Welcome to Major Matters, a series that shows how recent college graduates from St. Edward’s University translate their academic major to real-world careers.

Elizabeth Gonzales is a 2018 graduate who used her Marketing major to secure a position at the nonprofit organization Camp For All.

What is your current job?

I am the special events coordinator for Camp For All, which works in partnership with other nonprofit organizations to provide camping and retreat experiences for children and adults with illnesses or special needs. I work with our development team and contribute to the planning and execution of our galas and events to raise funding that keeps the organization running.

How did your major prepare you for your current job?

Every company, business and organization needs someone who understands how to advocate for them, how to manage client relationships, and the importance of communication. These are all skills that I learned in my marketing classes at St. Edward’s. I was also taught the importance of promoting social and economic justice for every individual and focusing on our local community​, both of which have influenced my career path and work ethic.

Besides your current role, what else could you do with a Marketing major?     

I could move into digital marketing, which consists of planning, tracking and analyzing click-through rates on websites and other platforms like social media and email marketing. It is so important to have these skills for any marketing role.

What was your favorite class in the major?

Marketing Research. My team and I researched Ticketbud’s customer satisfaction rates through surveys. Ticketbud is an event management, ticketing and registration SaaS platform for event organizers. The software allows event organizers to sell tickets to events, like concerts and sporting events, and also to promote and market their events on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What do you like best about your major?

The hands-on projects we did. I enjoyed getting to have real-world experiences with clients. 

What sort of internships did you complete that helped prepare you for your current job?

I held five internships as a student. All of my internships involved people with disabilities and other special needs and were in the development world or marketing. When it comes to working in the nonprofit world, your title may say one thing, but you wear many hats.

During my internships, I gained event-planning, auction, intercommunication and social media skills. They’re all things that I use at my job today. I also actively follow blogs, social media accounts, and other nonprofits that serve my friends with disabilities to continue learning about this community and what others are doing to serve them. It’s important for me to be involved in the special needs community so I know who I am serving.

What advice would you give students when hunting for jobs?

Apply, apply, apply! Apply early to jobs, and apply to jobs that you do not think you meet all qualifications for, too. Also, send your resumé and cover letter to companies and organizations that you are interested in working for, regardless if they have a job posting or not. (This is how I found a few of my internships.) 

You have probably heard this 1,000 times, but you must network! Always keep in contact with people you have interned with, had summer jobs with and even interviewed with. Hand-written thank you notes also go a long way.

Interviewed by Laura Irwin ’19