I know it’s been a long time, but this was a particularly busy semester. It’s funny because I almost felt like I was cheating: I only took 3 classes! I guess at some point I decided to be smart about my semester planning, and I only needed to take 3 classes during my final semester as an undergrad. This semester was just as busy as any other, however, because I started a new internship! I also planned the timing of all of this very carefully. 😉
As a UNM student I’ve tried to accept any and most opportunities that came my way. Throughout these past 5 years I’ve been a staff member for a student-led magazine, the vice president for a student organization for a brief time, volunteered as an orientation leader for several semesters, tutored math and was a TA for several IFDM classes… after a while it was rare for me to just have one job during a semester. Most of my time at UNM I’ve had at least two jobs, and sometimes I dealt with 3 different positions (yikes).
While I don’t recommend stuffing your schedule as much as I did (for the sake of your sanity and the quality of your work), I do encourage exploring as many options as you’d like! There are so many networking opportunities, on-campus events, and student organizations around UNM that you have to find something that spikes your interest.
Over Winter break I had heard about a symposium at UNM that was aimed at connecting UNM students in STEM to companies and labs in New Mexico. The purpose of the symposium was to keep young people working in this state. I was very interested in attending, but it turned out to be geared mostly towards grad students and PhD’s, and specifically to those working in biology or some other related field. Just by showing interest in the event, I was encouraged to attend by the symposium organizers, and I am so glad I did!
For most of the duration of the symposium I was the only computer science student, and was also (for the majority of the time) the only undergraduate attendee. This did not bother me at all, and it turned out to be a great conversation starter. By the end of the symposium I learned of a lot of new tech companies that are pursuing wonderful projects in New Mexico, and I felt confident in my decision of wanting to stay in New Mexico after finishing my undergrad.
Thanks to this event organized by the IMSD program at UNM I found an internship to work on during this last semester, and I now have a position lined up for after graduation! I feel extremely lucky to have found such a great opportunity so quickly, but I know not everybody faces the same luck. Regardless of your good fortune (or lack thereof) I want to encourage you to make the most out of your time at UNM. Our institution has amazing resources for students and alumni, so don’t feel shy to use them! Look out for job offers from email listservs, stay in touch with your professors or mentors, and go check out Career Services. You may end up finding good connections in unexpected places!
Best of luck to you, and I wish you all a wonderful Summer!