Joseph Gonzales ‘16

Intake Advisor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy |

It’s funny that I am currently working in this field, because as an undergrad I wish I knew more about my academics. I never went to my major advisors or used that resource to my advantage. If I could do it all over again, I would be proactive in figuring out what my major has to offer when it comes to job search and alumni networking. I hope students are able to go to their advisors and get a sense of what they want to do after they finish college.

Q: Where are you currently working and what do you do? A: I am currently working for the undergraduate International Studies Program at the School of Global Policy and Strategy as an Intake Advisor. My job focuses on advising International Studies majors on the curriculum, as well as various other projects and events that help students with their aspirations.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job? A: The best part of my job is advising. When students have a lot of questions that need cleared and they come in to talk with an advisor, it shows they are determined to get the job done. I appreciate their tenacity and I hope they understand that my number one goal is to make sure that they are comfortable with their academic goals. Their determination to ensure they get the best grades and apply to the right internships parallels my own personal goals, making me wish I was back in school as an undergrad again. I love the fact that they can leave my office knowing all of their questions have been answered, or that I was able to point them in the right direction to continue searching.

Q: What has your career path been like and where do you see yourself going in the future? A: I am the type of person who tries to explore all opportunities. When I first came to UCSD, I did not have a set career path in mind. Fortunately, I had the best advisor in the world who used to work at the Career Services Center. Christy Quiogue helped me outline a plan and narrow down my career goals. I decided to pursue a career in the international field as a diplomat and foreign leader advocating for a better global community so I majored in sociology with an international relations emphasis. As an undergrad, I did my best to get my foot in the door by helping expand membership opportunities for the newly created Tritons-for-UNICEF org, helping international students speak conversational English for English-In-Action, as well as interning at the San Diego Diplomacy Council and advocating for labor rights at the International Labor Rights Forum in D.C. I hope to use all the skills I learned from my past experiences when I apply to grad school, and continue my global understanding in the future.

Q: Did you work as an undergrad? A: While I was interning, helping my organizations, and studying, I was fortunate enough to find work as an undergrad, and receive work-study as well. I was able to learn the ins and outs as an annex laborer clerk at Geisel’s annex location. It was a fun experience being able to transport books, and understand the importance of librarians in terms of central tasks such as documentation maintenance.

Q: What advice do you have for students about to graduate? A: My advice is to always have goals and keep up with them. If you want to go to grad school, then position yourself to be a better applicant by using all the skills you learned as an undergrad. If you want to go straight into the job search, then don’t forget to use all of the resources and networks you have. When people suggest you talk to your advisors and craft relationships with friends and alumni, they are attempting to help you get closer to the career path you’re pursuing. Most of the time you won’t be able to go straight in the field you want to be in, but at least you can learn the skills of what it takes to get there. Like the students that I see on a daily basis searching for answers, never lose that skill because those interests will spark your future after you leave UCSD!

Q: What do you think is the most important quality or skill students should learn while in college to prepare them for the transition into the workplace? A: The most important skill/ quality I learned all has to do with communication. When it comes to maintaining your social life, to coordinating projects with your colleagues, communication is everything. Like I said earlier, always keep up with your network and friendships you made in college and utilize it as a resource. You’ll never know who can help you get to where you want to be, and it’s always nice to keep up with their accomplishments as well. When you’re able to communicate with everyone and put yourself out there, you’re exercising a quality not a lot of people utilize. Show your community the amount of effort you’re willing to put in. Something that my old community college professor told me that struck a similar chord was, “the gauntlet has been thrown, and it’s up to you to take the challenge.”

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of The Triton Worker.

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