Andrea Figueroa, Arizona State University
Andrea Figueroa is a senior at Arizona State University, majoring in interdisciplinary studies. She has been working at Education at Work for one and a half years and is set to graduate in May.
“She’s been consistently one of the best performers on my team,” says supervisor Erin Miller. “She is smart, kind, takes direction well, very receptive, and able to accept responsibility.”
Andrea landed on EAW’s production floor through a job change. Previously, she had worked for different customer service centers before finding a place with EAW. In Oct. 2018, Andrea was hired as an EAW customer service representative, and she quickly noticed a difference in the job environment.
“It’s really calm, and I really like working with my supervisors, they’re really helpful and willing to assist me right away if I need anything. They’re really flexible and I really like how they work with us,” says Andrea.
Andrea has worked at EAW for two semesters and to date she’s earned over 2,000 dollars in tuition assistance. Her goal after graduation is to work as a paralegal in a 2-year program and her hope after that is to work her way into law school at ASU after taking time to save money and get work experience in the field.
Andrea says EAW tuition assistance has helped her both directly and indirectly. While the assistance goes directly to tuition, other sources of assistance such as financial aid can now be applied toward her rent and utilities. EAW has also taught her a lot about financial responsibility.
“Now, with wages, I have to make sure I watch my spending and save what I can,” Andrea says.
Andrea’s study emphasis is in business communications and political science. But she didn’t always know she would graduate as a political science major – she originally majored in business law.
Always having a deep appreciation for law and criminal studies, Andrea says she knew she wanted to study social justice issues but wasn’t quite sure how to find a major suited for what she wanted to do. She knew criminal justice wasn’t for her and wanted to have a background in business for her degree plan.
“If I wanted to go the criminal justice route there’s a lot of steps, like being a police officer, and that’s not what I wanted to do. For business law, it’s learning about the legal stuff if I wanted to earn my own business,” Andrea says.
Meanwhile, Andrea was struggling with her previous job. Working with another customer service center with strict guidelines, little support, and no additional assistance, Andrea found herself with a need to better navigate her way through college.
After some time in a major and job that didn’t suit her needs or wants, Andrea turned it all around.
Interdisciplinary studies allows Andrea to use her business classes for credit with a business communication emphasis and allows her to follow her passions regarding social justice issues in a political science emphasis.
“(ASU) showed me that I can do both, that way I can keep my business classes and credits and also fit political science classes into my schedule,” Andrea says.
Now working with EAW for over a year, Andrea has found stability in work and school life and has learned soft skills to take with her after she graduates.
Andrea’s college experience has been one with many changes, but Andrea says those changes are for the better and have helped her both her academic and professional life.
“I think I’ve grown,” Andrea says. “I’ve been able to be more communicative with other people, I’m better at balancing work and school time, and I’m more responsible with my finances.”