Why I Chose Career Services

Me in college with one of my career advisors and mentors, Summer Salazar

The idea to work in career services came to me in 2017, but it was really just the culmination of years of experience leading up to that moment that was the most influential.

Like many other students, I did not know “what I wanted to be when I grew up” when I first started college. When I applied, I applied as an English major because I liked reading. Then I switched to Economics because I liked economic theory (better, but not great). Then I got more specific and became a Finance and Accounting double major. I liked that one because that was impressive to people. As a high performer and people pleaser, I liked the reactions I got from older adults when I told them that. But after taking intermediate accounting, I couldn’t imagine myself dealing with numbers for the rest of my life like that. I like the classes about leadership and organizational theory. I liked ideas and concepts, not numbers. I switched my major (for the third, and final time) to Business Management.

To my surprise (and dismay at times) this shift shaved a year off of my degree program. Whereas I was a rising junior yesterday, I now found myself a rising senior with no internship experience and no concrete idea of where my career path was headed.

The summer before my last year at Texas State, I found myself in the Career Services office quite often exploring options. In my head, I had always planned to do an internship the summer before my senior year. But suddenly, this was the summer before my senior year and I couldn’t go back in time now. Being student body president and taking 20 hours my last semester, I continued to put off the job search until I could not any longer. I went on some interviews without finding something that was right for me. It was at a Board of Regents meeting that I met one of the Regents and the co-found of a company in San Antonio. A few weeks later I saw that company listed as an attendee for an upcoming career fair and decided to go talk to them and apply for an internship.

I got called for an interview and got the internship for the summer. While I walked the stage in May, I did not graduate until August because I had one last class left to complete. So I did the full time, paid internship over the summer while I finished my coursework and hoped and prayed it would turn into a full time position at the end of the summer. With a little persistence and hard work, I was able to make that happen.

It took a year after graduating to learn that business was not for me. I wanted to do what my mentors in the Career Services office did. In fact, about a year after graduation I applied to work in the Career Services office of my alma mater. I passed the Zoom interview, went into an in person interview and even gave a 20 minute presentation on the NACE Career Competencies. This was a lot for my 22 year old self and I didn’t get the job, which was tough but I understood. I told myself I would get my master’s degree and keep trying. And I did.

Nearly exactly 5 years after that interview I started my position at SMU in the Career Center. It is a different role than I first imagined, but it is the right role for me. I love coming full circle, going from getting my first job because of a career fair to being able to create those opportunities for others. I know and appreciate the lifechanging work our office does, and I strive to continue to improve that legacy everyday.


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