Got my first job! Working for the Talent Development Network

In this series, recent grads share their journey to landing that first job out of college. After years of studying and working toward a degree, these Panthers’ hard work paid off. Now they’re paying it forward by letting you know how they did it.

Name? Matthew Ramos-Paez

Hometown? Miami, FL

Degree? Bachelor’s in psychology

Where are you working? Title? I’m a coordinator at the Talent Development Network (TDN) Program, which focuses on creating internship opportunities in South Florida for students in seven industries: aerospace, creative design, hospitality and leisure, information technology, life Sciences and health care, international banking and finance and trade and logistics.

How did you get your job? I was working as an intern in FIU’s Office of Engagement since August 2016, and I was given the opportunity to learn more about one of our office’s initiatives, the Talent Development Network. During my internship, I took on more responsibilities and helped manage the website and programs TDN runs throughout the city of Miami.

What was your greatest fear going into your first job and how did you face it or overcome it? My greatest fear was that my age and lack of professional of experience would set me back on the position. I faced it by being extra vigilant with all the work I produced and was as professional as possible in every situation. After a while, I learned to trust myself and my abilities because that is what got me the job in the first place.

What surprised you the most about your first job? How much office culture directly affects how you learn, work and communicate in that setting.

What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? The best advice I can give is to not begin your search after you have graduated. It is important to learn what you like to do and begin getting experience while you are still in school. Internships are the best way to gain experience and increase your chances of being hired after graduation.

What does a day on the job look like? I arrive on campus early in the morning and respond to any emails I may have missed from the day before. Afterward, I check the TDN portal to see if any students have applied to our internship opportunities. I am always reaching out to companies and students trying to connect them for possible internships. Throughout the day, our team works on new programs and events that will help college and high school students in Miami.

How does your job connect back to your coursework? As a psychology major, I learned a lot about how human behavior is affected by a situation. I try to take that into account when dealing with others in a professional environment. What I learned in writing classes has definitely helped me when it comes to writing emails and letters.

How has your transition from school to work been? How do you balance your time? The transition between school and work was a smooth one. During my last two semesters, I was able to manage school and work because my office always accommodated to my school and assignment schedule. It is important to communicate with your supervisors when you need time to do school work or to study as long as it does not interfere with your work.

What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? The coolest part about my job is that I get to work at the same university from which I received my degree. Being a recent graduate, I am able to give the student perspective on many of the programs that are run out of our office.