Fall 2016 — Mayela Delatorre — who earned an undergraduate degree in computer science and is working toward a graduate degree in women, gender and sexuality studies — landed her dream job of enhancing diversity and social justice at the Department of Homeland Security. Mentors, the Career Development Center and Disability Access Services encouraged her to apply to the Workplace Recruitment Program and follow her unique career path.
“I wouldn´t have had this opportunity without the Workplace Recruitment Program. I would never even have thought there was a position like the one I´m getting. I wouldn´t have known where to look. I wouldn’t have known how to apply,” Delatorre said.
Navigating campus resources
On landing an interview with the Department of Homeland Security through the Workplace Recruitment Program, Delatorre turned to the staff at Disability Access Services (DAS), who were key in encouraging her to pursue this passion for furthering diversity in large organizations. DAS connected Delatorre with the Career Development Center who talked her through what to expect in interviews and negotiations.
“After I was selected and I got the interview with the Department of Homeland Security, I was really nervous on how to interview with them. I didn´t know what I needed to do or even what questions to expect,” she said. “(The Career Development Center) was able to walk me through potential questions, offer me advice … such as what to expect for pay, should I negotiate or not, things I would never even have thought (about).”
Looking back, looking forward
Now that Delatorre has landed a career where she will be a leader in diversity and social justice work, she looks to role models on campus for continued inspiration. DAS, Diversity and Cultural Engagement, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, and the Women´s Center have influenced her path. “I have had role models in different areas and diversity initiatives that really have inspired me to pursue a career in social justice work,” she says.
Delatorre said she wanted to make “campus a place for everyone” as a student at OSU and is determined to do the same at the Department of Homeland Security.
Her advice for students is to follow their passions and move beyond their fears — get connected and apply to opportunities.