In the midst of a global pandemic, now more than ever, social distancing has made it so people are less physically connected to their work environments. Moreover, national unemployment rates have risen and job growth has plummeted, making it harder for current, and recently graduated, students to find work.
Despite these challenges, Berkeley senior Elda Pere found a way to land a fulfilling job through UC Berkeley’s Career Center job search platform, Handshake.
Pere, a data science major, currently is working from home in Garfield, N.J. as a data analyst for the San Francisco-based company ViviendasLeón, a nonprofit that aims to combat poverty by teaching self-sufficiency in rural Central American communities.
Through her work, Pere analyzes incoming data from volunteers in Nicaragua and Guatemala to help make the nonprofit’s processes there more effective. She has gained skills in farming and climate data, program success surveys, social media analytics, and website management.
“I chose this organization because I believe in their mission and I believe that I can make a difference in the lives of Central American families through them. They are in the same field that I want to gain experience in, and the sustainability approach for rural families is one that I agree with and would like to be a part of. “
To help prepare for her job search, Elda created “a master resume with all of my skills and experiences” and then she “fine-tuned it about 50 times for every job I applied to.” She followed a similar process for her cover letter.
When it comes to interviews, Elda revealed her secret to success, “I get a little nervous, so I blast ‘La Bamba’ by Ritchie Valens a couple of minutes before it begins. Then, I gather prints of previous projects that I can explain during the interview, and a notepad with previously written questions for the interviewer. And finally, I hope for the best and click ‘Start meeting’.”
When asked about tips or recommendations for other job-seeking students, Elda said she “learned to give myself options and apply to almost everything that comes your way.” Lots of companies are still posting positions, for both remote work and in-office work. Flexible opportunities are out there for all skill sets and interests.