Rebeca Salas '19 was an independent major in Latin American and Latinx studies and is now the executive coordinator at CareerSpring.
In the below Q&A, Rebeca talks about finding her career passion, the value of attending a women's college, and more.
What did you study at Bryn Mawr?
I took advantage of the independent major program at Bryn Mawr and created my own major in Latin American and Latinx studies. It was focused on sociology and migration studies and consisted of mostly classes with my major advisors/mentors/favorite professors Veronica Montes and Jennifer Harford Vargas. I recommend taking at least one class with both of them!
How did you get involved in your current field?
As a first generation college student, when I got to Bryn Mawr I realized that I wanted to help other first generation students get to college too. I always had that interest and passion; I participated in Breaking Barriers, the Bryn Mawr club for first generation students, and 1vyG Conference, a national conference also for first generation students. However, upon graduating I worked in immigration law as a legal assistant in Houston, Texas; my Latin American and Latinx studies major had a lot to do with immigration and I was curious to explore that career. After a few months, I ultimately discerned that that was not the career path for me to stay in so I left. Soon after though, things luckily came full circle and my high school president/long-time mentor invited me to work with him as an executive coordinator to launch CareerSpring, a career platform for first generation students. I have now been part of CareerSpring for three months and I love it! It's been so rewarding to help other first generation students like me, and I see myself staying in this career path for very long!
What part of your Bryn Mawr experience has been most important to your professional development?
I'm super indebted to the Career & Civic Engagement Center and all their opportunities that I got to seize! I got to participate in their Summer of Service Program and be the College Access Intern at the Providence Center, working with first generation students in North Philly. I definitely directly apply that job experience to my work at CareerSpring every day. The Career & Civic Engagement Center's transportation reimbursement and mini grants also extremely facilitated my ability to participate in conferences and volunteering opportunities despite being a low income student.
What career advice do you have for current Bryn Mawr students?
Take advantage of the Career & Civic Engagement Center's resources! I worked in the Civic Engagement Office as an office assistant all four years so I'm definitely biased but I really recommend this! Their organized events, transportation reimbursement, and mini grants will allow you to make wonderful memories as well as amazing friendships and professional connections.
What made you choose to attend Bryn Mawr?
I loved Bryn Mawr since I was in ninth grade when a senior told me she would be going there and showed me pictures of the campus. I love architecture so Bryn Mawr's is what drew me in, but then I fell in love with it when I Googled it and learned about the resources it could offer me as a first generation, low-income Latina. Fortunately I ultimately got to go to Bryn Mawr with the Posse Scholarship and I'm infinitely grateful for that. I'll always appreciate my academic and social experiences at Bryn Mawr because they taught me to be the woman I am today, one who loves learning and stands up for herself despite society discouraging women from doing that.