A team of students is working to inform UCLA students of internship opportunities.
The UCLA Career Center created the Hire UCLA Ambassadors program in the spring to better provide students with access to internship opportunities as well as the skills necessary to get them.
The ambassadors have expanded their social media presence and have conducted campus outreach events to better connect students with the Career Center’s internship resources, said Alexis Rampaul, career education and internship coordinator.
Alex Gernes, a Hire UCLA Ambassador and fourth-year cognitive science student, said he thinks students are not taking full advantage of the Career Center’s resources.
“A lot of students are on BruinView but not all the students know the full capacity. So we focus on helping students utilize the Career Center and emphasize internship interview preparedness,” Gernes said.
Back in spring quarter, the program was still in its early stages, and the team met every week to develop concepts and to figure out the program’s priorities, Rampaul said.
“Our main goal is that every Bruin has access to internships, and we worked really hard to establish a foundation for the program,” Gernes said. “We can really take off in the fall to reach more people.”
Gernes said the program’s main focus in the spring was to increase social media outreach by regularly updating content on the team’s Facebook page, such as internship success stories and tips on how to obtain internships.
“In spring quarter, the ambassadors took on the role of managing the social media accounts, and they brought the Facebook page back to life by updating regularly and increasing followers,” Rampaul said.
The ambassadors also held outreach events, including three internship drive-thru tables that were attended by over 350 students, Rampaul said.
“The drive-thru tables provided one-on-one consultations that were led by representatives from the (Associated Students UCLA) internship engagement committee and (Hire UCLA Ambassadors), with at least one Career Center staff,” Rampaul added.
The program currently has a team of six students with different focuses to increase awareness of internship resources available at the career center.
For example, the opportunities and employment events engagement leader posts job listings and creates employer events and workshops, Gernes said.
The program is also operating in the summer to promote existing and upcoming internships, said Emma Kowiak, a Hire UCLA Ambassador and second-year integrative biology and physiology student.
“Summer can feel kind of dead when it comes to taking advantage of the resources available to students, so I take the top internships for students and really try to promote them through the social media account,” she said.
The program plans to collaborate with other Career Center counseling units in the fall, such as the Peer Advisors, who assist students with the Career Center’s services and resources, Rampaul said.
“In the spring we had an ongoing training, and met online and offline as things came up, he added. “However, going into fall we have a set three-day training with the Peer Advisors for an in-depth, intentional training before they start the next academic year.”
Rampaul said the ambassadors program will have more peer-to-peer consultations and connect with other entities on campus during the fall.
He added that starting next week, the center will open recruitment for two additional Hire UCLA Ambassadors for the upcoming academic year through BruinView.