La Comunidad Intelectual: Developing Latinx Professionals

Throughout Latinx Heritage Month, the Center for Career Development has been highlighting different events, resources, and happenings that support the professional and career development of our Latinx student body. In addition, in pursuing our Mission to deliver comprehensive, innovative, and inclusive programs and services for our diverse student population, we have cultivated a unique partnership with La Comunidad Intelectual Learning Community (LCI) that centers on Latinx empowerment.  

La Comunidad Intelectual is a living-learning community “with a mission to nurture a sense of community, to learn about individual’s Latinx identities and/or the Latin American and Caribbean diasporas, to support a commitment to learning, and to empower students’ engagement on the UConn campus and in our communities. First- and second-year students live together in a residence hall on campus, learn together in seminar courses, and are empowered to succeed at UConn and beyond.” (https://lc.uconn.edu/lci/) 

La Comunidad’s Director, Dr. Kenny Nienhusser, shared with us that LCI is a “really fascinating opportunity to be able to support students in many different facets in different areas.”  

The Learning Community has four different seminar courses, each with a special focus and intention behind supporting the students in the community.  Throughout these courses, Dr. Nienhusser and graduate assistants provide high levels of engagement for students and regularly check in with them.  

LCI’s 4th-semester seminar (UNIV 3820), which debuted in the Spring semester of 2022, featured a collaboration with our Center. 

This course, themed “Thinking Ahead,” seeks to provide a foundation to assist students in thinking about their goals for post-LCI and once they graduate.  It featured presentations by our professional staff members and myself as the Affinity Community Outreach and Programming Intern.

Students started the semester with an introduction to our web-based recruitment platform, Handshake. They were given a tutorial on using this resource to search for different experiential learning opportunities. After this training, students were provided with workshops in resume writing, cover letter writing, and a LinkedIn-focused presentation that included free professional headshots for students to add to their profiles. The second half of the semester featured a career exploration panel, a visit to our Spring Career Fair, and an introduction to graduate school education. 

Intentional, thoughtful methods of supporting the career development of Latinx students on our campus made this partnership successful. 

As our Center continues to expand our network of support for the Latinx Affinity Community and others, we look forward to successful and transformative partnerships such as this one. 

To explore more resources that support Latinx students in their career development, visit our Latinx Affinity Page

Image courtesy of La Comunidad Intelectual

By Heidi Pineda
Heidi Pineda DE&I Career Ambassador Program Coordinator