Aqueelah Thompson is the new student engagement and experiential learning coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts. This new joint position for the College and the Nevada Career Studio will meet a need for liberal arts students to connect them with applicable internships and career opportunities.
Some of Thompson's responsibilities include coordinating the expansive LiberalArtsFIT program for incoming freshmen. Thompson said her main goal with LiberalArtsFIT is to have students transition into college and to give them a sense of engagement from the moment they start at the University of Nevada, Reno. "I want to help students early on know their career options and opportunities. I want to help them know the resources they have available." Thompson said she plans to make herself known to students at the LiberalArtsFIT event in August. She wants them to remember who can help them find an internship.
Making an impression from the start of a student's academic career is important to Thompson. She believes in setting the foundation for career success in the first years in college. Exposing students to the job market and application process from the beginning will give students time to build upon their skills and prepare them for success after graduation. "I want to expose students early rather than wait, so they're not at the end of their college career wondering, ‘What am I going to do now?'" said Thompson.
Part of her plan for career exposure is to work closely with College of Liberal Arts faculty members. She wants faculty members to know that she is their new liaison to help connect students to internships in their respective fields and departments. Thompson said she can connect faculty members to recruiters and students to individuals who network with faculty members. She said she is excited to work closely with faculty members and is open to talking to classes on career experiences.
In her first year, Thompson would like to educate everyone on the process of setting up internships, finding and applying for them, and monitoring and tracking the results. She said, the Nevada Career Studio already has great processes in place and it will take some additional education to ensure College of Liberal Arts faculty and students are successful with the internship process.
Part of that success will come from Thompson's personal connections to the University and the surrounding Reno community. Thompson earned both her Bachelor of Arts (psychology) and Master of Arts (Educational Leadership) degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition, during her time as a student, she was also a member of the women's basketball team. Thompson has worked on campus since 2005 and most recently was the Director of University Advising. "Being in Reno for a lot of years, I have a lot of untapped resources and personal connections," Thompson said. She is confident in her connections and abilities to find an opportunity for any College of Liberal arts student.