College to Career Transitions Spotlight: Nicole Rubenstein

One of the most commonly used resources for connecting with others is LinkedIn — you can connect with your peers, potential employers, and alumni from your school. What’s incredibly special about connecting with alumni is that you can find alumni who had the same major as you or are currently in positions you are interested in, which is exactly what I did to find Nicole Rubenstein (‘18), Associate Data Scientist for James River Insurance Company. I reached out to Nicole to discuss her time at UConn and her transition into a career where she applies knowledge from her computer science courses in college to a more technical, problem-solving role.

What was your major?

Applied Mathematics (with many Computer Science Engineering classes as electives).

What did you do at UConn to explore your career options?

I attended career fairs to land an internship at Aetna in the underwriting department during the summer of my Junior year. Then, at the internship, I set up meetings with people all across the company and asked them about their career paths.

Did you use the Center for Career Development? If so, how did it help?

Yes! I used the Center for Career Development multiple times for resume critiques.

What was your college to career transition like?

When I graduated in May, I knew I was moving to a new state, but I didn’t have a job. Once I relocated, I spent a month applying to any and every job I was somewhat qualified for. Towards the end of the four weeks, I started getting calls and interviews. I had a couple of interviews, one of which resulted in an offer.

What advice do you have for current students?

Don’t worry so much about picking a career for your entire life. It’s okay to try something out, have it not work out, and then try something else. And it’s okay to do that multiple times! Also, no matter what, even if you are trying something you don’t like, always be the best employee you can possibly be. Go above and beyond, no matter what. This is the type of behavior that will open doors, allowing you to pivot into a more interesting role.

How would you describe the value of a CLAS degree/education?

Getting a degree taught me about hard work and how to develop intrinsic motivation to learn. I constantly use organization techniques, social strategies, and time management practices that I learned while pursuing my undergraduate degree.

Can other students connect with you on LinkedIn?

Of course!

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When transitioning from a life in college to a life in a career, it’s okay to be unsure of exactly what you want to do. Trying something out and realizing it’s not for you is all a part of life. However, whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability — you never know what door may open because of your hard work.

By Erin McConnell
Erin McConnell CLAS Career Ambassador Erin McConnell