The ALEX Blog
Happy New Year!
Stuck picking a New Year’s resolution? Why not focus on your career development with our career resources page or apply to become a mentor or a mentee. Remember, what you do today makes a difference tomorrow, so start the year off making your dreams into your reality!
Terri Pinyerd is a senior English major at UH Hilo. With her writing experience and love of music, Terri hopes to pursue a career in music journalism and has recently obtained an internship at London’s NME magazine. Along with her work at ALEX, Terri works as a publicist and writer for UH Hilo’s Board of Student Publications and the UH Hilo English department. Outside of school, Terri loves to travel, attend concerts, study languages and botany, and play music.
As the semester comes to an end and the holiday season begins, you might find yourself in need of something to do. Fear not – the ALEX team has you covered! Check out the ALEX Career Resources page for our specially curated sources that are sure to check off a few of your to-dos. Whether you want to apply for a job, or just work on perfecting your cover letter, no task is too small. So prepare for the new year with ALEX!
Scott Meng has lived in Hilo since 2013, after moving from San Diego, California. He misses the fast pace of the city, but enjoys the elements of nature that can only be found in Hawaiʻi, such as the ocean and the lava landscapes found in Volcano National Park. A senior major in Finance and Management, Scott works with ALEX to compile a detailed and accurate annual report.
Mikayla Jones is a senior at UHH pursing a double BS in Marine Science and Biology, with a minor in Chemistry. Her goal in ALEX is to pass on any advice and tips to students looking to gain experience in their field before graduating. Mikayla believes that the best way to get your dream job is to “go out there and learn about it via an internship before applying to a job”.
Embree Figueroa is a Business graduate currently obtaining her nursing degree. With past work experience ranging from political, legal, and university working places, Embree currently works for both ALEX and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health. Embree enjoys dancing Tahitian, practicing martial arts, fishing, and going to the gym. An avid volunteer, Embree enjoys helping others and hopes to work as a nurse at the Queen’s Medical Center before pursuing her doctorate.
Conny Livai Jr. is a senior at UH Hilo studying for a BBA in Accounting. He can’t live a day without music.Working with the anthropology department, Conny was part of a team representing UH Hilo in the Society for Applied Anthropology in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada.
This week I had the opportunity of interviewing UH student Alejandro Patiño. Alejandro
is in his senior year, majoring in Business management. He is a transfer student from Mount
San Antonio College in Walnut California and has been attending UH Hilo for about two years
now. Alejandro loves sports, is an avid soccer player, and received a scholarship to UH Hilo for
While attending UH Hilo, Alejandro has taken the opportunity of participating in the on
hands work experience available on campus. His first one on Big Island was with none other
than the Applied Learning Experience program, ALEX. He worked getting community based
media coverage of UH Hilo, and incorporating it with applied learning experiences. He
partnered up with the Athletic Department to cover their stories. In particular, Dr. Seuss’ Read
Across America day which happens every year on March 2nd. UH Hilo student athletes would
dress up in Dr. Seuss attire, and read to elementary school students. He
contacted multiple media outlets to cover the story on their program. KHON and KITV reached back and aired a
short video of the UH Hilo athletes reading to the children. He also created public service
announcements promoting ALEX’s job development website CollegeCentral.com with the help
of Pacific Media Group (PMG). It was through working with ALEX, that Alejandro found an open
position with Hiplan.
Hiplan is a business plan competition. If you’ve ever seen the show Shark tank, this is basically Hawaii’s own version. Local entrepreneurs try their chance at making dreams a
reality by presenting ideas to local and successful business people. At stake is a total of
$25,000 in seed money from Kelly Moran and Jim Wyban. The competition is open to any
individual or group (for-profit or nonprofit) whose business plan is based on Big Island. Part
of Alejandro’s job was to find people with competitive business plans for the competition. He
acquired skills such as marketing, networking, advertisement, promoting, and even created
a PSA for with the help of Rod Pacheco from Pacific Media Group. During a radio interview
for Kelly Moran and Jim Wyban at Pacific Media Group, Alejandro got to meet the Chief
Operating Officer (COO), of PMG Jack Dugan. With his contact information, a few months
later Alejandro expressed his interest in selling advertisements. Luckily Mr. Dugan
remembered him and asked him to meet with him during the week he was going to be in
Hilo, as his main office is in Maui.
During his interview, Alejandro didn’t know what to expect because he wasn’t
applying for an actual position, it was more of a “talk story” situation. Dugan made it clear
that there was no position available at the moment, but he was interested in getting to know
Alejandro and his goals/interests. Alejandro told Dugan that he had a passion for sports and
especially soccer, and he wanted to get his foot in the door for the business aspect of
sports. He expressed that selling advertisements for a professional soccer team would be
his dream job. Dugan suggested there might be a position available under ESPN radio Big
Island. He told Alejandro to keep in contact. Until then, all he could do was wait.
In the meanwhile, Alejandro had been in contact since last semester with a web-
based business selling ad spaces to businesses. A few weeks after his PMG interview, the
other business contacted him with an offer to start working for them. It was at this time when
Alejandro decided to contact Dugan to further express his interest with PMG and working
with ESPN radio. A few days later, Dugan contacted Alejandro to tell him that he could open
a position as a salesman for ESPN radio. With no hesitation, Alejandro accepted Dugan’s
It has been a week since Alejandro started at PMG. He says “Like every new task,
you have to work hard and be ready to listen and learn.” He likes to see this new job as an
opportunity to prove to PMG that opening this position for him was no mistake. His advice to
other students looking to gain experience in their field is to take internships to gain
experience and find connections, and most importantly follow your passion. “Getting
experience is one of the most important things a student can do to secure a job. There are
plenty of good workers out there, but you need to be a game changer to make a difference.”
Alejandro would like to thank the Athletic Department for bringing him to UH Hilo to
play soccer, and most importantly Patrick Guillen; a good friend and mentor. Guillen’s wise
words motivated Alejandro to pursue the marketing side of sports. He would also like to thank
the College of Business and Economics Department for having extremely qualified professors to
learn from. In particular, Emmeline de Pillis, Drew Martin, Kelly Burke, Tam Vu, and Thomas
Dewitt. He says “Small details can impact someone’s life without them noticing. Sometimes it
only takes a few words to inspire you to try harder, and that is priceless.”
Interview by Ashley Romero
Avion Plummer is ALEX’s Mentorship Program coordinator. An avid traveler, Avio has studied in three countries to date, and will be spending more time abroad in 2017. Of his work at ALEX, Avion states, “I’m so happy to spread awareness of our mentorship program and hope to create new relationships between students and mentors.”
The purpose of this survey is to gain an understanding of your expectations when participating
in an internship or co-op program. The results of the survey will be shared with tens of
thousands of employers throughout the country to help improve internship and co-op
programs and recruiting practices. Whether you have completed an internship / co-op or not,
you are invited to participate.
The Study will close on December 16 th .