Connie Ruan

Graduating Class of 2015

International Studies – Political Science major with Business minor

Immediately after graduation I began working full time as a staff member at UCSD. I currently work at the UCSD Career Center as a Student Employment Analyst & the Non-Profit Partnership Coordinator for the Off Campus Work-Study Program.

Q: What has your career path been like? A: My career path started surprisingly as a student employee here at the Career Services Center. I was a Student Assistant at the Student Employment Office and now I’m one of the Student Employment Analysts. My career path has been progressively moving forward, and I was offered a wonderful opportunity at an environment that I had adapted to.

Q: How did your experience as an undergrad at UCSD help you find your first position after graduation? A: As an undergrad I was mainly focused with academia but I knew I had to gain some real world experience. So I explored the Career Services Center and I was advised to go on Port Triton to look for positions, so I did just that. I worked on-campus and I did utilize my work-study. I was a Student Assistant that mainly did clerical work and a lot of front desk coverage.

Q: What mistakes did you make during the job search and how did you fix them? A: When I was applying for jobs on-campus I would just write down a bunch of job numbers without really reading the posting or really reviewing the emails I sent out. I remember sending out batches of emails with all the wrong job numbers and even the wrong departments on a few of them. I realized my mistake too late and I wasn’t able to rescind the email, so from that point on I was extra careful to make sure that my emails had the right information and matched the job description. I also made it a habit to save the job posting as a PDF so I could reference back to it, whenever I got a call back.

Q: What advice do you have for students? What about students about to graduate? Always remember UCSD as your second home. Whether it be Geisel or Sun God, make memories and make lots of friends because the Adult Life is hard and don’t ever forget those fun times you had as an undergrad. Also you don’t get vacation, not like in college. There is MAYBE two weeks of vacation if you’re lucky, so enjoy your Winter, Spring, and SUMMER break as much as you can. The counselors at the Career Services Center are super helpful whether it be from internships to grad school. They are knowledgeable and willing to walk you through step by step. Take advantage of this wonderful resource. Stop worrying about what others are doing. Some people are going to have their whole lives planned out and others just go with the flow. You are going to go down your own path, wherever it may lead.

Q: What advice do you have for students regarding their careers after graduation? A: You’re going to do A LOT of grunt work. You’re going to go into an entry level job that pays next to nothing and you do almost everything and that’s okay. That is how you grow and gain experience that is essential for you to move to the top. Everything is an experience, so never stop learning.

Q: What’s one thing you wish you knew as an undergrad? A: I wish I knew how to plan ahead. I didn’t utilize the Career Services Center as much because I was afraid of what I was going to do. I wish I knew now to not be afraid of the future and just tackle it full on.

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 Issue of the Triton Worker. 

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