By: Joycelyn Cabrera, EAW Student Digital Reporter
Alan and Amala Paul Mundadan bring a new meaning to “EAW Family.” The two siblings have been working for the same program with Education at Work for about five months.
These siblings live together with their family and – after the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States – now work together in the same house. Previous to COVID-19, they often wouldn’t be found together outside of work and home life. That’s because Alan’s class work on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus and Amala’s likewise responsibilities on the Phoenix campus used to kept them apart.
Before COVID-19, they would work similar shifts, go to class, and see each other again at home – now that ASU has transitioned to online classes, and EAW has launched their work-from-home initiative, the two are spending far more time together.
“We definitely did not plan this,” Amala says. “I was waiting for my freshman year to be over because I wanted to see how I could handle the classes and working. [Applying for the same company] was a coincidence!”
Alan is about to start his junior year at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. Majoring in computer sciences, Alan is hoping to learn different aspects of his future career field – specifically the business side of computer sciences and development. If he would give advice to his younger self, Alan says that advice would be to go to college without a salary at the forefront of planning.
“For me, I just Googled which majors get paid really well, and I chose computer science,” Alan says. “I was like, ‘yeah sure, I can do that,’ and now I would prefer doing something on the business side of that field.”
While he works on his degree and ventures into the different areas of his field, Alan says EAW has helped him keep up with his major through real-world experience and financial support.
“It adds to my major and EAW definitely helps me financially,” Alan says. “Most of the things I do here are related to my classes. A lot of technical skills are connected, and while I do them at work, it makes more sense in my classes.”
Amala just finished her freshman year at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Amala is majoring in community health with the goal of getting into nursing – then continuing her education in medical school. Amala says she’s always loved helping people and she has many relatives who are in the medical field.
“When I was younger, I was exposed to hospitals a lot,” Amala says. “I have a lot of family in the medical field, and I am related to a lot of people who used to get sick often. Before my father passed away, he was admitted to the hospital for seven months so I spent a lot of time there. I think that’s when I first thought, ‘maybe I should work to help people because that’s what I really like to do.’”
Amala says her job with EAW surprised her in how well it suits her major. Amala focused on her coursework during her first year at ASU – once she successfully navigated her academic life, she was ready to start up her work life and learn about work/life balance.
“I really want to be in the medical field because I like helping people,” Amala says. “Working at EAW – it’s basically the same thing, we’re helping people, just in a different way.”
While the sibling duo may not have planned to work at the same company, this is actually not the first time their family members have worked together. Alan says his previous job was also shared with another sister.
“The previous job I had was at a library, and my other sister started working with me,” Alan says. “So, for me, there’s always been a sibling there with me.”
The Paul Mundadan siblings say working together comes with plenty of advantages – such as turning toward each other when they have a quick question about a customer call.
“I had just finished my training classes before we started working from home,” Amala says, “and he was right beside me, so whenever I did have a question, I could literally tap him on the shoulder and ask. He’s more experienced than I am, so he’s been able to help me whenever I have an issue. I don’t think many other agents have that.”
Alan and Amala are both working their way through college with visions for what their futures hold after they complete their education. Along the way, the siblings agree that being an EAW Family has given them both invaluable experience and financial assistance.