Norah Al-Azzam

Student Assistant at Ethnic Studies Department

First year transfer | Warren | Biology Major

For some transfer students, making the transition to UC San Diego can be difficult. I feared that I wouldn’t be able to make the transition quickly or be able to adapt to my new environment. Fortunately I was very lucky because the Ethnic Studies Department was so welcoming and supportive. They really helped me transition quickly, and I am grateful to have a part-time job I love! From working at The Ethnic Studies Department I’ve strengthened my interpersonal skills, time-management, communication, and problem-solving skills. Skills such as these are essential to my future, especially when I transition into graduate school.

Q: What do you do and what makes your job unique? A: I work on a variety of projects, from updating our website to creating flyers. I love that I get to be creative in playing with different designs and formats to make my flyers more appealing. My job is so unique in that all interactions I’ve ever had with the Ethnic Studies Department staff has always been positive and welcoming. Working here has showed me what diversity looks like: a place that welcomes everyone and treats them like family.

Q: Is this job in line with your long-term career goals? A: I come from a biology background, so working for the Ethnic Studies Department has opened my eyes so much towards doing research related to biology and ethnic studies in the long run. In addition, I have gained a great amount of knowledge about different areas of studies related to this department that I would love to apply in the future.

Q: What prior experience did you have? A: In high school, I had an internship at a law office for Senator Joel Anderson. I worked as an assistant and did numerous secretarial office duties. When I was looking for jobs on Port Triton, I saw that my experiences working at an office would fit best for this job. So I applied! I also highly recommend Port Triton as there are so many opportunities for undergrads across on-campus departments and fields. You can always find an internship, a part-time job, or a volunteer position in any area you are interested in.

Q: Have you ever had a difficult or discouraging experience related to also being a student worker in the past? A: It’s hard to go to school and work at the same time. However, once you get used to balancing your school schedule and work hours, you will start to get the hang of it. In addition, finding a job that understands and supports you as a student is important when it comes to a student’s busy schedule. The fact that I work on-campus at UC San Diego has been very convenient for me, allowing me to balance school and work effectively.

Final Advice? My biggest advice, especially as a transfer students, is to get involved in school whether it’s getting a job on-campus or volunteering in a lab. It is so important to branch out and seek other opportunities in different fields because you might never know what you can learn from it. Be bold and take action! Don’t wait and see what will happen next.

Do you have an awesome on-campus job? Do you love what you do and want to share your experiences with other students? If so, contact us and you may be spotlighted in future newsletters!

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 Issue of the Triton Worker. 

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