Business and Financial Services Department


Kelli G Sanchez | Class of 2018 | Spanish Literature Major/ Education Studies Minor

Ashlyn Bernal | Class of 2018 | Cognitive Science with spec Neuroscience

Leena Abonasser | Class of 2017 | Psychology B.A Major/ Business Organizational Behavior Minor

Nancy N Nguyen | Class of 2017 | Psychology B.A. Major

Where do you work and what is your job title? During a typical work day, what do you do?
My job title is a Payment and Expenses Specialist. On a typical day, I monitor different queues that host customer or payee questions regarding a number of things, like travel/vendor accounts, trips, and processes to name a few.
– Kelli G Sanchez* At Integrated Procure-to-Pay-Solutions  (IPPS)

What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy having a wide variety of duties. The dynamism of my position keeps things exciting, as there is always something to do. I interact with different people and departments, work on various assignments and projects, and supervise our student employees. I am able to learn about so many different things and grow my skill set constantly. Also, I am very grateful to work with the people that I do. My colleagues are so caring and genuine. Everyone cares about what they do and about the students they assist.
– Leena Abonasser

What has your career path been like? If things develop as you would like, what does the future hold for your career?
After I graduated college, I entered UCSD Temporary Employment Services to gain additional work experience. I was eventually placed on the Payment Services team, and once a career position opened up with them, I applied and received a job offer soon after.
I would love to pursue a career in talent development. For the past several months, I have been fortunate enough to help the IPPS Director of Organizational Effectiveness with our student talent strategy and increasing student outreach efforts. I am now certain that this is something I wish to continue pursuing.
– Nancy Nguyen

As a recent graduate, I have been fortunate enough to hold a position where I can do what I enjoy, while also being exposed to new potential paths. By interacting with others who work in areas outside of my realm, I can see firsthand the breadth of opportunity available. Within the next 2-3 years, I plan to pursue an advanced degree, most likely in business administration. I hope in the coming years to further hone my career interests- so far, I have found interest in marketing, business development, and process improvement.
– Leena Abonasser

How did your experiences at UC San Diego help you find your first job after graduation? What was your experience like in finding a job after graduation? Did you find a job right away?
My experience as a student worker, and the different divisions that I worked for allowed me to use all the knowledge from each position and division to apply to the next. I applied to the position that I am currently in right before graduation. Due to McNair Summer Research Programs I was able to do research in my field of study while IPPS moved forward with hiring decisions. It was definitely an interesting experience searching for jobs as a UCSD alum, and I felt  a bit of pressure as a first generation student to “be successful” after graduating. I was fortunate enough to have the encouragement of my peers and old professors/employers to help me through the waiting period.
– Kelli G. Sanchez

What is your most memorable moment as a student?
My most memorable moment as a student was when I decided to take TDAC 1: Intro to Acting. I had never taken drama in middle or high school, but was always intrigued by the class. I used college as an opportunity to finally try my hand at acting, and I loved it so much that I took several more classes.
– Nancy Nguyen

How did your college experience at UC San Diego impact you?
I grew and changed in more ways than I could have imagined- as an individual, as a student, and as a member of my community. My college experience taught me constantly, in and out of the classroom. I learned about who I am, my goals, my passions, more about the people and the world around me.  I am cognizant of the privilege I have to be able to say I attended and graduated from this university. It was a pivotal time in my life, and I am humbled to have experienced it all.
– Leena Abonasser

Besides going to class, what else did you do as a student?
Aside from studying, I was involved in an after school Spanish Literature program in Garfield High School. In this club, students would come in and read short stories in Spanish from different genres and regions. The purpose of the club is to allow students a space for them to practice their Spanish reading/writing/conversational skills. I was also a part of the UCSD Women’s ultimate Frisbee team, Psychos/Berserk. Before joining, I didn’t know of this sport or how to throw a disc, but I was sold on the high energy of my teammates and the competitive-but-fun aspect of the sport (Shout out to Berserk for being Developmental Regionals Champions two years in a row!!) I definitely encourage everyone to check out this great program.
– Kelli Sanchez

What resources did you use as a student? Did you ever utilize career related resources such as the career advisors or attend job fairs?
I was assigned a mentor through my scholarship program at UCSD whose field of work was somewhat related to my interests, and used him to find individuals working in areas in which I was directly interested.  This again helped me better define my life path.
– Ashlyn Bernal

What’s one thing you wish you knew as an undergrad?
As an undergrad, I would have liked to know that getting started sooner on internships or research opportunities would make life as a post-grad a lot easier and would make me more competitive in the “real world.”
– Kelli Sanchez

What advice do you have for first year students? What about students who are about to graduate?
One of the easiest things to do at UCSD is to become too focused on school work.  For students both starting and about to graduate, I would highly recommend using your time at college to actually determine whether or not you really want to do what you plan on doing.  Find someone who’s been working in your prospective field for 10+ years and have a conversation about their feelings about their job, lifestyle, and choices. Whether you’re interested in entrepreneurship, self-employment, or employment, it’s best to find someone more experienced than yourself.  You’re young – it’s too early for tunnel vision. – Ashlyn Bernal

What do you think is the most important quality or skill students should learn to prepare themselves for the transition into the workplace?
I think the most important quality that students should learn to prepare themselves for the transition into the workplace is flexibility/adaptability. Since for many of them, this will be a completely unfamiliar experience, I think being able to quickly adapt to a new environment as well as any given tasks will help them to stand out.
– Nancy Nguyen

If you have any questions or would like additional information about what it’s like to work on campus as an alumni, feel free to contact any of the alumni spotlight representatives:

Leena Abonasser: / 858-822-0477
Ashley Bernal: / 858-534-3881
Nancy Nguyen:
Kelli Sanchez:        


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