Three years ago, I transferred from Nicholls State University to the University of Texas at El Paso. I transferred looking for more opportunities as a student-athlete and academically. Without a doubt, I can say that all of these wishes were fulfilled. I am very grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way while being in El Paso. As a student-athlete, I got the opportunity to compete against better schools, fly to games and I earned a spot to compete in the NCAA championships for doubles in New York.
After a great first year at UTEP, I found myself suffering during games from back problems. I ended up getting surgery on my back at home (the Netherlands), which ended my career. However, this led to only more opportunities to come. As student-athletes, we struggle with the lack of experience we have in the work field. We haven’t had the time to take internships in our related work field and see if this is what we really want to do. As a medical student-athlete, I took on the internship program with the marketing department at UTEP Athletics. Being able to gain experience in the office and everything surrounding game day was really enjoyable. This way I got to see what it is like from behind the scenes, rather than being on the scene. As grateful as I was for getting professional experience as a student-athlete, I realized that I didn’t have any experience related in my major field (advertising).
This slightly worried me because as a foreign student I am going to take on an OPT, which allows a non-U.S. native to work for a year in their related field. When I checked my student email, I found one from the Prospector that had job openings for students with majors in communication and advertising. I knew about The Prospector when they wrote an article on me for Minero Magazine when I was still on the tennis team. I figured I should pass by the office and see if they are still taking applications. I got really excited as I applied for Advertising Account Executive and this would complete my resume as I wrap up at UTEP. I had an interview with Veronica, the director of UTEP Student Media and Publications. I thought we had a good interview but I still had my doubts about her hiring me. I had no sales experience whatsoever or any professional experience at all to back up that I would be a great Advertising Account Executive. When I got the email that they wanted to hire me, I couldn’t wait to start my first day! I loved being able to do real work independently and with a lot of freedom. I had to network and make appointments with business owners in order for them to work with The Prospector. It was a lot of fun and I am so grateful that Veronica gave me the opportunity to be great and trusted me enough to take on the position!
See you later, UTEP.