Making Personable Connections

A former Education at Work student ambassador who completed her undergraduate degree says she couldn’t have gotten where she is now without taking every opportunity that came her way.

Sam Corrales, a now-former EAW student success ambassador, is pursuing her masters’ degree in public administration after two high-achieving years with EAW. Sam graduated from Arizona State University in May, 2020 – an occasion which also marked her 2-year anniversary with EAW.

Sam was offered a unique path at EAW, in which she was able to gain experience both as a customer service representative, and later a student leadership position with the EAW Student Success department.

“Student success really taught me the value of being personable and being able to connect with someone you just met over the phone,” Sam says. “We work in recruitment, so I talk to people who are looking to get a job with EAW. For some people, it’s their first job interview. So, making that connection and knowing how to talk to people helps a lot.”

While working towards a bachelor’s degree in public service and policy, Sam learning how to make personable connections with people was essential, and her experience allowed her to learn a necessary skill for her major in the real world.

Now a graduate student, Sam was offered a fellowship with ASU, and will continue to study in her field as she pursues her master’s degree. She plans to get an internship within local government while completing the fellowship program.

Sam received her promotion to student success after six months of working on the job as a customer-care representative. Since her hiring, she has earned approximately $10,000 in tuition assistance over two years.

“The tuition assistance was such an incredible help with my schooling financially,” Sam says. “I was actually able to study abroad because I was able to afford it. I wouldn’t have been able to afford going without that financial support.”

Additionally, Sam says her pursuing an opportunity to move forward within EAW allowed her to earn skills in the business realm – including how a nonprofit business was run, how to communicate effectively with peers, management, and potential candidates for hire, and how to work with a small team.

“I got to see the behind-the-scenes, of the business side of things and it was really cool to experience those things,” says Sam. “Especially given my degree, working with local government and working in that behind-the-scenes environment, it was helpful.”

After one final month with EAW, Sam has advice for incoming freshmen and EAW new-hires alike:

“Be open to different learning experiences, and take every opportunity you can get.” Sam says. “You’d be surprised at what those experiences can have in store for you.”


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