By Berenice Zubiate, EAW Student Digital Reporter

As I am preparing for my final days as a Digital Reporter, I reflect on how I got to where I am thanks to Education at Work for believing in me and my artistic ability. My name is Berenice Zubiate and I am a senior at Arizona State University majoring in The Arts, concentrating in Arts Administration. Next semester will be my final semester at university, but... I will no longer be in the Arizona desert. Instead my educational work space will be held overseas at the Universidad San Carlos III in Madrid, Spain!

I am incredibly grateful for the privilege and opportunity to spend the next three months abroad in one of the most culturally rich European countries in the world. I will be taking classes that will help me advance professionally in my career by taking exciting courses such as International Journalism and Intercultural Communication and Leadership. This would not have been possible without the immense support from my EAW supervisors, Mike Bober and Sabrina Fawley, for pushing my creative thinking and help me learn how to present myself as a professional student artist.

It is a bittersweet feeling knowing that my position as the Digital Reporter is coming to an end, but I am excited to share a bit about what this job has taught me. When I first heard about it, I was at a time in my life where I had just finished changing my major for the third time. I was unsure if pursuing a professional career in The Arts would be the right choice for me. Growing up I always heard my educators and counselors say to me, “consider a realistic career” or “seek something a bit more professional.” But, I took a gamble and I went for it anyway! After my interview, I knew something in my gut told me I had made the right choice applying for this new job position. And thankfully, I was right!

As the Digital Reporter for the Arizona site, there were many months of trial and error, given that I was the first hire here at this location for this position.

I had so much fun learning and experimenting by helping create events for our students, interviewing them for student spotlights, and even practicing and advancing my photography skills along the way.

One of my favorite moments as the digital reporter was when I had the chance to do in-depth interviews with our students. One of the newest articles I wrote, and probably one of my favorites, has to be when I interviewed two of our freshman employees that happened to be first-generation students. Their stories inspired me because they talked about how being first-generation has impacted their personal lives, and family, in a positive way.

Another experience I would like to highlight was that I was given the opportunity to write articles which were eventually posted on the company’s website. This was my first experience having my work published online and I am thankful for the feedback I received from my supervisors. In these articles I wrote about company culture, how college students cope with stress and time management, I even wrote about how students learned how to manage academics while working a part-time job. These articles helped me grow my interview and research experience, as I had little to no knowledge.

Overall, this job has taught me much about being patient, how to listen to others while working in a fast-paced environment, and allowed me to work on my professional communication and writing skills.

It is with a heavy heart to say goodbye to such a wonderful company whose main focus is about the financial and personal well-being of college students. Many lives, including mine, have been greatly affected with the help of tuition assistance in order to help pay for college expenses. Thank you Education at Work for preparing me for my next journey, and to Mike Bober, for never giving up on me and helping me advance in my career. ¡Gracias y nos vemos en España!

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