Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Student Spotlight: Amanda Peña

by Ann Abbott

With some of my former students, I know what is going on in their lives because we are connected on Facebook. I see their pictures, hear about their jobs and watch their lives unfold.

With other students, I am aware of their development as professionals because we are connected on LinkedIn. I get to see where they work, what industry-related information they post, and watch them grow into new positions and jobs.

Amanda Peña is in the second category. She was a student in my "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" course, and she now works for a marketing company. I recently corresponded with her, and she gave me the following information to share. My hope is that her experiences will inspire current Spanish students to see what opportunities they should take advantage of while they are still students and what career path they might take after they graduate.

Here is Amanda's story. Look for ways in which you can follow in her successful footsteps.

What did you learn from SPAN 332 "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" and your CSL work that is applicable to your work in marketing? 

  • Strategies to gain support for a cause: How to talk to people about what you are trying to accomplish and demonstrate the value of it to get them involved. 
  • Analysis of a business: Identifying strengths, weaknesses and action items to improve. 
  • Best practices for using social media to engage with an audience: Activities we did in class taught me about writing short, effective and consistent tweets/messages/posts.
  • Networking, networking, networking! Supporting Lemonade Day showed me the importance of networking and building/maintaining relationships.
  • A new perspective: Most students tend to solely think about campus life when the Urbana-Champaign community comes to mind. I’ll admit I was one of these students too. Working at ECIRMAC opened my eyes to the issues going on “outside” of campus and gave me a deeper insight to the whole community I lived in.
  • Spanish: Working at ECRIMAC required me to speak Spanish frequently. This helped me continue to strengthen my Spanish speaking skills and expand my vocabulary.

Is there project that you did for "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" that had a particular impact?

The Lemonade Day volunteering project was a big success from my group. Our task was to promote Lemonade Day to business owners and educate them on the cause in order to get their support by making donations for prizes. We created flyers, labels, and informational pieces (as leave behinds to stay top-of-mind).  We collected passes from local movie theatres, a hat and t-shirt from a bookstore, family ice skating passes and gift certificates from an ice cream store.

Did you study abroad? Where and for how long? 

Barcelona, Spain: Summer Semester 2008 (five weeks)
San Joaquin, Costa Rica:  Spring Semester 2010 (four months)

To see more stories about the personal and career paths our former Spanish students have followed, go to the navigation bar on the right hand side of this blog and scroll to the ¨search¨ bar. Enter the word ¨Student Spotlight¨ and browse the results. You will see a lot of variety, and they´re all inspiring.

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