Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of EMCC On The Job stories we’ll bring you over the summer highlighting some of EMCC’s former students and graduates in their new jobs. From opening their own restaurants to coding for international finance companies, EMCC students have gone on to great things, all because they left here well prepared. As former EMCC student Omar Gonzalez, who now works in our Technology Services Department, said, “The instructors here were very influential. They gave me a glimpse of what my career could be and now I’m living it!”
Amy Martinez is going places. The former Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) and current Rio Salado Community College student has already accepted a job offer from Wells Fargo and she doesn’t even have her associate degree yet.
An internship she completed through EMCC played a big part in the job offer. The self-described “nerd” said she found the internship opportunity on EMCC’s website.
“I go to every single college to review what my best options are, so just from lurking on the websites, I was able to find this opportunity,” she said.
The internship was with the city of Avondale’s Engineering Department. The internship ran July to August of last year, and required her to work 40 hours a week. She chose that particular internship because she wanted to know how the city works.
“I don’t really know if I want to be a civil engineer necessarily, but I wanted to learn how government and engineering works,” she said. “Especially because I really care about environmental science.”
Amy said the employees at Avondale were really welcoming, so much so that she was able to ask the Program Sustainability Manager if she could shadow her.
“She works directly in something that I really wanted to learn about, which is how engineering, the government, and environmental science work together,” Amy said.
The Program Sustainability Manager let Amy help her develop a spreadsheet and analyze data.
“I was not expecting to exercise my skills to that degree,” Amy said.
The data analyzing opportunity also helped beef up her resume.
“After my internship, I was very excited about what I had to offer,” Amy said. “I thought, ‘Cool, now I can put data analytics on my resume.’”
With the help of EMCC’s Career & Transfer Center, she did just that and landed a job as a Financial Crimes Specialist.
“With my new shiny resume and my new shiny confidence, I went to Indeed.com literally just looking for internships because I was inspired to learn more about what I could do,” Amy said.
But instead of getting proposals for internships, Amy received job offers from Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo.
“I already worked for Wells Fargo, but the Financial Crimes position was something that required an associate degree or some analytical skill,” she said. “That was really cool. I went in for an internship and ended up getting scouted by two really amazing companies.”
The first-generation American, who just completed her second week on the job, researches non-fraud claims for Wells Fargo customers.
“I’m really happy to be doing this because I feel like this is a much better use of my skill set than customer service,” she said. “It’s not that I don’t like people, I do, but I’m more of a backend helper than a frontline helper.”
When she’s not at Wells Fargo helping her customers, Amy is finishing up her community college courses and looking forward to attending Arizona State University next spring as a physics major. It hasn’t been a cakewalk for the 25-year-old who has ADHD, dyslexia, and some sensory processing issues, but with the help of EMCC’s Disability Resources and Services (DRS) and her parents’ support, Amy is on track to becoming an actuary and eventually an inventor.
“DRS helped me get accommodations, such as private testing with extra time,” Amy said. “And my parents have always been so encouraging.”
She said she doesn’t know what she wants to invent yet, but after she knows how to make things, she’ll make something, and she’ll have a “real job” in between to support her family.
“It sounds like I don’t know what I’m doing,” she said. “But I don’t think Thomas Edison always knew he was going to invent the lightbulb.”
To learn more about EMCC’s internship opportunities, visit https://www.estrellamountain.edu/students/internships.
Interested in attending EMCC? Registration for the fall 2019 semester is currently underway. EMCC offers a variety of associate degrees and certificates and partners closely with Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and University of Arizona, as well as more than 40 out-of-state, private, and online colleges and universities, for transfer programs. Classes can be taken in person, online, or in a hybrid format. To begin your journey, visit https://www.estrellamountain.edu/students/enrollment-steps.