While the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a unique set of challenges for students, some have been able to take these changes in stride and find unique opportunities to connect. Datenzing Tamang, Sami Sosa, and Mia Amin, University of New Mexico graduates in fall 2021, have found ways to break new ground, even when the road ahead is as uncertain as it is. has never been.

“If the pandemic has done something right, it has brought people together. I think people want to help each other, ”Amin said.

Originally from Nepal, Tamang moved to New Mexico for his college education and earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science. This spring semester, she will take the time to gain field experience before pursuing graduate studies.

Tamang hadn’t originally planned on going to college, but felt called into academia during her undergraduate experience.

“Last year I got involved with some really interesting people, like my mentors, and they really told me about the benefits of getting a degree (diploma) or doctorate. Ultimately my goal is to get into research, ”Tamang said.

Amin also plans to pursue higher education. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and was accepted to Stanford University for the Fall 2023 class.

Sosa, who graduated with a major in Community Health Education, is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration with a specialization in Health Management at New Mexico State University. She hopes to work with low-income communities in drafting grants to improve health education and school meals in public schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

“Although I’m from Roswell, I graduated from Rio Rancho High School, and just seeing the difference in education and what they feed us every day is a huge difference… These kids in these low income communities aren’t really taught how to eat healthy because the options aren’t before them, ”Sosa said.

Tamang still feels weird stepping outside of the college bubble and into a new environment.

“This is the real world, you are not (anymore) a child and you have to be responsible,” Tamang said. “Also because I’m an international student, I don’t know much here, and what I got to know is the world in college, and now I have to navigate my world, my career and everything. . “

Nonetheless, Tamang seems to navigate this transition easily as she has already received several job offers and is weighing her options before taking on a new position. She credits her data analysis internship with the SYNCRONYS health database that she acquired during her baccalaureate to prepare her for the field.

Amin also felt somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect of entering the workforce. Until she attends graduate school, Amin plans to work as a full-time program manager for Project ECHO – an organization that connects specialists with community health experts to facilitate the dissemination of information. essential health knowledge – where she has been an intern since her final year at UNM. .

She would like to continue her non-profit work after graduation.

“I think I was really nervous about graduating. It was one of those things where I haven’t really interacted with people, or professionals for a year and a half, and now I’m supposed to be in a full time position in this organization where there are professionals. in office (of) more than 20 years, ”said Amin.

Entering the labor market, Sosa encountered obstacles with the demands of a great deal of experience in the workplace as well as low wages. However, she was able to secure several job interviews and is hopeful for the future.

“I feel like the research was tough, but I’m just happy that I can finally have some interviews and take the next step,” Sosa said.

Tamang, Sosa and Amin all agreed that utilizing all of the professional networking resources and opportunities offered by UNM was vital to their success. Making connections made all the difference for all three.

Sosa did an internship with Student Health and Counseling Health Promotion, where she was a member of the Lobo Prevention Pack, a COVID-19 prevention team on campus. She especially enjoyed being able to connect students with health resources that they might not otherwise have learned without peer awareness.

Amin is also incredibly happy with the experiences UNM has given her, both inside and outside the classroom. She is very proud of her former position as President of the Student Associates of UNM.

“I feel like my experience at UNM has been great. I immersed myself beyond academics alone, and I feel like in an institution, if you want to, you can learn more than knowledge of textbooks, ”Amin said.

Zara Roy is the editor of the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @zarazzledazzle