Meet Roberto Palomino and Zach Stevens. These students participated in the Aztec Mentor Program this past semester. Learn about their experience and find out why you should apply.The Aztec Mentor Program is currently accepting applications for Spring 2015.Be sure to apply ASAP! Apply Now.
Roberto Palomino: My experience in the Aztec Mentor Program so far has been something I didn’t expect at all, it surpassed my expectations. I had preconceived notions regarding signing up to this program based on previous experiences I have had with mentors and counselors in general, which weren’t what one would rate as helpful. However, this program differs in comparison with my previous experience and in part it has to do with my mentor.
I considered myself lucky of having Roberto Gonzalez Jr. as my mentor, since he is also my supervisor in my internship. Roberto has helped me a lot in the 6 weeks I have been working with him at the USDA-HSI & SDSU-IV Campus partnership. His advice and suggestions has helped me become a better student and professional, from helping me improve my resume and obtain more volunteer opportunities to being able to network with a wide variety of professionals.
Aside from being able to talk in person with my mentor on a daily basis, we also share a similar background. We are both from the Imperial Valley and taking on the Masters in Public Administration degree. It helps us communicate better and he is able to share his experiences and how his career path has been developing. Everything has to do with having an open mind to the different careers and life opportunities that exist within our grasp, it is just a matter of learning to adapt and not being anchored to one place. I would definitely recommend the Aztec Mentor Program to all students, because having a fellow Aztec giving you advice and sharing his personal professional and career experiences is of great help in building one’s own path toward a bright future.
Zach Stevens: When I decided to join the Aztec Mentor Program, I thought that as a Graphic Design major, I would not get paired up with someone who would be fitting for my studies. Not that the Career Services team was not capable of providing me with an optimal mentor choice, I just did not think that one would be a solid fit for my intended career field. My experience within the Aztec Mentor Program has exceeded all of my expectations. First and foremost, it was awesome to find out that there are indeed successful artists out there who are willing to work with students such as myself. My mentor Jimmy is definitely a respected and sought after photographer, and with a client list including members such as the Grateful Dead, Elton John, and the Rolling Stones, it is obvious why.
When I first spoke with Jimmy, he already had numerous pieces of advice for me as an artist: connect with others, stand out, and never stop learning. He thoroughly reviewed my resume, as well as my social media links, and effectively critiqued them to ensure I had the best public profile possible, since employers will look at these links to get a view of who I really am. Jimmy has been very welcoming as a mentor, he has encouraged my work and invited me several times to visit his studio in Los Angeles, which I intend to do by December. Above all Jimmy has shown me the importance of education, not just in academia but within the realm of other professions. His best piece of advice thus far has been to consistently network with other artists, even though I have yet to graduate, he said there is no better time than now. I am honored that such a hard-working and busy artist has taken time out of his schedule solely to help me advance my professional career, something I hope to one day pass on to another Aztec.