Gabriel Gutierrez-Araya is a Junior Communications major and Marketing minor at the Storrs campus. Gabriel held a summer public relations internship at Mohegan Sun.
Erik Zawodniak: How did you find the internship at Mohegan Sun?
Gabriel Gutierrez-Araya: I was introduced by one of my colleagues, and she had a position open for Hot Summer Fun; they needed help for their events there. So, I just applied and she told me I was a great fit for her, considering I was a communications major, and it was pretty smooth sailing. I wrote press releases, I updated press kits, I helped around the office, and general stuff, like getting memos out and talking to clients as well.
EZ: How did you cater your résumé specifically to this position when applying?
GGA: I’d recommend just being yourself. Write down the stuff that is most important to you and in terms of career experience, you want to elaborate on what you’ve done and why you fit the position.
EZ: Researching the communication major, one sees that it is very flexible. One can be employed in a variety of positions such as business, advertising, public relations, government, promotion. Did you pursue this internship specifically because you wanted to go into public relations?
GGA: No, I just wanted to dip my toes into that area of communication, of course. I’ve always wanted to try marketing more. It felt like public relations was also a good stepping stone, and getting toward that direction. I actually do like public relations a lot more now. I didn’t really understand it at first, but now that I got the experience at Mohegan Sun, I really enjoy it. I would definitely do it again.
EZ: Have you done an internship before?
GGA: No, this was my first internship. As for my prior work experience, two summers ago I worked with my family because they have a business in Chile. I flew down there and helped for about a month. I am currently looking for other internships for the upcoming summer, or anything in the winter that could be beneficial.
EZ: Could you tell me about your UConn experience as a whole, including what you do outside of the classroom?
GGA: This is my first semester here on campus. My previous two semesters I have been commuting, so that experience of being on campus all the time is new. On campus, I like to go to the gym, make time with my roommate to go eat, and over the weekends I’ll hang out with friends.
EZ: How has a CLAS Education helped you so far?
GGA: Currently, I’m taking a public speaking class, so I think that’s really valuable, just expressing yourself and getting your point across to people. It comes in use right here, like just maintaining eye contact, all the little things that will actually help in the future for business, marketing, whatever you want to go into in Communications.
EZ: Do you have any final advice for students trying to find an internship?
GGA: You really have to put yourself out there and search for in a variety of fields, even if you think it won’t interest you because sometimes you just get lucky. It could turn out to be a better experience than you believed. You just have to keep an open mind.
By Erik Zawodniak