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: Aleisa Mora ’18
Hometown: Miami, FL
Degree/major: Communication arts major, film studies certificate
Where are you working? I work at VITAS Healthcare at the corporate office in Downtown Miami
What does a day on the job look like? A day at my job is self-sufficient. I’m a marketing specialist, which means it’s my job to make communication between clients and the creative marketing team as concise as possible. I arrive a bit before 8:30 and check emails and see what collateral requests I’ve received. I work on the requests, whether it be marking up existing collateral to modify or starting a collateral from scratch. There are occasional calls with the clients I work with. If there is a holiday, a day at work could be especially fun because my company has many morale-boosting activities. We just had a Valentine’s Day party in the office, and it was loads of fun.
How did you get your job? My cousin Beth Martinez asked me if I was looking for a job and recommended I apply to the position.
What was your greatest fear going into your first job and how did you face it or overcome it?Since this was my first “big girl” job, I was worried that I wouldn’t be prepared for all the responsibility. I overcame it by allowing myself to accept that I am not going to know everything on my first day. Like anything you do for the first time, it takes time to learn how to do it and improve on it. Mistakes are going to happen (and boy have they happened) but you can’t beat yourself up about it. You’re learning!
What surprised you the most about your first job? What surprised me the most about my first job was how everything ended up being exactly what I wanted from a job: close to home, what I studied, what I love to do, excellent compensation, full benefits, the work environment is laid back, the people have all been so kind. I feel like I can grow at VITAS.
What advice do you have for FIU grads who are now beginning the job search process? The only advice I would have for grads looking for jobs is to accept that it is going to take a long time. Landing a job is hard and it is not your fault that it might take long. Apply absolutely everywhere and talk to everyone you know about possible job openings. Before Beth told me about this position, I had applied to over 20 different positions. It takes time.
Looking back at your time at FIU, what were the most challenging and most rewarding experiences? The most challenging experience at FIU was definitely trying to get my math credits. I am abhorrently bad at math. It took many ACT attempts and outside study resources but I was able to accomplish it. I truly thought I wasn’t going to graduate. The most rewarding experience was my graduation. Having my entire family attending and being the first of my entire family on both sides to graduate from college was indescribable. Friendships I made in my four years there are also something I treasure.
What was your favorite class at FIU? Two classes immediately come to mind as my favorites. Interpersonal Communication with Lynne Webb changed my life. I learned an incredible amount about how people talk to each other and how people work. It is something I use every single day of my life. My second favorite class was History of Film with Andrew Strycharski. I love film and was ecstatic to learn FIU recently implemented a film program. Being able to study not one but TWO things I love was truly a blessing. I love talking to people and building relationships. I love watching and discussing movies. I was blessed to be able to study both in college.
How does your job connect back to your coursework? The “communications” I studied is human interaction not journalism/telecommunications. Many people get confused when I say communications and assume I want to be a news reporter. All I wanted to do was to be an excellent communicator and I learn more and more every day how to be. Since my position is facilitating requests from clients to the creative marketing team, I’d say I’m definitely the right one for the job!
How was your transition from school to work? How do you balance your time? The transition from school to work was unusual. I was never a morning person so I was mildly dreading waking up so early. Luckily for me, I absolutely love my job so waking up to go to work isn’t a chore. I work from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays so I get weekends and after work to do whatever I like. The balance can be challenging because I’ll at times feel like I’m being pulled in a million different directions. I make sure to give myself some alone time every once in a while to decompress.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? I think the coolest thing about my job so far is how many thoughtful things VITAS does for the employees. When I first arrived on the week of Jan. 2, they had a “Welcome Breakfast” and a “Welcome Lunch” for me. It was to celebrate my arrival and for me to get to know everyone. As I mentioned earlier, there was a little Valentine’s Day party for the whole floor with mascots, dancing and food. VITAS has truly challenged my idea of what a corporate job is. I assumed it was going to be drab and bleak or something. The environment is definitely a pleasant surprise. God willing I can stay here for as long as I can and things keep going as well as they have been.