LLS Homepage Spotlight

A Summer of Self-Discovery

Daniela Rios
9/5/2018  8:00 am

Daniela Rios portrait

The summer was a summer of self-discovery for me. With the help of my advisor, Alicia Rodriguez, I was able to do some career exploration through my independent study over the summer. As a senior majoring in Political Science and LLS, I always knew my career options were broad, but I had never taken the opportunity to actually look into those options and see what type of career I saw myself pursuing. For that reason, this independent study helped me dive deep into what opportunities a social science major has after graduation and which ones matched my interests and skills.

Throughout the summer, I took the time to research the jobs available for social science majors but came up with so many career options that I quickly felt overwhelmed. After some more research I was able to narrow my search down to different fields within both my majors in Political Science and in LLS. From the moment I began my undergraduate education, I never really had a clear image of what life after graduation looked like for me. If I had a quarter for every time someone asked what job I saw myself at after graduation and I had no answer, I’d have enough for parking for the whole school year. I always knew I had options, I just never knew what they were because I never took the time to research and decide what would be best for me.

Through this independent study I was able to do what I enjoy doing the most, organize my options and come up with a plan. I was able to put together a portfolio with the different areas I could go into, whether that be education, advocacy, law/policy, human services, etc. This experience not only allowed me to organize my options, but I was also able to develop the skills that will help me in applying for the very jobs I found in this search. I got familiar with various job sites and the requirements that come with applying to certain jobs. Alicia gave me the opportunity to start figuring out my career path, a path that I plan on continuing to make clear as I embark on my last year as an undergraduate student.

I couldn’t have asked for a better independent study or a better advisor. I realized what it is I am looking for in a job and how to look for those jobs. Although I am still taking the time to decide on a specific career area, I have a much better sense of what I am looking for in a job. I want to give back. I want to help first generation youth like myself navigate higher education. I know I can do so sharing the knowledge I have acquired. Sharing this experience with you all is my first step in that endeavor.