Daniela was born and raised in Tucson very near the University of Arizona, but she never expected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering as a first generation college student. She credits Earn to Learn™ with inspiring her and being there for her every step of the way. So much so that she even joined the Mentoring Program to help other first year Earn to Learn students transition successfully into college.

Earn to Learn also helped her land her first internship at Hexagon Mining as a software Engineer intern. Daniela credits her later opportunities at IBM and American Express for the experience she gained as an intern at Hexagon, which gave her the ability to try on several different roles. “Companies like to see real-world experiences outside of the classroom, and both IBM and American Express could see on my resume how flexible I was and how diverse my experience was.”

She credits Earn to Learn for not only helping to improve her financial literacy, but also in helping her develop professionally. Attending internship-readiness workshops and getting her resume prepped by the Earn to Learn staff pushed her to be a strong candidate for quality positions. In 2019, Daniela successfully graduated with zero debt from U of A with a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering, and she has begun an exciting career as an Embedded Software Engineer at Raytheon.

Daniela’s advice for other students? For juniors and younger: “Start early! Find internships or career opportunities. Get your resume together, and start preparing for hypothetical interviews.” And for seniors: “Find internships for the school year through local companies. Experience is key, and if you’re unable to find an internship, look to obtain a position on campus as a volunteer research assistant.” And for all: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help! The success coaches at Earn to Learn are so helpful and they’re there to guide you!”
Congratulations, Daniela!