As students embark on their academic journeys, they often find themselves exploring new opportunities, discovering their passions, and envisioning their futures. Gator Colón, a recent graduate from Boise State University, exemplifies this spirit of exploration and growth. With a background in communication and a deep-rooted passion for helping students, Colón’s path led her to the College of Innovation and Design (CI+D).
Originally aspiring to work in the nonprofit sector as an event planner and program coordinator, Colón’s career goals took a turn during her time as a Student Recruitment Specialist in the Admissions Office. Immersed in the realm of higher education, she discovered a desire to assist students in finding their connection to campus, academic programs, and the resources and networking opportunities that a college education provides.
Colón’s passion for interdisciplinary learning led her to explore the opportunities offered by CI+D. Introduced to Society for Ideas by a coworker, she recognized the value that the program’s certificates could bring to her professional portfolio, regardless of her future career path. Colón was particularly drawn to the emphasis on experiential learning, personalized feedback, and the development of skills applicable to various industries provided in the coursework. She chose to pursue the Society for Ideas: Certificate in Creative Influence.
Colón experienced several impactful courses that broadened her perspectives and enhanced her skill set. One course that stood out was “Pitching Ideas,” which coincided with her involvement in securing a grant to revamp the campus Forum and hire a student muralist. Another course, “Designing for Equity,” prompted Colón to recognize the importance of creating equitable designs in all aspects of life. Additionally, Colón believes that every student should consider taking “Career Hacking” to gain insights into networking, informational interviews, and other essential skills crucial for securing career opportunities.
Gator’s exceptional dedication and achievements have not gone unnoticed. She was nominated to be a Top 10 Scholar and the student speaker for the Spring 2023 Commencement. This recognition left her feeling seen and validated, particularly as someone who values the experiential aspects of a college education.
“It taught me the value of advocating for yourself even though it can be scary to put yourself out there, ” she said.
Colón extends her gratitude to the professors, teaching assistants, and advisors who played a vital role in her academic journey. Their constructive feedback, flexibility, and unwavering support allowed her to thrive as a student with multiple commitments.
“Gator embodies the kind of student we love to celebrate in CI+D. She cares deeply about her community and is passionate about her career goals,” said Jen Schneider, associate dean of the College of Innovation and Design. “She’s a Communication major, which we love to see, but she also realized that Society for Ideas courses were a great add-on that built upon her career readiness skills. We’re so proud of her and will be cheering her on as she goes on to get her master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She’s an incredible asset to our campus.”
Colón’s most significant takeaway of her time in the Society for Ideas program?
“No matter where you are in school, life, or work, there is always something you can do for yourself, peers, or community to make it better.”