Joshua Ceballos/Assistant News Director
In honor of Panther Alumni Week, the Claw and Growl, Student Media’s news and opinion talk show, invited two University alumnae participating in the week’s events to talk about their experiences after graduation on Monday, Feb. 5.
The two guests on the show were Tiffany Aranga, a board certified behavior analyst, and Andrea De La Cruz, assistant director of employer relations at FIU.
Aranga, who received her bachelor’s degree from FIU in 2012, works with children and adults who live with autism.
“My cousin was diagnosed with autism when we were two, so I had an exposure to autism at a young age, and I realized when I was in college that that’s not the norm,” Arango said on the show. “I combined my teaching goal with the autism goal, so I treat people by going to their homes and dealing with them and their caregivers.”
De La Cruz received her master’s from FIU in 2011, though she got her bachelors in New York some years ago. She said that she has been working in human resources with her bachelor’s for some time and she chose to seek out her master’s after working at Best Buy.
“I knew I had to get out of Best Buy,” De La Cruz said laughing. “Some people do really well there, but I knew it wasn’t for me.”
De La Cruz said that after going to multiple job fairs as a recruiter and meeting college students who did not know the essential skills to land a job, she wanted to work on the other side and help students enter the workforce. This is when she decided to work at FIU in Career and Talent Development.
Since graduating, Arango and De La Cruz have tried to give the back to school in several ways, according to them.
Arango has participated in PAW, giving talks to students in panels held on campus. De La Cruz has also participated in Alumni Week, as well as using her job helping students connect with employers as a means of service.
During the show, the guests read a poll on the @_PantherNOW Twitter in which, at the time of the show, 47 percent of voters said they would give back to the school after they graduate, and 53 percent of voters said that they would not. The poll is still ongoing.
“Why would they say that!? Maybe they thought that would mean that they would have to give money to the University, but in my opinion the best way to give back is to participate, like in Panther Alumni Week.” said Arango. “Maybe it’s the culture I was raised in that I always have ties to things… you have to know where you came from.”
De La Cruz shared that sentiment, confused as to why students wouldn’t want to contribute to their alma mater.
“When I was a recruiter and I would see applications from someone that said they went to FIU, I would stop and I would have some bias because that was my school,” said De La Cruz. “That’s a way that alumni can give back to their school, by connections. It doesn’t have to be a monetary thing.”