes with the job.
“Back when I was a sophomore, … it was really difficult to have a senior come in and want to get advice on their resume and sometimes they’ll know that you’re an underclassman, and it’s difficult to … establish that rapport with them if they know that you’re an underclassman,” Argueta said.
Through his many resume critiques and other work with the CCD, Argueta says that he has grown in professionalism, communication and organizational skills. He’s also found his work rewarding in that it gives him a chance to help other students with their own professional development.
“I think the most rewarding thing for me has been like being in a resume critique, helping someone out with really specific questions that they may have about their resume or how to go about writing something,” Argueta said. “Then that same student will come back a couple of months later and they’ll recognize us just because they remember working with us, and they’ll say, ‘Oh, the resume that you helped me on got me a job,’ or like, ‘I got an interview,’ or something like that. And knowing that we actually help other people is really rewarding to me.”
Beyond UConn, this graduating senior might one day go into career counseling or industrial-organizational psychology. For now though, Argueta has accepted a position in Aetna’s Human Resources Leadership Development Program in Hartford.
“Being at the CCD I think has solidified my interest in that specific area,” Argueta said. “Even when I was looking for internships outside of that over the summer, I was always looking for something that was in the field of human resources or something that I knew I was going to be looking at resumes or being involved in the hiring process, things like that.”
Clearly, Argueta’s experience at the CCD has left a mark on him, and no matter where life takes him, his internship has afforded him the skills to get there professionally.
Stephanie Santillo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.