UC Merced

Career Support Prepares UC Merced Students for the Future

Senior mechanical engineering major Kelvin Cheung from San Francisco got a head start on career exploration during his first year at UC Merced.

Science, technology, engineering and math career specialist Robert Goodman — one of four career specialists for the Center for Career and Professional Advancement in UC Merced’s Office of Leadership, Service and Career — played a crucial role in preparing him to apply for internships.

“Robert gave me guidance on what I should do early in my college career to prepare for a career in the engineering industry,” Cheung said. “He motivated me to not limit myself and to push my personal boundaries.”

Career specialist Myra Fernandez is dedicated to helping undergraduate and graduate students with career and professional development advice to help prepare them for life after college — whether it’s attaining higher levels of education or pursuing careers.

“I was a first-generation college student, so I know the impact that landing a job or getting accepted to graduate school after graduation can make,” Fernandez said. “Our students have the ability to affect the generations to come.”

Fernandez reviews cover letters and resumes, helps identify internships and jobs and assists with the graduate school process. One of the most important skills she hones with students is interview preparation.

“Students must demonstrate knowledge of the organization in addition to articulating their strengths, knowledge, skills and experiences,” Fernandez said. “This takes learning and practice, and that’s where we come in.”

Fernandez and Goodman aren’t the only ones providing students with support and guidance.

Alumnus Joshua Bustamante credits the center’s Employer Relations and Internship Coordinator Chris Alarcon for helping him get a job directly after graduation.

“With the help of the Center for Career and Professional Advancement, I was able to get an interview for a position as an investment brokerage professional, which I accepted,” he said. “After talking with Chris, he helped me make the right decision for myself.”

Bustamante, who is from Los Angeles, graduated in spring 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He was involved with campus organizations such as the Business Society and Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. He was also an intern for the Venture Lab through the Student Success Internship program and volunteered at Merced High School.

The center is also dedicated to cultivating relationships with employers from the region, state and nation.

Vice President of Operations for E. & J. Gallo Winery Bill Stewart and his team visited the campus last year and developed a plan that has led to better collaboration between the company and the campus.

“At E. & J. Gallo Winery, students and grads work on relevant real-world challenges,” Stewart said. “We’ve found our hires from UC Merced to be innovative and results-oriented leaders ready to make an impact at the winery on day one.”

“The Vagina Monologues”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and UC Merced is hosting the return of “The Vagina Monologues,” a series of monologues and pieces adapted from interviews with women addressing issues of womanhood, sexuality and strength, and ending violence against women. UC Merced undergraduate and graduate students are the cast and crew.

The production is hosted by the student group VOICES, and is sponsored by the Campus Advocacy Resources and Education (CARE) Office, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women, the Center for the Humanities and Women’s Programs in the Office of Student Life.

Remaining showings are at 7 p.m. April 15 and 5 p.m. April 22 in the Lakireddy Auditorium. Tickets cost $5 and proceeds benefit Valley Crisis Center, which provides support for those affected by sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking in Merced County.

Tickets can be purchased online at tinyurl.com/VagMons2018Tickets, or with cash at the door 45 minutes before each performance.

UC Merced Connect is a collection of news items written by the campus’s Public Relations team. To contact the team, email PR@ucmerced.edu.