“It was really about earning my own money and being able to understand what working really is before having to work a full-time job. My main motivation was getting the experience before being thrown to the wolves!”
Cristina Rohrmoser is a sophomore at Texas Tech-Costa Rica, majoring in Retail Management. Ever since her second semester on campus, Cristina has been working part-time in Caribe Hospitality, a hotel development company, as the Sustainability Assistant. By the time she graduates, she will have 3.5 years of work experience and a handful of soft skills that she can immediately apply to her full-time job, thanks to Texas Tech-CR’s Work & Study program.
The Work & Study program allows students to apply for part-time jobs in prominent companies affiliated with Texas Tech-CR’s majors. Some of these companies are Marriott, Sagicor, AR Holdings, Portafolio Inmobiliario, and others. Taking part in this program allows students to gain work experience before graduation, giving them an upper hand on other graduates.
According to Gabriela Echandi, the campus’ Student Services and Affairs Manager, this program serves not only as an opportunity for professional growth, but also as a great networking experience and a doorway to valuable soft skills. Even if you don’t end up working in your field, having work experience puts students at an advantage, according to Gabriela.
“As part of the Work & Study program, we offer our students a series of workshops to prepare them for the workforce. Here they can learn assertive communication, leadership skills, how to write their own CV and be prepared for an interview, and how to handle time management,” Gabriela says. “These are soft skills that are not going to be taught in class, but that the market expects you to have them once you’re out there.”
Let’s hear firsthand what Cristina’s experience has been:
“The first couple of months were hard, just because it was a big adjustment, but thankfully I had full support of the company in regard to schedule flexibility. They know that my priority is school, and then comes work.
“I knew since the beginning that I wanted to apply for this program, because I think it will up my resume. When employers see that I’ve been working all this time, they will take into account all the work and time I have put into my college career. I think it will not only give me the skills I mentioned, but it will give me an edge.
“My job has given me unbelievable organizational skills in regard to time management, the time I spend between work, my social life, and my university life. It has given me a complete understanding of what working actually is, so that when I finally graduate, I won’t be caught off guard.
“At first, I thought I was going to be a little intern that just served coffee, but no! I have to make reports that the senior directors will see. I have to go onsite to projects and ask for reports from people who are older than me. It’s a real job. It’s real responsibility, and you have to take it seriously.”
If Cristina’s story has sparked your interest in the Work & Study program, talk to your adviser and learn all you can about the application process. Don’t miss out on the workshops and the job fairs. Start practicing now for your dream job, and make things happen! Experience the power of being a Red Raider. Join us next semester and give your resume a boost.