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Fall 2018
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Gaining a Professional Edge

Jessica Martinez 19 knows what it takes to get the most out of college. Sure, doing well in your classes is really important, but that’s not all. Landing internships and practical real-world experience is equally important.

Martinez started gaining real-world experience off campus as soon as she arrived at UIndy, including an internship at OneAmerica and professional mentoring from a UIndy alumnus at Simon Property Group. She credits UIndy’s Professional Edge Center with helping her gain access to some of Indy’s top corporations and business professionals. 

“The personal coaching I received right here on campus helped me create a professional resume and feel confident and prepared in job interviews,” she explains. “It’s all about making the most of the faculty and resources as a student that can propel you toward your goals when you’re in the real world.”

She should know. These were essential skills to getting an internship at OneAmerica’s corporate headquarters in downtown Indianapolis. “The experience taught me the importance of contributing to a team and the leadership skills I needed to work with different departments to fulfill a company’s mission to their clients. I was never intimidated by the challenging projects I was given because questions were always encouraged, especially when others were depending on me,” says Martinez.

UIndy has also provided opportunities for Martinez to connect with, and learn from,
a human resources professional in another major Indianapolis firm. “As a sophomore, I was part of the inaugural mentor program. I was paired up with Juan Paz, a UIndy alumnus who works for Simon Property Group. We spoke on a regular basis and I learned a lot from the experience. Connections like these will be very valuable to my career when I graduate,” says Martinez.

As a college student who’s also learning outside the classroom, it’s so important to be able to share your thoughts and questions with your professors on campus, and Martinez is grateful for the guidance UIndy faculty have given her. “The small class sizes at UIndy allow you to get much closer to your professors, so the discussions are much deeper. That has really helped me make sense of what I want to do and how I’m going to go about doing it after graduation. They encourage me to ask questions, think outside the box, and develop into a more critical thinker.”

But college is so much more than preparing for a career. It’s about exploring independence and freedom in a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, and Martinez has also experienced that at UIndy. “Diversity is truly valued here and it creates a positive atmosphere. You can really just be yourself. I have made so many lifelong friends at UIndy because no matter what your major, you always have a way to connect with all students thanks to our shared vision of wanting to go out and serve the community.”

Learn more about the Professional Edge Center at uindy.edu/professional-edge