What led you to pursue the labor studies minor? What most impacted you within the minor?
My friend introduced me to the minor, so I took a course with her and it opened me to the whole labor movement. I ended up enjoying the holistic aspect of it – it tied into issues within communities of color, education, workers’ rights, and labor law. Another big impact is being a person of color and learning more about our communities in classes full of other students like me, so I felt like I had a safe space.
What was your favorite Labor Studies course?
Back in 2014, I was one of the first students to take part in LSRIP and the Young Workers project, which helped dip my feet into research. I conducted interviews with young workers about their experiences and learned that most work to contribute to their families and futures, not just to buy things for themselves.
How did the labor studies minor help you when pursuing a career/graduate school?
I actually got my first full-time internship with a union after college through Elizabeth Espinosa [Labor Studies Student Programming Manager/Academic Personnel Coordinator]. She connected me to LA/LB Port Truck Drivers, where I was offered a position as a communications assistant. After that job, I wanted to dip my feet into other forms of communication so I went into marketing and later into fashion. After experiencing those work environments, I realized that I wanted to make a more positive impact in people’s lives, so I went back into working for the labor movement.
What are you most proud of after graduating UCLA?
I got a MA in Emerging Media Studies, which is the study of new and past forms of communication and how they evolve. I studied virtual reality, social media, the theory of interactivity, and more. I’m most proud of being able to come back to UCLA to connect my interests in communications and in labor. Ever since I started working at LOSH, I became more passionate about occupational safety and health so now I even listen to podcasts about it!
Were you involved in any activities on campus or within the community?
I was involved in Raza Graduation, a student-run ceremony celebrating Chicanx/Latinx graduating students, their families, and communities. I was part of the committee that planned the event for my year and was in charge of coordinating the guest speaker. I got Cherríe Moraga to come to campus!
Do you have any advice for seniors getting ready to graduate?
Don’t be too nervous. It’s normal to feel nervous about what the future holds and whether or not you’ll get a job. Don’t give up on your dreams. Even if you’re not 100% sure how to get there now, you’ll figure it out along the way. Have a solid support group.
What are your next steps or career goals?
I applied for a professional development program here at UCLA. I see myself working at UCLA in the long term. I would love to have a leadership position in the future once I gain more experience, and to do more communications work!